InnovaFeed is one of the winners of the very competitive Blue Economy Window call under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The company will receive a € 2.1M grant to support its next level innovation and industrial development across Europe. First, the grant will enable InnovaFeed to capture the full potential of its current business model by expanding into new aquaculture segments and improving zootechnical performance by leveraging a comprehensive genetics program. Second, InnovaFeed will optimize industrial processes in order to prepare the deployment in Europe in circular economy partnerships. Findings of the program will be directly implemented in InnovaFeed’s factory in Nesle, France. Lastly, the grant will support InnovaFeed’s efforts in creating value across the value chain through off-take agreements for all products in portfolio (insect protein, oil and frass) and the creation of B2C labels for each.
InnovaFeed contributes to the construction of a sustainable food system by developing a pioneering and innovative industry: the breeding and processing of insects (Hermetia Illucens fly) for the production of proteins and lipids for animal feed, more specifically aquaculture.
Traditional protein resources are insufficient to support the fast-growing aquaculture sector, thus creating a widening protein deficit. InnovaFeed’s insect protein addresses this critical challenge by providing a natural and sustainable source of protein for fish with a proven performance.
Since its creation in 2016, the company has developed a disruptive technology with proven capabilities at large scale. It has validated its industrial model and finetuned its processes with its pilot plant in the North of France, in operation since 2017. InnovaFeed recently opened in Nesle (France) the largest insect production facility in activity in the world. The factory will produce up to 15,000 tons of proteins from insects per year and create more than 110 jobs.
At Nesle, InnovaFeed has implemented a fully integrated automated system to optimize production with more than 3,000 sensors. Moreover, the insect producer has developed an in-house expertise on insect rearing combining research on zootechnical performance with advanced technologies. The insects are bred vertically in order to increase density : 20,000 eggs will be collected every second in InnovaFeed’s tailor-made units.
InnovaFeed’s protein has been recognized as a performant, competitive and sustainable ingredient for aquafeed. It has proven zootechnical and health performances on insect-fed fish. For instance, shrimp trials have demonstrated a significant increase in feed efficiency gains and resistance to diseases. In addition, insect protein conveys health benefits for consumers, such as a reduced level of pollutants in the flesh of insect-fed fish. To commercialize end-user products, InnovaFeed works with the entire value chain from feed formulators, to farmers, labels and distributors. Thanks to this innovative and collaborative chain approach, InnovaFeed has launched since December 2018 the first insect-fed trout with Auchan retailer in France.
By providing a sustainable alternative to fishmeal, InnovaFeed’s insect protein contributes to preserving biodiversity on land and in the sea. Thanks to InnovaFeed’s insect protein production, it is more than 45,000 tons of forage fishthat can be saved per year.
Furthermore, InnovaFeed has decided to turn sustainability into an argument for competitivity. Its production site in Nesle is collocated with existing industrial players. As a result, the company is able to reduce its CO2 footprint by 80% which represents an annual economy of 57,000 T of CO2 per year. Tereos, agro-industrial neighbor, supplies agricultural by-products to feed the InnovaFeed’s larvae, and the energy player Kogeban powers the facility. By enhancing the thermodynamical cycle of its energy neighbour, InnovaFeed is able to capture its waste energy (i.e. energy that was previously dissipated into the air) to fuel its plant. The plant is therefore powered with 100% renewable energy. Finally, InnovaFeed uses local resources to feed its insects and recycles insect’s frass into organic fertilizer in a circular and zero waste approach.
Since its creation, InnovaFeed successfully secured more than € 200 million funding thanks to its investors, Temasek and Creadev, and a pool of banks.
Thanks to its highly replicable technology and the support of its business and funding partners, InnovaFeed intends to deploy its industrial model throughout Europe and North America.