Three innovations make it to the final cut

Tension rises in the Nutreco Feed Tech Challenge. After the first day of the 2-day final event, the jury selected three innovations that will compete for the grande prize. KnipBio (US), MicroSynbiotiX (Ireland) and EKO GEA (Slovenia) are still in the race for on-farm validation trial in one of Nutreco's research farms.

The competition, launched in November 2016, is aimed at connecting start-ups with industry experts and scientists in an attempt to support innovation related to nutrition tackling antibiotic resistance, feed-to-farm efficiency or early animal diets.Centred around the question ‘What is your breakthrough innovation – that CANNOT wait?' in total 44 start-ups submitted their solutions to Nutreco's open innovation platform.

Ten finalists

Ten finalists, selected from 44 applications, are now competing in a two-day event where they interact intensively with the jury and are offered the opportunity to get trained in IP, business modelling and pitching.

Final cut of 3

At the end of the first day of the Event (22 February), three start-ups were selected by the jury for the final round on 23 February.

  • KnipBio (USA) has developed a series of microbes that will convert low-cost feedstock into premium, nutritious, single-cell proteins laden with pigment-enhancing carotenoids to produce healthier, more vibrant fish.
  • MicroSynbiotiX (Ireland) has developed oral vaccines to combat diseases and infections in aquaculture using "a novel method using genetically modified microalgae" as the delivery vehicle.
  • EKO GEA (Slovenia) has developed a method of "freeing up all available target compounds in Ascophyllum nodosum marine algae, turning it into a versatile prebiotic tool".

On-farm validation

Addressing the start-up teams, Nutreco CEO Knut Nesse pointed out that the validation trial for the winner is the biggest boost any start-up could wish for.

“At Nutreco we focus on bringing new science and technologies to farmers, faster and more effectively. We know that validation and knowledge on how to apply new technologies in a real farm environment are crucial for farmers to embrace innovation.”

“This challenge and in particular the validation trial can provide a significant contribution to introducing your breakthrough innovations into real life. For start-ups it is a great opportunity to accelerate the development of their innovations, possibly even leading to a funding offer from Nutreco or one of our partners.”

The winner will be announced Thursday 23 February.