Better Origin secures government funding to scale cutting-edge insect processing platform
Cambridge (5th October 2020) – A £10 million funding package from the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) will help to scale the insect bioconversion sector, accelerating the transition to sustainable methods of farming.
As part of the project consortium, Better Origin will use the funding to focus on scaling their insect processing and value extraction technology to convert insects into products such as animal feed and human food. A result of years of research and development, their patented ‘Metamorphosis Technology’, represents the most cost-effective, tailored processing line developed to date.
Fotis Fotiadis, founder and CEO of Better Origin, says: “Farming the insect is proven to be pretty straightforward –however, the real value comes from converting the farmed insect into products.”
“Over the last three years, we have developed a solution, which can convert the full-grown insect into ingredients for salmon feed, pet feed and human food in a sustainable and scalable way.”
“This funding represents the single largest investment by the UK into the insect protein space and we are delighted to be a recipient. It will enable us to accelerate our product development, deploy the first dedicated insect processing facility in the UK, and expand rapidly to the rest of the world.”
The funding plays perfectly to Better Origin’s strengths. Focussing primarily on Black Soldier Fly processing, the technology has already been successfully tested with all other major farmed insect species.
Simon MacKenzie, Deputy Head at the Institute of Aquaculture at the University of Stirling, says: “We’ve been working with Better Origin since 2018, successfully testing their Metamorphosis Technology to highlight the potential for insects in salmon aquaculture. This opportunity allows us to bring this state-of-the-art technology to the market.”
Launched in 2018 by Cambridge University graduates, Fotis Fotiadis and Miha Pipan, Better Origin focuses on promoting a decentralised, local insect farming model. The company launched the Better Origin X1 – the world’s first stand-alone AI-powered insect mini-farm – earlier this year. This fully autonomous solution removes the significant capital requirement and knowledge entry barrier that has prevented farmers and food producers from exploring insects as a viable and sustainable option. Better Origin’s vision is to democratise insect farming, developing tools that will allow any farmer in the world to grow insects in a cost-effective and resilient way.
World’s first fully automated AI-powered insect mini-farm is set to revolutionise the food industry
Cambridge (25th June 2020) – Better Origin has launched the X1 – the world’s first-ever insect mini-farm to convert local waste into high-quality animal feed in the form of insect larvae – which can then be fed to livestock. They are both solving the global food waste crisis and producing better quality food for consumers.
The X1 is a self-contained insect mini-farm which uses AI together with patented engineering processes to replicate nature’s recycling system. The app-based user interface means the farmer knows what is going on inside the container at any given time.
Fotis Fotiadis, CEO and co-founder of Better Origin, says: “Until now there was no accessible way for food producers to turn food surplus back into the food chain. We’re now delivering a vital solution to this global opportunity.
In nature, insects convert waste into essential nutrients in a complete ‘no-waste’ cycle, but this link is absent from the modern food chain. Our technology uses natural processes to fix the broken system, restoring insects as the missing link.”
Earlier this year, the X1 completed a successful pilot project on Wood Farm in Cambridgeshire and is now poised to collaborate with farmers to support happier, healthier hens on farms across the UK.
Charles Mear, the owner of Wood Farm, says: “We love the ethos and concept of Better Origin, which fits well with what we are trying to achieve here at Wood Farm – producing a carbon neutral, free-range egg. The health and wellbeing of my hens are of utmost importance to me.”
With an addressable market of £1bn in the UK and £130 billion globally, Better Origin’s route to the layer hens sector has strong growth potential. Currently approaching the close of their late-seed funding round, Better Origin also has plans to market the X1 for salmon farming and pet food.
A brand to support our vision for the future
Over the last four years Entomics has been growing as a company, bringing nature and technology together, and developing solutions to fix the broken link in the food system. By using insects combined with our patented technology, we’re able to reduce food waste and global emissions, while improving health and productivity on farms.
With our first pilot successfully completed, we are now evolving to a brand that will drive forward our global vision – that consumers can engage with, that underpins the circularity of the food chain, and, that resonates with farmers and food suppliers.
This brand is Better Origin.
We’re working to build a future where:
• Nature and technology work in harmony
• The planet’s systems are sustainable
• We have a secure food supply.
This is what Better Origin stands for; a better future.
We’ll be launching more information about our new product soon, but in the meantime please do follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for our latest news.
Fotis and Miha