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4 July, 2023 - 17:39 By News Desk

Food waste tech ‘recycled’ by Bradfield Prize winner as new competition launches

Applications have just been opened for the 2023 Trinity Bradfield Prize which has produced some brilliant startups in recent times – none more so than food waste recycling company Vuala, which was one of the winners last year.

Vuala, co-founded by CEO Abiel Ma, is launching a pilot of its food waste recycling ‘bio bin’ at The Bradfield Centre on Cambridge Science Park – which hosts the Trinity Bradfield Prize.

Ma says he is excited to have chosen Cambridge for the first public trial of the technology. He tells Business Weekly: “Anyone visiting Bradfield will have an excellent opportunity to explore our groundbreaking food waste recycling technology, the Vuala X1, and witness its potential firsthand.

“During a visit, you'll have the chance to interact with the Vuala X1, meet #TeamVuala, ask questions, and gain valuable insights into how our invention can make food waste recycling easy!

“This pilot had already gained exceptional momentum, with overwhelming requests to visit and see the Vuala X1 in action. These include delegates from Homerton College, Cambridge Judge Business School, Hallmark Carehome, Millennium Hotel and Resort Group plus local councils, Octopus Ventures, The Creator Fund and numerous angel Investors.

“Our aim is to leverage the success of this pilot trial and have our first commercial installation at Bradfield Centre. We’ll then kick our commercial launch and start taking orders for Vuala X1. 

“We envision bringing our innovative food waste recycling solution to cities across the globe, forging partnerships with local governments, businesses, and communities to implement our solution on a larger scale.” 

Vuala has been founded by scientists and industry experts from the University of Cambridge; the Vuala X1 is a bio-mechanical system, utilising targeted micro-organisms together with specialised mechanical design, to automatically separate food waste from other wastes, turning them into raw material for biogas and hydrogen production within hours onsite.

Vuala X1 allows food waste to be stored for more than a month without smell, significantly delaying collection frequency, saving 95 per cent labour and logistics while reducing CO2 emission by 75 per cent. Vuala's mission is to reduce 100 million tonnes of CO2 in 10 years.

Now new success stories are being sought in the 2023 Trinity Bradfield Prize. The competition is one of the leading early stage Tech & Science awards running at The University of Cambridge. It is operated by Trinity College Cambridge and The Bradfield Centre.

No-strings-attached grant funding is provided, alongside a comprehensive package of support and mentoring, designed to support translating early stage technologies into real-world impact.

​For the 2023 edition, a total prize pot of £20,000 of non-dilutive funding is available for up to three winners – a £10,000 first place prize, a second place £5,000 prize, and the £5,000 Helling's Prize.

In addition, all eligible applicants will be invited to attend four in-person workshops covering key entrepreneurial topics led by a subject matter expert, including Pitching, Customer Discovery, IP and Business Plan development.

​Bradfield Centre boss James Parton also tells us that as the competition progresses all finalists will have access to the centre’s hand picked mentor network, providing 1:1 support and advice, and receive three months free membership of The Bradfield Centre – providing an opportunity to rub shoulders with the founders of 120 startups that make up the centre community.

The ultimate winners of the competition receive the three cash prizes, and associated media coverage, helping to boost the profile of their projects.

​The competition is open to the entire University of Cambridge community, has a very simple application process and a comprehensive package of support for winners.

The competition requires that at least one member of the team be a student (post-graduate or undergraduate) or an early career researcher (not yet career independent) at The University of Cambridge.

Single applicants and repeat applicants are encouraged to apply. To be considered for the competition shortlist, applicants are required to attend 75 per cent of the workshop sessions.

​• If you have any questions about the Trinity Bradfield Prize email: info [at]

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