5. About us
Our vision is to create a sustainable resource-efficient industry for animal protein production based on insects.
The goal is that inVALUABLE, 3-5 years’ post-project, can facilitate Danish industrial insect production and be an enabler of new market opportunities for insects as feed and food and other high-value components, generating an overall value of 200-300M DKK annually and creating 100-200 new jobs.
The partners (see below) span across the entire value chain and include entrepreneurs, experts in biology (entomology and nutrition), biotech, automation, processing of insects and food tech and -safety. This interaction of competences will allow lifting insect production to an industrial level.
The project operates at an applied research level with focus on three main areas:
1) Biological knowledge of the mealworm (e.g. production environment, dietary needs and health)
2) Automation and monitoring of production
3) Product documentation of e.g. safety and nutrition
Read more about the ten partners and why they are engaged in the project:
Danish technological institute (DTI) is a self-owned not-for-profit organization with primary aim to apply and disseminate research- and technology-based knowledge for the Danish industry. DTI is represented by three independent divisions; Life Science, AgroTech and Production. Together these DTI divisions will establish and consolidate new technologies and expertise within insect production including biotechnology, automation, logistics and biomass processing - areas in which we already have ongoing R&D activities. DTI has strategic focus on R&D and business development within biomass resources – generally considered as 'biobased buisness’; and we are strongly motivated in driving new technologies within this theme.
Uniting key competencies from several divisions will enable rapid development of a Danish insect industry, which will be of key importance to DTI and society overall. DTI expect that the project will consolidate this new business generating numerous new jobs within the industry; and thus hopefully resulting in future R&D and commercial activities that will contribute to continued development of a circular bioeconomy.
Aarhus University (AU) Department of Animal Science has, on Research Centre Foulum, facilities and competences to carry out a broad range of research in animal nutrition and physiology. Special focus is on animal production, which is sustainable regarding both production economy and environment.
The topic is highly relevant in relation to several other ongoing projects at the department on developing new sustainable protein feed. The Danish pig and poultry industry are looking for protein sources for especially the young animals, and insect-based feeds are likely to provide the needed protein and amino acids.
The aspects of insects in human nutrition are also of great importance. There will be great attention by the national and international feed industry on results on nutritional aspects of insects. Likewise, the potential inclusion in human nutrition is expected to lead to generations of new hypothesis and projects. The partnership will clearly open up for future collaboration on research in animal nutrition.
University of Copenhagen (UCPH) is joining with three groups, Insect Pathology and Biological Control (IPBC), Paediatric and International Nutrition (PIN) and Department of Food Science (FOOD), which are all conducting research within the overall field of insects as food and feed; including insect diseases, human nutrition and food innovation.
The project contributes to expanding the emerging UCPH research area on insects for food and feed. The project will strengthen the national knowledge-base and collaboration, and enable UCPH to further consolidate an international position as being among lead institutions in insects for feed and food.
IPBC aims at establishing a service for diagnosing insect diseases for the upcoming EU insect industry – a service that will be further developed in the project. PIN has established research expertise on the nutritional value of insects as food and lead the research project ‘GREEiNSECT’ in Kenya. The department of Food Science have for years been working at creating a cultural shift towards insects as a viable food source in Denmark and Europe, and expect that the project will lead to the first commercially available insect foods on the market in Denmark, and that insect eating will not be stigmatized at the end of the project.
The National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark (DTU) has extensive experience in studying transmission of zoonotic pathogens from farm to fork; and function as National Reference Laboratory for microbiological and chemical hazards incl. foodborne pathogens and antimicrobial resistance. DTU Food has for many years worked closely together with the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA) and European Food Safety Authorities (EFSA) aiming to provide science-based knowledge as basis for their decisions. DTU has a leading position as providers of high quality data and scientific advice for assessing feed/food safety issues in the current primary agricultural production and strives to expand this position also to cover the upcoming large-scale production of insects.
Especially for insects produced on non-feed grade by-products, DTU sees an important role in closing the current data gap by providing a proper risk assessment of insect products, which is required to facilitate authority approval and promote this new industry supporting sustainability and creating added value for society.
Novozymes (NZ) is a world leader in industrial enzyme production and microbial solutions. Novozymes’ main R&D facilities and headquarters are located in Denmark but with a strong global presence in terms of R&D, production and sales or our products. We believe that by using industrial biotechnology, we can potentially re-engineer thousands of everyday products to deliver enhanced and sustainable performance; introducing energy cost savings, and decreased raw material costs for our customers. Novozymes is innovation driven and constantly surveying novel areas with promising futures.
In addition, our biological solutions serve in both food and feed applications. Novozymes ranked in the top 3 percent of sustainability leaders in its peer group, rates high in the DOW Jones Sustainability Index and we are constantly looking for ways to improve our sustainability and turn waste into value. The inVALUABLE project enables us to strengthen our sustainability platform further as well as making Novozymes more knowledgeable in the field of insect biotechnology including applications in feed and food enzymes.
Hannemann Engineering ApS (HME) was founded in 2007 by the owner Palle Hannemann. The Company consists of 12 employees, who with willingness and engagement, stands ready to solve most challenges in the mechatronics world. We deal mainly with complete action and automation solutions for industry, but also offer consulting directly with the customer. Our core competencies include mechanical design in 3D, customized design and development and sourcing functions. We have been part of insect production projects since 2015 collaborating with PF and DTI in the SUSMEAL project.
The current environmental and food/feed situation will require an alternative and sustainable production of proteins. The project has great potential when EU legislation will soon be amended so that proteins produced by insects can be used in a full range for feed and food. Hannemann Engineering hope to add to their range of expertise for customized mechatronic solutions and expect that there is great potential for developing new equipment within this industry. We foresee a huge business potential for this emerging industry.
Ausumgaard (AG) believe that insect production could be a new very important business area for Danish agriculture in general, but also for Ausumgaard specifically concerning our vision. We want to contribute with experience from livestock on a large scale, but also help to ensure the anchoring of knowledge and experience in Danish agriculture. Ausumgaard want to contribute to the strongest value chain and see a good match for the agricultural value chain and especially our own. There is potential for more optimal use of biomass and new perspectives for insects as food and feed for existing livestock production.
ScrapTrans (ST) is specialized in buying by-products from feed and food companies and reutilizing these for animal feed (mainly pig feed). Within the last two years, ScrapTrans have been partners in two smaller projects about insect production using our collected by-products. We have good insight into by-products, and modern facilities for pre-processing these into suitable feeding substrates for insect production.
At present, the majority of the feed products that we market are rich in carbohydrates and low in protein. The protein content is decisive for the selling prize; consequently, an increase in protein content will improve the market value of these products. We expect through the project, to establish new insect diet products and sales outlet to supply insect producers.
Agro Korn A/S (AK) focus on developing value added feed ingredients with different functionalities for a range of market segments including e.g. petfood, fur-producing animals (e.g. mink), fish, poultry, pigs and young ruminants. Agro Korn A/S is always looking for new sources for value added feeds, and we believe that we can contribute with a high knowledge within feed composition. Our products must result in sustainable growth, healthy animals and good profit to meet our customers’ demand.
It is our vision to create the future protein- and feed ingredients and we wish to be far-sighted and adjust to future demands. With this in mind, we feel that the topic of this project is of particular interest to our future business. We believe that the best results are achieved by entering into partnerships and by building close relations. Therefore, we expect that this project will provide some insight in new sources of protein and other demanded products that we hope to be able to incorporate in our business.
DryingMate A/S (DM) develops and sells customized and energy-efficient drying systems for the industry. Our products are based on 15 years of experience with development and production of drying systems for feed and food. Our drying processes are characterized by high safety, high product quality, low operating costs and no dust or odor emissions.
DryingMate continually aims at improving our technology and the field of use through an on-going development both in-house and through participation in relevant projects. In the present project, we aim at gaining insight in drying of new protein resources and products and thereby improve our technology with the purpose of generating market shares in a upcoming market based on insect protein.