Huhtamaki and US-based non-profit Food System 6 (FS6) have launched an accelerator programme for start-ups developing sustainable solutions to aid the development of a circular economy. According to a statement from the two companies, the predominant goal of the Huhtamaki Circular Economy Startup Program by Food System 6 is to foster innovative solutions for the development of a circular economy across the food value chain, with the aim of increasing the long-term health and resilience of the planet. The programme will focus on identifying and developing early-stage companies with innovative and promising sustainable solutions in areas such as waste diversion, sustainable packaging alternatives, new material innovations and regenerative production models. Eight participants will be selected to take part in the programme, and successful applicants will receive mentorship, advice and networking resources to advance the development of their solutions, as well as a $300,000 equity-free grant. The programme is now open for applications, and successful participants will be announced in Autumn 2020. Caesaré Assad, chief executive officer of Food System 6, said: “Our programme is happening at a critical time. The Covid-19 crisis has exposed the vulnerabilities that already existed in our fragile food system. “We need solutions now that will support regeneration and circularity across agriculture, food distribution and production. By supporting entrepreneurs, we can rectify the problems that impact people and our planet to create a stronger, resilient, and equitable world.” Charles Héaulmé, president and CEO of Huhtamaki, added: “At Huhtamaki we know we need to act today, educate for tomorrow and take bold innovative bets, if we are to deliver viable sustainable solutions for future generations. Creating a circular economy is one of the most important steps towards delivering a sustainable food system. We have partnered with Food System 6 to discover, develop and deliver innovative solutions. “Huhtamaki is committed to protecting people, food and the planet. Our partnership with Food System 6 is an important part of creating the future we believe is possible.” Last month, Huhtamaki partnered with charity WasteAid in a project aimed at driving community-level innovation that contributes towards building a circular economy.