According to an announcement on 17 April, the agrifoodtech start-up MicroHarvest has been recognized as winning innovator for its protein ingredient at the 2023 BloombergNEF (BNEF) Pioneers awards.

The company uses its own technology to produce a sustainable, nutritious protein which can be utilized in different applications like human food, animal feed and pet food. The ingredient stands out due to small production time, only 24 hours from input to output, reduction of required land compared to common protein by 99% and a composition out of 60% protein. Herewith, the company can outrange others producing sustainable proteins.

The award was given because of the support of building a net-zero food production system

“To be awarded this prestigious Pioneers prize by the BNEF amongst such impressive competition is something that we’re extremely proud of,” said Katelijne Bekers, co-founder and CEO of MicroHarvest. “The MicroHarvest team have made significant progress in overcoming the challenges associated with scaling biotechnological processes. We’re developing technology that fuels the resilient food system of tomorrow producing the nutritious and sustainable protein ingredients that the world will need in the very near future.

“We have already successfully completed a production trial at scale within our first two years, which is an exceptional speed in the fermentation-enabled alternative protein space,” she continued. “Based on our results to date, we are confident that we can marry the sustainability and scale necessary to become a champion of future protein in the B2B ingredients industry.”

MicroHarvest was one out of 350 applicants for BNEF awards. The potential impact on greenhouse gas emissions, environmental sustainability, innovation, probability in acceptance and possible scalability of the product have turned the balance.

“The search for new climate-technology solutions has never been as urgent,” stated Claire Curry, selection committee co-chair and global head of technology, industry and innovation research at BNEF. “Technologies under development now must scale by 2030 if they are to play a significant role in helping reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Over the past three cycles of the Pioneers competition, we have chosen to focus on innovation areas where there are particularly large decarbonization hurdles.

“My belief is that our 2023 winners have the technology edge, the talent and the right support systems to play a significant role in overcoming the hurdles in scaling green hydrogen, producing sustainable metals at scale and in decarbonizing our food production system,” Curry added. “We have now had 141 Pioneers winners since 2010, many of which have played an essential role in the energy and climate transition since their win. I look forward to seeing our 2023 winners do the same in the next decade.”

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