10 exciting innovations make it to the first cut in Nutreco Feed Tech Challenge

The first phase of the Nutreco Feed Tech Challenge has ended. Out of 45 solutions, the Challenge team has selected the 10 most promising solutions. These finalists have been invited for the Challenge Event that takes take place on 22 and 23 February 2017 in the Netherlands. During this event, an international expert jury selects the winner that will receive a validation trial in one of Nutreco’s research farms.

At Nutreco, we stimulate new ways of thinking by embracing innovative attitudes and disruptive ideas. Guided by our mission ‘Feeding the future’, we have been at the forefront of some of the major breakthrough innovations that have made food production more sustainable. But with a world population growing to over 9 billion by 2050 and finite natural resources, we need to step up our efforts.

In its continuous quest for innovation in animal nutrition and aqua feed, Nutreco launched the Feed Tech Challenge to kick-start breakthrough solutions centred around the question: ‘What is your breakthrough innovation – that CANNOT wait?’ The Challenge is focused on solutions in the areas of nutrition against antimicrobial resistance, feed-to-farm efficiency and young animal nutrition.

Over 250 enrichments

The Nutreco Feed Tech Challenge is set up in such a way, that every contestant is a winner. In the first phase, all 44 solutions received valuable feedback from our industry experts and scientists, with in total 266 enrichments and 480 people participating on the open innovation platform.

Ten finalists

We selected 10 innovations to attend the Nutreco Feed Tech Challenge Event on 22 and 23 February 2017 in the Netherlands. The finalists have a diverse background and originate from North America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Scroll down for the list of start-ups and a brief description of their solutions.


Pressure cooker sessions

The second phase of the challenge starts on 22 February with the Nutreco Feed Tech Challenge Event, which offers a dynamic ‘greenhouse & pressure cooker’ environment with workshops and interaction with the jury. The objective is to further nurture and enrich these high potential concepts. The participants will get trained in IP, storytelling and business modelling.

Validation trial

On the second day of the Event, the international jury picks a winner out of the contestants that made it to the final cut of three most promising solutions. The winner receives a unique prize in the form of a scientific on-farm validation trial in one of Nutreco’s research farms.


Prof. Dr. Ir. Daniel Berckmans of KU Leuven chair the jury. He is an expert in animal and human health engineering, and one of the pioneers of precision livestock farming.

The other members of the jury are:

  • Adam Anders; managing partner at Anterra Capital, a specialist venture capital investor operating in the food & agricultural sectors.
  • Prof. Dr. Johan Verreth; professor at Wageningen University & Research (WUR), where he leads the aquaculture and fisheries group within the WUR. He has a particular interest in the ecological sustainability of fish farming.
  • Dr. Jason Clay; senior vice president market transformation at WWF and the author of 15 books, more than 300 articles and 700 invited presentations.
  • Viggo Halseth; Chief Innovation Officer at Nutreco



KnipBio has developed a series of naturally occurring microbes that convert low-cost feedstock into premium, nutritious, single-cell proteins laden with pigment-enhancing carotenoids to produce healthier, more vibrant fish.



eFishery is the integrated feeding solution for fish and shrimp farming. This machine can feed the fish automatically, sense the fish’s appetite and adjust the amount of feed given with the appetite, and connected to the internet.



MicroSynbiotiX is developing cost-effective oral vaccines to combat diseases and infections in aquaculture by developing a novel, patent-pending method of producing oral vaccines using genetically modified microalgae.


Metabolic Robots

Metabolic Robots has developed a state-of-the-art system to optimize poultry house feed distribution according to actual demand and enable real-time monitoring and management to significantly improve broiler house efficiency and profits.



EKO GEA has developed a method of freeing up all available target compounds in Ascophyllum nodosum marine algae, turning it into an exceptional and versatile prebiotic tool.



FarmControl is an innovative solution directed to all Livestock Farming activities. It allows farmers to monitor and control remotely in real time, any type of equipment of their farm.



Fodjan provides a web platform for feed management for livestock sector. It connects the different stakeholders in feeding strategies (i.e. farmer, consultant, trader, and veterinarian). The platform is also connected to laboratories and feeding machinery.



Hexafly has a technology to produce Hermetia illucens (black soldier fly) while limiting waste to zero and developing high-value coproducts for the plant nutrition and biopolymer industry.



LifeBioencapsulation develops solutions to microencapsulate functional molecules and microorganisms in order to increase their efficacy in case of oral administration.



Ten Kate
The Netherlands

Ten Kate develops protein modifications with antimicrobial and growth enhancing properties, resulting in a healthier (young) livestock population with better growth perspectives and reduced use of antibiotics.