UK Start-up Entomics Biosystems has been awarded £900,000 (~€995,850) from Innovate UK to conduct research to investigate the effectiveness of insect-derived feeds for farmed salmon.
Alongside two experienced partners – the University of Stirling, Scotland, and the University of Reading, UK – Cambridge-based Entomics is to conduct industrial research to improve and optimise their existing bioprocessing platform.
There is currently increasing concern around the sustainability of the salmon aquaculture feed supply chain, with a growing industry trend of moving away from fishmeal, which is four times as expensive as plant-based proteins like soy.
Insect meal has been demonstrated to be a promising nutritional alternative to fishmeal, yet there are concerns that it lacks some of the added functional benefits naturally found in fishmeal.
Entomics’s solution is to introduce functional insect-derived protein feeds to the UK aquaculture market, using a novel insect post-processing technology.
In addition to this latest grant funding, Entomics has been working on several other projects that are being supported by Innovate UK, the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument scheme, EIT Food KIC and the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative.
Matt McLaren, co-founder of Entomics, said: “We’ve been extremely lucky to have the support of Cambridge Judge Business School throughout our journey. The mentorship and coaching provided by the Accelerate Cambridge programme in particular has been vital to getting our business to its current stage, and the credibility of the Cambridge brand has allowed us to engage with some great academic and commercial partners.”