We greatly admire Company 1’s desire to change our dated food system – doing so is one of the most significant ways to improve our relationship with the planet and the current trajectory of climate change. Company 1 advances a circular economy for food: they minimize waste by using it as their key input.

The company is dedicated to capturing industrial emissions that are primarily CO₂ and through a proprietary gas fermentation process transforming them into additives and high-performance protein ingredients, initially for fast-growing fish and shrimp feed markets. The production platform is a highly versatile product with significant potential to impact various feed sectors, not just aquaculture. The systems will make inputs for companies that make multi-ingredient feeds for animals, plant-based “meats” for people, and even cultured meats produced from cultured animal cells.

Protein inputs today come from all sources and in all forms, and we are keenly aware that each has its cost. “Meats” made from both plants and animals are resource intensive, can take months to years to harvest, and are better suited for some applications than others. Plants have difficulty offering the amino acid profile of meat or seafood. That has necessitated aquaculture to be dependent on fish flour as a key protein source and thus the practice of capturing and grinding up around 300 billion tiny, oily, pelagic fish every year, then feeding that to the farmed fish we like to eat. This dependence, coupled with rising demand and finite or volatile resources, has led to fish flour’s reduced availability. Its six-fold price increase over the last three decades, had prompted the search for alternatives that match the specific nutritional qualities of fish flour, at a similar or lower price. That search is reaching its final conclusion with a slate of technologies prominently featuring Company 1’s.

Company 1’s fast-growing products offer cost, performance, and customizability advantages over many, key legacy ingredients and additives. Their high performance proteins are made from specialty microbes that grow on CO2. The products are natural, non-GMO, complete proteins with all the amino acids, therefore being capable of replacing all the fish flour protein in aquaculture diets. Its many uses will reduce the cost of feed, improve its performance, and better its sustainability.

Relative to the market incumbent, fish flour, their product will:

  • Provide equivalent or superior protein
  • Have longer shelf life
  • Be free of detectable mercury, toxins, and anti-nutritionals
  • Guarantee price and supply stability, independent from weather/climate
  • Enable a greater aggregate inclusion rate of high-quality proteins.

Beyond fish flour and its numerous applications along the spectrum of animal feed, Company 1 is making strides toward animal-free protein production with plant-based “meats” and bolstering the production of fully cultured meat.

As their CEO has said,

“The annual CO2 emissions from a large cement plant would create 3 billion dollars of our protein flour, worth the same as the entire annual soy production of the state of Nebraska — 330 million bushels a year.”

They have already begun licensing out their technology to make large-scale systems that transform an emitter’s CO2 waste to produce the commercial products. These innovative processes will take some of the most burdensome and massive waste streams – carbon-rich waste gases that today flow from smokestacks – and upcycle them into clean and useful inputs for the food system. That is a value-adding second life for CO2 that abates climate change while adding to the toolset to fight hunger.

Inc., a leading business magazine, believes that Company 1’s product has the potential to play a ‘meaningful role in determining the fate of the planet’. We strongly agree, working excitedly with them as one of the selected innovators of the FEED-X Programme – and we are happy to say that the feeling is mutual. The CEO of Company 1 had this to say:

“Applying for the programme inspired us to think deeply about the hard questions from the viewpoints of sustainability, technical innovation, and hard-nosed commercial reality. Being recognized as a finalist by [Project X’s] panel of experts, after this exhaustive and condensed process, means more than most investments we receive.”

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Our Innovators

Innovator Two

Company 2 is a pioneering venture operating in the biotechnology sector with core competences within fermentation technologies.

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Innovator Three

What sets Company 3 apart from its fellow selected innovators is the fact that it is the joint effort of two different innovators! These will be referred to as Company 3a and Company 3b...

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Innovator Four

Company 4 is a SME specialising in the micronisation of food side streams and arable biomass.

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Innovator Five

Company 5 is a business dedicated to the production of new, sustainable protein ingredients for aquaculture, livestock, and household pets.

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Innovator Six

Company 6 is a company that specialises in the industrialisation of insect agriculture within a regenerative food system.

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Innovator Seven

Company 7 is a biotech company that specialises in the production of a new source of protein through the rearing of insects for the animal feed and aquaculture sectors.

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Innovator Eight

Company 8 specialises in the production of high-quality Omega-3 from microalgae; a sustainable source that enables the industry to continue growing within planetary boundaries.

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Innovator Nine

Company 9 seeks to create a sustainable solution for food processing companies in which diluted process stream that are otherwise lost or even wasted, are upgraded to valuable microbial protein.

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Innovator Ten

Company 10 is a global enterprise that believes in harnessing the latest technology to produce the ingredient of the future: insects.

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