Innovative ideas shine at Project SOY Plus finale

Winners of Project Soy Plus standing with a cheque in front a U of G sign


By Emma Tamburro and Madi Miller-Gouk

The spotlight was on sustainability and innovation at the Project SOY Plus finale, with University of Guelph students showcasing their creative solutions aimed at fostering environmental stewardship.

The competition, known for harnessing student creativity, introduced a new theme this year, the circular economy. Participants were challenged to rethink traditional approaches to production, consumption and recycling.

Project SOY Plus also launched an exciting new creative stream that invited participants to create expressive works of art aligned with the circular economy theme.

“Project SOY Plus presents an opportunity for different streams of students to create a new product based on environmental sustainability,” says Jacqueline Nguyen, a team member of Mogu, which won first place in the graduate student category.

The event showcased a diverse range of projects, from biodegradable bandages to a mushroom-based meat alternative, each offering unique perspectives on how to contribute to a circular economy.

Winners, who are listed below, were announced across various categories, including diploma, undergraduate and graduate, with each project showcasing the potential for real-world impact.

Organizers of Project SOY Plus are happy with the success of this year’s competition.

“The student engagement this year is encouraging for the future of the program, the switch to a yearly sustainability-linked project theme and the addition of the creative stream broadened its appeal across campus and attracted many unique and inventive solutions,” said Michelle Stringer, project coordinator at the Research Innovation Office.

In the future, organizers of Project SOY Plus are planning to expand its reach and engage even more students in exploring sustainable products and strategies. With the support of sponsors like Food from Thought, the competition is poised to continue driving positive change through innovation and sustainability initiatives.

Winner List

Diploma Category

  • First Place - Scrappy Snacks: Jade Simpson

Undergraduate Category

  • First Place - Foraged Teas: William Cheng, Nicholas Dernovsek, Samantha Heard
  • Second Place - Zeth Bags: Oderay Bastidas, Krupa Thakkar
  • Third Place – Oatstanding: Jessica Collier, Vanya Khanna, Christine Rivera, Manahil Zaid

Graduate Category

  • First Place – Mogu: Henry Koekuyt, Weilun Lin, Jacqueline Nguyen
  • Second Place – NaturePatch: Ayush Chawla, Thelma Dalmeida, Anagh Vaidya
  • Third Place – EcoFiber: Abimbola Ayeni, Brock McKenzie, Siddhi Pandey

Creative Stream

  • First Place - A Majestic Pump: Nicholas Dernovsek, Samantha Heard