Foodtech start-up MicroHarvest has been awarded in the reputed 2023 BloombergNEF (BNEF) Pioneers Awards in the Challenge 3: Building a net-zero food production system. The Hamburg-based biotech company is at the forefront of developing sustainable protein production technologies using microorganisms, which could revolutionize food production.
MicroHarvest’s proprietary technology is based on biomass fermentation, which enables the company to produce quality protein ingredients containing over 60% raw protein that can be produced within 24H from input to output. This approach is highly efficient and has the potential to help address critical challenges in building toward a net-zero economy. In addition, the company focuses on alternative protein ingredients for human food, pet food, and aquafeed markets.
The alternative protein market is booming, with up to 50% annual growth rates. MicroHarvest’s technology has the potential to provide a sustainable and affordable source of protein, which could transform the way we feed the growing global population. The pet food market is also rapidly growing, with 34% of pet owners claiming they prefer a vegetarian diet. The aquafeed market is also a significant market, worth $58 billion.
Nearly 350 submissions from 42 countries were submitted for this year’s BloombergNEF (BNEF) Pioneers awards, but only 22 were selected for the shortlist. The CEO of MicroHarvest, Katelijne Bekers, acknowledged her joy and pride at being selected as one of the six finalists. MicroHarvest is the only European business in its category.
The finalists will be judged on three criteria: their potential influence on greenhouse gas emissions and environmental sustainability, technological innovation and originality level, and the likelihood of acceptance and potential scalability. A team of experts from BloombergNEF will apply the criteria. Over the last ten years, several businesses chosen as BNEF Pioneers have played an essential part in transitioning to a low-carbon world.
Image provided by MicroHarvest