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The NovoNutrients Protein made in an industrial biotechnology process will be tested in the R&D labs of Skretting (Photo: Global Aquaculture Advocate)

NovoNutrients partners up on its pathway to commercialization

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Friday, November 20, 2020, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

The following is an excerpt from an article published by the Global Aquaculture Advocate:

Silicon Valley biotechnology company selected as a FEED-X innovator, while its roster of big-name collaborations expands

Producers of novel feed ingredients for the aquaculture industry – think microalgae, insect larvae and single-cell proteins – have a lot of questions to answer. Two big ones are whether their production systems can reach commercial scale, and whether the end product is price-competitive with existing ingredients.

NovoNutrients has a platform technology that turns carbon dioxide emissions into products (Image:  Novonutrients)

Their pathway to commercialization begins with innovation. Silicon Valley (California, USA) biotechnology company NovoNutrients has demonstrated its ability to utilize industrial waste streams that would otherwise cause harm to the environment to create a microbial biomass via industrial fermentation.

The subsequent step is collaboration, which for NovoNutrients is happening on multiple fronts. Chris Oakes, VP of market and product development, told the Advocate that newly formed collaborations with multinational energy corporation Chevron and with Skretting, one of the world’s largest animal feed producers, have created an “exciting exposure moment” for the company.

But they’re not done, as this week the company will announce that it has been selected to join FEED-X, a Project X Global accelerator project founded in partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). FEED-X is one of several initiatives intended to transform the “sustainability performance” of industry value chains linked to climate change and declines in biodiversity. The program aims to get 10 percent of global industry to procure alternative solutions for raw materials at scale.

“Raw materials are going to be the story, in relation to climate change and what happens with the future of the planet,” Oakes said. “Single-cell proteins have durability and stability, in a world where who knows how farming has to change.”

► Bill Coleman, VP-biology, and CTO Brian Sefton are pictured at NovoNutrients’ R&D facility in California, USA. Courtesy photo.

Only a handful of the 10 or so companies chosen for FEED-X have been officially named. Veramaris, a Netherlands-based joint venture from DSM and Evonik that produces omega-3 fatty acid-rich algal oil produced in Slovakia and the United States, is one and UniBio, a microbial protein methane fermentation company based in Denmark, is another. Other yet-to-be-named companies include producers of mealworms and black soldier flies, both of which “upcycle” nutrients from agriculture waste and byproducts.

Flying a bit under the radar, NovoNutrients is gaining wider recognition in the wide-open field of alternative aquafeed ingredients as aquaculture and agriculture seek to adopt more sustainable practices. It now has a “real world oil and gas collaborator” in Chevron, which Oakes said is allowing the company to prove its ability to utilize industrial carbon emissions; its collaboration with Skretting, announced in September and which will test the NovoNutrients Protein in its R&D labs, will smooth and shorten the path to large-scale manufacturing and adoption, according to its CTO, Brian Sefton. (continued...)

Author: James Wright / Global Aquaculture Advocate | Read the full article by clicking the link here

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