A Vernon businessman has been recognized as a Canadian innovator.
Terry Bigsby has received a $10,000 Manning Innovation Award for developing Aspenware compostable utensils made from wood veneers.
“It’s a pretty big honour,” said Bigsby.
“It tells people we’re on the map and we have something of value. We’re a step above everyone else in the industry.”
Aspenware began in 1997 in Lumby and Bigsby developed the patented commercial process and equipment to produce 35,000 units per hour.
“It makes people realize the importance of value-added wood products. We make 50,000 products out of one cubic metre of veneer,” he said.
Bigsby also points out that innovation on a national scale can occur outside of major cities.
“This award shows you don’t have to have millions and millions of dollars or a big university backing you. You just need to keep going,” he said.
“It’s recognition of all of the years of hard work.”
The company, which has 20 full-time employees, sells utensils across Canada.
Bigsby and the other 2012 Manning Innovation Award winner are featured in this week’s Maclean’s magazine.
The Manning Innovation Awards are an initiative of the Calgary-based Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation.
Bigsby’s award will be presented at a gala October 17 in Ottawa.