Spain's MOA Foodtech scoops Europe and Middle East Scale It Up! Innovation Challenge
MOA Foodtech has been announced as the winner of the European Scale It Up! Innovation Challenge 2022. Following the successful program in the USA in 2021, Bühler, Givaudan, Cargill, Puris, and the new partner DIL (Deutsches Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik), brought their combined innovation power to bear and help plant-based protein start-ups scale up and commercialize in Europe and in the Middle East.
From more than 50 high-quality start-ups who applied for the challenge, a final cohort of five innovative companies made the final: Aliga Microalgae from Denmark, YEAP from Israel, Plantway from Poland, Cultivated Biosciences from Switzerland, and MOA Foodtech from Spain. Each received initial support from the partners as well as a week of development and scale up at the facilities of DIL in Quakenbrück, Germany.
The winner and the runner-up will be supported during a three- and six-month acceleration phase, respectively. They will have access to mentorship and the extensive networks of the partners, and most importantly, will be given R&D support with access to the pilot plants of the partners to bring their ideas from prototypes to market ready. This support is equivalent to more than €100,000 in technical expertise and access to state-of-the-art testing facilities.
MOA Foodtech combines biotechnology and AI to transform side streams and by-products of the agri-food industry into the ‘next generation protein’ with high nutritional value that is sustainable.
"This Scale It Up! Innovation challenge was a great experience for us,” commented Bosco Emparanza, Founder of MOA Foodtech. “We had some amazing results in just one week of trials, and we are very excited about what we are going to do in the next few months with these great partners. We are confident that we will take meat analogs to the next level.”
The runner up, Cultivated Biosciences from Switzerland, is developing a clean label and sustainable fat ingredient from oleaginous yeast, which offers the creaminess needed for plant-based dairy. The company’s innovation promises to help make plant-based dairy products creamier and more indulgent.
“Receiving this validation from the jury composed of the heads of R&D of the best foodtech companies and institutions in the world is an incredible milestone for us and source of motivation,” said Tomas Turner, Co-founder, Cultivated Biosciences. “The Scale It Up! Challenge is unlike any other challenge. The access to the facilities to pilot our ingredient as well as connection to the decision makers in the food industry has allowed for amazing improvements in our R&D and collaboration pipeline.”
"This was our second Scale it Up! Challenge, our first in Europe, and again it was simply amazing,” enthused Ian Roberts, CTO at Bühler Group. “The finalists were all so inspiring and full of passion, working tirelessly to create solutions that will transform our food system.”
“The finalists were so strong in this challenge that it made selecting a winner very difficult,” added Fabio Campanile, Global Head of Science & Technology Taste & Wellbeing at Givaudan. “The range of technologies from algae-based ingredients to fats produced via fermentation was outstanding. I’m sure we will see much more from all of the companies involved.”
With the completion of highly successful challenges in the USA and Europe, the sponsor companies will bring the next Scale It Up! Challenge to Asia later this year.
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