With the support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) KU Leuven Campus Geel, Thomas More Kempen, VITO will develop and build a pilot infrastructure for rearing, harvesting and processing insects. Insects can be used as sustainable feedstock for the food and feed industry and for the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors. With the aid of this project, which runs from June 2017 to May 2020, a new value chain based on insects will be a step closer to reality.

Insects have the potential to form the basis of a new sustainable value chain and to play a key role in the transition to a biobased economy in Europe. Indeed, insects can be fed with a variety of organic residues and are able to convert them efficiently to high-quality raw materials such as proteins, fats and chitin. These sustainable materials can be used in the food and feed sector or can serve as feedstock for biobased chemicals. Several companies recognize the potential of insects, but immediate application on an industrial scale is hampered by the existence of several uncertainties.

In recent years KU Leuven - Campus Geel, Thomas More Kempen and VITO have acquired expertise in rearing and processing insects. In Flanders, the projects that study rearing, harvesting and processing insects are realized on a laboratory scale, while in practice there is a clear need for expertise on pilot scale as an intermediate step towards industrial production. The construction of a versatile pilot plant for rearing, harvesting and processing insects will fill the gap in this area. The pilot plant will be used for research and demonstration projects whereby the developed expertise is transferred to interested companies, the government and the general public.

More info

KU Leuven: Mik Van Der Borght

Thomas More Kempen: Sabine Van Miert

VITO: Maarten Uyttebroek - maarten.uyttebroek@vito.be

Event: Kempen Insect Valley ready for take off!

On 24 August 2017, Minister Muyters will kick-off the Kempen Insect Valley.

As a policy maker and minister of work, economy and innovation, he underlines the importance of entrepreneurship, product and business model innovation for a positive and sustainable transformation of our society. With the partnership Regional platform Kempen (Streekplatform Kempen), we focus on the development of eco systems for economical, ecological and social advancement. 

Date: Thursday 24 August 2017
Location: VOKA Kempen Geel and Thomas More Geel

More info: www.voka.be/insectvalley

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