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December 20, 2021

Index Biosystems Awarded $100k From SDTC To Drive Sustainability In Global Agri-food Value Chains

TORONTO, December 20, 2021 — Index Biosystems was approved for funding through the Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) Seed Fund. The $100K CAD investment will further product development and the commercialization of BioTags to revolutionize agri-food industry sustainability.

Index Biosystems designs BioTags — a natural, scalable and customizable on-product traceability solution that enables unprecedented quality control, product authentication and environmental, social and governance (ESG) guarantees. BioTags act like a microscopic barcode that can be applied directly to a product and serve as the physical link to a product’s digital supply chain. The BioTagging platform is easily integrated with existing traceability software through Trailhead, Index’s digital registry, to ensure full supply chain traceability.

“Startups need to be nimble in response to market opportunities, and SDTC’s funding process is incredibly well-aligned with how we work,” says Mike Borg, Founder & CEO of Index Biosystems. “We can now invest in increasing our R&D capacity and growing our team to make technical progress in multiple markets that will drive sustainability in global agri-food value chains. BioTags have the potential to reduce the scope and amount of waste from a product recall, while verifying ESG claims of the supply-chain. Support from SDTC allows us to move quickly, and ultimately increases our chances of success.”

Commodity products are notoriously difficult to track throughout supply chains. The core reason for this challenge is that supply chains have had no choice but to rely on traditional authentication solutions like barcodes and packaging, explains Borg. “These solutions were designed for consumer-packaged goods, and they are not effective on their own for products like leafy greens or animal feed. You can’t put a barcoded sticker on every leaf, and you can’t put a sticker on each high-risk ingredient in an animal feed product.”

This inability to efficiently track and trace commodity goods is at the core of international fraud and counterfeiting, food safety risks, and ESG failures, he says. Food products are unnecessarily wasted as a result of this poor traceability, and entire herds of production animals may be lost when highly transmissible diseases, such as African Swine Fever, are detected in feed. This can result in millions of pounds of wasted meat. BioTagging enables on-product authentication that can reduce the scope of these events while allowing for rapid identification of sources — by providing a digital ‘breadcrumb trail’ across the value chain.

“BioTags represent the cutting-edge of innovation in traceability technology, as a bio-based solution is uniquely positioned to address the most pressing demands and challenges on the supply chain,” says Rob Patterson, Technical Director of CBS Bio Platforms, a strategic partner of Index Biosystems. “The rapidly growing momentum behind this technology signals its tremendous potential to become the solution of choice for customers around the world.”

“Index Biosystems’ BioTags offers a more sustainable alternative to traditional traceability technologies. Through SDTC’s seed funding we are excited to support their plans to expand their impact within Canada and beyond.” Said Zoë Kolbuc, Vice President of Ecosystems, at Sustainable Development Technology Canada.

About Index Biosystems

Index has designed BioTags — a natural, scalable, and customizable on-product traceability solution. This edible technology acts like a microscopic barcode that enables unprecedented quality control, anti-counterfeiting and ESG guarantees for the betterment of global health, innovation and industry. BioTags are re-imagining supply chain traceability, transparency and trust, by providing the physical link between a product itself and the digital supply chain.

About Sustainable Development Technology Canada

Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) helps Canadian companies develop and deploy competitive, clean technology solutions, to help solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges: climate change, clean air, clean water and clean soil. By taking a cross-Canada approach, from seed to scale, and in partnership with the best peers and experts, SDTC is the global benchmark for sustainable development innovation programming. Learn more at

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For media inquiries, please contact:
Anita Ludwar
Director, Special Projects & Innovation

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