Press release

NuLeaf Tech and Ynsect bio-based innovation celebrated at 10th anniversary edition of #EFIB2017

Brussels, 19 October 2017: NuLeaf Tech and Ynsect were both acknowledged as bio-based innovation pioneers from an exciting line-up of leading bio-based businesses at this year’s special 10-year anniversary edition of the European Forum on Industrial Biotechnology and the Bioeconomy (EFIB), held in Brussels on 9-11 October.

“EFIB is now well established as the must attend EU event for cutting edge innovation in industrial biotechnology. We were delighted to honour these young innovators, from SMEs NuLeaf Tech and Ynsect at this year’s milestone edition of EFIB as incredibly inspiring examples of businesses working hard to provide renewable, biobased solutions, contributing to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” said Joanna Dupont-Inglis, Director for Industrial Biotech and Cross-Sectoral Strategy at EuropaBio.

About the winners:

Rachel Major, CEO and Co-Founder of NuLeaf Tech, a California-based bioinspired start-up, was voted strongest proposal for funding by the participants in the second edition of EFIB’s ‘pitchfest’. The session provided a platform for start-ups to present to a panel of leading investors from BASF VC, S’InvesTec LLC, Sofinnova Partners, and Capricorn Venture Partners. NuLeaf Tech won the recognition of its peers for its potential to turn wastewater into a resource by providing self-powered and ecologically integrated systems that reclaim resources on site. NuLeaf formed in July 2015 as an independent research group that encouraged students to share ideas and create projects. They became a start up in early 2017 when they realized the biomimetic approach and focus on sustainable manufacturing in renewable energy was unique and competitive in industry. They were accepted into batch 4 of the RebelBio accelerator program in 2017, and their current goals are to continue improving the design and capabilities of their product called NuTree, and of supporting technologies.

Guillaume Daoulas, Product Manager at Ynsect, received the coveted John Sime Award for best innovation presentation, for the second time, for their progress in using insects to bio-convert organic substrates, such as cereal by-products, and transforming those insects into sustainable nutrient resource for agro-industries and bioactive compounds for green chemistry. A European company based in Evry, France, Ynsect is an innovator in insect breeding on a wide scale and their conversion into molecules of interest. Their main research activities lie in (1) scaling up the production, (2) processing insects into stable nutrients (fish, poultry meals) and (3) finding ways to valorise co-products (fertilizers, energy etc.). Today, Ynsect industrial production facilities are completely automated and their Ynsite continuous production line respect the ISO 9001 and GMP+ standard – a world first.

About the EFIB 2017 PitchFest: Now in its second year at EFIB, PitchFest is a session featuring innovative, early-stage SMEs focused on commercialising new solutions to boost the EU bioeconomy. The objective of this programme, which was part of a dedicated track session on Finance and Investment on 11 October 2017, is to help raise awareness of investment opportunities in industrial biotech solutions whilst facilitating entrepreneurialism and creating a supportive environment for SMEs to help their business grow and innovate. It provides an opportunity for SMEs to deliver an ‘elevator pitch’ for their most promising products and processes to a panel of influential VCs in this space and to receive constructive feedback on how to maximise potential for investment.

About EFIB’s John Sime Award: Each year EFIB dedicates an award to John Sime who played a pivotal role in the early development of the Forum and to recognise his commitment both to the event and to the bioeconomy. John Sime’s own background as an R&D director for an SME ensured he was a keen advocate of new science and technology. To reflect this, an award is presented in his memory for the most innovative idea responding to societal and environmental needs.

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