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Dec 05, 2023 14:10 EEST
December 5 (SeeNews) - Bulgarian biotechnology scale-up Nasekomo and Siemens Bulgaria have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on expanding protein production from insects through AI-based technology capabilities and data analytics, Nasekomo said on Tuesday.
The strategic partnership, agreed on the sidelines of the COP28 UN climate summit in Dubai, will start with the establishment of a cutting-edge multiplication centre to supply insect larvae and meet the rising demand for sustainable high-quality protein, Nasekomo said in a press release.
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The concept envisages robotisation and the digitalisation of all biological and technological processes in the insect breeding centre through machine learning and the application of new technologies, such as building digital twins of the live insect larvae used in the production.
Siemens Bulgaria will eventually integrate automated systems and data from up to 200 planned production centres, or bioconversion factories, in Europe and worldwide, in support of the scale-up's goal to develop a data-driven franchising business model.
"We intend for each factory in the network to convert 100,000 tonnes of low-value organic resources into 25,000 tonnes of valuable insect products such as protein meal or oil, representing a tenfold increase in the value of the transformed biomass," Maria Alexandrova, head of innovation projects and sustainability at Nasekomo, said.
Current protein extraction and production methods are unsustainable and deplete the planet's resources. In contrast, insect protein production employs a sustainable circular model, requiring fewer resources, according to Nasekomo, which was founded in 2017 and is backed by Bulgarian venture capital fund Morningside Hill. It is thought that every tonne of insect protein can potentially save 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions through bioconversion.
In September, Nasekomo announced it will receive a 4.9 million levs ($2.7 million/2.5 million euro) EU-backed grant under Bulgaria's National Recovery and Resilience Plan, to be deployed in the first phase of its plan for setting up a network of insect processing factories.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)
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