In July 2023, Nasekomo, the leading Bulgarian scale-up company, reached a significant milestone with the commencement of operations at its Insect Center of Excellence (NICE). This state-of-the-art facility marked the first full production cycle, from insect genetic improvement to end-product manufacturing, resulting in the delivery of the initial batch of protein meal for pet food. Nasekomo’s dedication to research and development culminated in the establishment of NICE and its groundbreaking innovations, including a revolutionary automated platform for insect rearing.
The automated platform is designed based on the principles of vertical farms and is driven by data and artificial intelligence (AI). Comprising up to 12 vertically stacked modular beds that can extend up to 100 meters in length, the system includes a multifunctional robot responsible for executing all necessary actions for the bioconversion process. An integrated environment control system ensures optimal conditions for insect growth and development. This advanced setup can process up to 20,000 tons of organic biomass with minimal human interventions required, limited only to supervision and maintenance. The platform can be operated as a standalone solution or part of the comprehensive Nasekomo franchise.
According to Marc Bolard, co-founder of Nasekomo, “This state-of-the-art facility is the culmination of intense research and dedication, bringing to fruition a range of unique solutions that are set to revolutionize the bioconversion industry. The NICE facility is a testament to our team’s passion for innovation and our dedication to creating a positive impact on the world.”
Covering an area of 5,000 square meters, the facility operates as a demonstration base where potential investors, partners, and clients can witness the automated insect-rearing solutions in action. Visitors can experience firsthand Nasekomo’s technologies employed in managing the entire bioconversion process, starting from insect genetic improvement through reproduction, egg hatching, larvae rearing, and ultimately the conversion of biomass into high-quality ingredients such as protein meal, insect oil, and insect frass—all produced in-house at NICE.
Xavier Marcenac, co-founder of Nasekomo, emphasized the company’s commitment to revolutionizing the insect industry and driving sustainability in the agriculture and food sectors through innovations, advanced automation, and AI solutions. He extended an invitation to entrepreneurs keen on promoting sustainability in the circular economy to visit NICE and experience their end-to-end solutions in managing bioconversion processes.
Situated conveniently in Bulgaria, close to its capital Sofia and its international airport, NICE is strategically positioned to introduce a new era in the bioconversion industry. The facility’s location enhances its accessibility for potential collaborators, investors, and stakeholders interested in exploring cutting-edge sustainable solutions.
Nasekomo is a biotechnology company that utilizes the Black Soldier Fly (BSF), one of the most potent bioconversion organisms approved by EU regulations. The larval stage of BSF can absorb up to 60% of its body mass in raw material, exhibiting rapid growth and reaching its maximum size within 12 days. This exceptional growth rate allows for highly efficient biomass processing, a process that Nasekomo has successfully scaled on an industrial level. The company’s founders, Olga and Xavier Marcenac, along with Marc Bolard, have shown unwavering dedication to driving innovation in the bioconversion industry and creating sustainable solutions for a better future.
Nasekomo’s Insect Center of Excellence (NICE) stands as a testament to the company’s commitment to cutting-edge technology, sustainability, and ecological solutions. Through its revolutionary automated platform for insect rearing, Nasekomo aims to transform the bioconversion industry, promoting a greener and more sustainable approach to agriculture and food production. With the ability to process large volumes of organic biomass with minimal human intervention, NICE represents a significant leap forward in the quest for a more eco-friendly and resource-efficient future.
Image provided by Nasekomo