MicroHarvest announced as finalist at prestigious 2023 BloombergNEF (BNEF) Pioneers awards
- Company one of six innovators shortlisted in“Building a net-zero food production system” challenge (category)
- Hamburg- and Lisbon-based start-up only European company featured in category
Hamburg, February 17th 2023 – Foodtech start-up MicroHarvest, a leading biotech company on a mission to build the sustainable food system of tomorrow, has been named as one of six innovators working towards a net-zero food production system in the prestigious 2023 BloombergNEF (BNEF) Pioneers awards.
The Hamburg-based company was named as one of the main players tackling key challenges in building towards a net-zero economy for the development of technology able to harness the power of microorganisms to produce nutritious and sustainable protein. This proprietary technology – based on biomass fermentation- enables production at a speed and efficiency that far exceeds existing other approaches. The result is quality protein ingredients containing over 60% raw protein, that can be produced within 24 hours from input to output.
Possible applications along the whole protein value chain are manifold, ranging from animal feed to direct application in food and pet food. The company tackles, amongst others, the $14Bn booming market of alternative protein ingredients for human food, with annual growth rates up to 50%, a pet food market estimated to grow to over $130bn by 2030 with a 34% of pet owners claiming they would prefer a vegetarian diet- and a $58Bn aquafeed market.
This year’s BloombergNEF (BNEF) Pioneers awards received almost 350 applications from 42 countries, with only 22 making it on the shortlist. Many of the companies selected as BNEF Pioneers over the last ten years have gone on to play a significant role in the global low-carbon transition.
A team of experts at BloombergNEF will now evaluate the finalists against three criteria: their potential impact on greenhouse gas emissions and environmental sustainability, their degree of technology innovation and novelty, and their likelihood of adoption and potential scalability. Winners will be announced in April this year.
Katelijne Bekers, MicroHarvest CEO, commented on the announcement: “We’re extremely excited and honoured to be named as one of the six finalists and the only European company in our category. This is an important achievement for the team, who have worked relentlessly on developing technology that fuels the resilient food system of tomorrow thanks to the production of nutritious and sustainable protein at scale. Despite the complexities associated with scaling biotechnological processes, our technology has enabled us to already complete a successful production trial at scale at the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant in Belgium. After less than two years from founding MicroHarvest, we’re now edging closer to turning our technology and process into real life applications in the very near future”.
MicroHarvest is a biotechnology company on a mission to build a resilient food system for tomorrow, driving impact today. MicroHarvest’s proprietary technology leverages biomass fermentation to produce protein ingredients in a much faster way than existing approaches, using thousands of times less water and space for comparable protein outputs, than animal or plant-derived ingredients. In April 2021 the company was founded in Hamburg by Biotechnologist and Executive MBA graduate Katelijne Bekers, and since 2022 joined by co-founders Luísa Cruz and Jonathan Roberz, combining technology expertise, market know-how and company building experience. Their ambition is to boldly push technological boundaries in the ingredients industry to drive impact across the whole protein value chain.