Project X is always looking for value-aligned companies to collaborate with; indeed, one of Project X’s core beliefs is that people are stronger together. We care about the Earth and the people who live on it, which is why we strive to provide change at the pace the planet needs it.

This is one of many reasons we were excited to come across Company 8; a sustainability venture launched in 2018 by two parent companies. The business specialises in the production of high-quality Omega-3 from microalgae; a sustainable source that enables the industry to continue growing within planetary boundaries.

Company 8 was founded on an equal partnership, and as such, they are always looking for new ways to make a global contribution – a fact that makes itself immediately clear when one considers the core concepts at the heart of the company’s operation. Company 8 cares about the wellbeing of humans and animals and the integrity of ecosystems and seeks to use their technology to help address the competing challenges of feeding a growing population and protecting natural resources. The company produces the two essential Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, from natural marine algae for animal nutrition. The resulting product can be a complete and sustainable replacement for fish-based ingredients for a variety of species.

Company 8’s process has also managed to successfully solve the Omega 3 problem: In a nutshell, Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for human and animal health. Humans and most animals have very limited ability make their own Omega-3 from other fats, which is why they must include these essential nutrients in their diet to maintain healthy growth and the normal function of several key organs – the brain, the heart, and the eyes are just a few examples. The issue is one of scarcity: we get these long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids almost exclusively from marine sources.

Typically, wild salmon obtain their Omega-3 via the natural food chain, but farmed and domestic animals must receive EPA and DHA Omega-3 in their diet. Until recently, fish oil and fishmeal from wild fish stocks were the sole source of these essential fatty acids. In 2016, a total of 16 million metric tons of wild-caught fish were used to produce fish oil and fishmeal. As natural resources, fishmeal and fish oil are unpredictable in supply – but Company 8’s breakthrough innovation allows the animal nutrition industry to grow without increasing dependency on marine resources.

By combining expertise in cultivating natural marine algae with know-how in industrial-scale fermentation, Company 8’s innovation has the power to transform feed nutrition. In the North Pacific, they discovered an algal strain of Schizochytrium sp., which naturally produces the Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Fermentation secures a supply of these essential nutrients without needing to rely on marine ecosystems. With natural marine algae, Company 8 can bypass the entire food chain and get the Omega-3 straight from nature’s own source. Their Omega-3 from microalgae is an ideal, high quality alternative to oils from wild catch fish for sustainable animal nutrition.

It is demonstrably a successful process: One tonne of this algal oil yields the same amount of EPA and DHA Omega-3 as sixty tonnes of forage fish. As a result of Company 8’s innovation, fish farmers can easily become net producers of healthy seafood. Company 8’s commitment to protect our planet is paving the way for industry players to adopt sustainable feed production as a worldwide standard and become leading stewards of the ocean.

We consider ourselves lucky to be working with a company that feels such a keen obligation to protect marine life whilst at the same time supporting the growth of the seafood industry . Of course, gaining a steady foothold in the market is rarely an easy step, even for a fast-blossoming enterprise like Company 8 – this is where Project X comes in.

The CEO of Company 8 says the following, “Sustainable innovation takes courage and market adoption takes effort and resources. The FEED-X corporate accelerator means a lot to [Company 8]. Participation helps us to sharpen our focus. We hope it can help us to access markets much faster and help us to make a difference to people, fish and oceans.”

We look forward to seeing how they progress!

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Our Innovators

Innovator One

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.

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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 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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