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13th December 2023  Product update: newprotein staff writer

Nasekomo and Siemens Bulgaria Partner on Digitalization of Insect Biotransformation

Nasekomo and Siemens Bulgaria, will be working together on the digitalization of insect biotransformation - an emerging industry with significant potential for sustainable development.

The partnership between Siemens and Nasekomo, unveiled during COP 28, will serve as the foundation for establishing an intelligent insect industry 4.0. with built-in industrial cyber security to fulfill the growing demand for protein in both quality and quantity. The collaboration aims to expedite the expansion of the insect industry by leveraging digitalization to enhance capacity.

The partnership will bolster Nasekomo's development concept, which envisions a data-driven franchising business model. This involves creating a connected network of factories within European countries initially and eventually expanding globally. The initial phase of the collaboration will focus on establishing a state-of-the-art breeding center to provide a sustainable supply of young insects for the network of bioconversion factories.

"We are at the beginning of the journey, but it is time to lay the groundwork for the execution of our expansion vision. The way to do it is the franchising model, based on data and digital systems to enable it," explained Virak Chhuor, Vice President of Engineering and Production at Nasekomo.

This concept not only envisions the automation of processes but also the digitalization of all biological and technological operations within the breeding center, achieved through machine learning and the implementation of cutting-edge technologies like digital twins for production and live insect larvae. With Siemens' support, Nasekomo aims to integrate systems and data from up to 200 planned production sites worldwide in the future. This will ensure intelligently managed operations, reliable AI analytics, and sustainable management.

Marc Bolard, co-founder and co-CEO of biotech scale-up: "Biology is full of surprises, and by studying our insects in-depth and tracking biological processes through machine learning, we can achieve much greater efficiency in managing them. Our strategy, based on 4 pillars - biology, technology, digitalization and partnership, aims at strong cooperation with strong partners during the entire production process. We knew from the beginning that we could rely on SIEMENS for this purpose.”

Market expectations predict that the demand for insect protein will surpass its production by sixfold even before 2030. In contrast to current unsustainable protein extraction and production practices that deplete the planet's resources, insect protein production adopts a sustainable circular model and utilizes fewer resources. Furthermore, each ton of insect protein has the potential to save 10 tons of CO2 emissions through bioconversion. On a global scale, this translates to a potential saving of 150 million tons of CO2 emissions annually with a production volume of 15 million tons. The insect industry emerges as a key solution for decarbonization in the agricultural sector, the food industry, and various other industries.

Maria Alexandrova, Head of Innovative Projects and Sustainability, Nasekomo, stated: "Each facility within the network is planned to convert 100,000 tons of underutilized organic resources into 10,000 tons of valuable insect products, representing a tenfold increase in the value of the transformed biomass. The far-reaching impact of our entrepreneurial concept extends beyond economic metrics, as it is projected to counterbalance 100,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually, emphasizing the significant environmental contribution of our transformative approach."




Date Published: 13th December 2023

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