Chinook Foot Orthotic Laboratory Inc. is one of eight finalists competing for the grand prize of $100,000 in the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award.
The company is being recognized for its innovation project, A Greener Footprint, which will improve the efficiency of existing systems while reducing plastic waste, material costs and product defects, according to a press release.
The process will reduce plastic waste by 74% and improve productivity by replacing the thick plastic sheets used to make orthotic shells with thinner 3D blanks. The company will replace costlier composites with a new unibody material, which will make a lighter, more resilient orthosis. By taking these steps, Chinook expects to see a 59% reduction in waste and a 67% reduction in cost.
“This idea isn’t just tailored to our lab. We hope to sell the blanks and our technology to other labs, thus reducing waste across the industry and redefining orthotics manufacturing,” Patrick Bergevin, founder of Chinook Foot Orthotic Laboratory, said in the release.
“We expect to go far beyond our waste- and cost-reduction goals. This is only the first step of many we want to take to improve internal protocols and become more efficient,” he said. “Integrating technology to get the best and most environmentally friendly product possible has always been our goal.”
Every year, Canadian entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 years are recognized in the Business Development Bank of Canada’s BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest. Voting for the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest runs from May 30 to June 19.