Microharvest Wins BloombergNEF Pioneer Award, Aims to Champion the Protein of the Future – Vegan

MicroHarvest, a biotech company that uses fermentation to develop new protein ingredients, has been awarded the 2023 BloombergNEF (BNEF) Pioneers Challenge to provide solutions Accelerate global decarbonization and stop climate change

“We are developing technologies that fuel tomorrow’s resilient food systems”

The Hamburg-and-Lisbon-based company impressed a panel of expert judges with its novel, scalable, competitive, and sustainable protein ingredients for feed, pet food, or human food products.

The startup was recognized as the only European changemaker among the 12 winners, and its biomass fermentation-based technology was seen as instrumental in driving the low-carbon transition.

CEO Katelyn Bakers
CEO Katelijne Bekers © MicroHarvest

A resilient food system

“Receiving this prestigious Pioneer Award by BNEF amidst such impressive competition is something we are extremely proud of. Our team has made significant progress in overcoming the challenges associated with scaling up biotechnological processes,” comments co-founder and CEO Katelijan Beckers.

Founded in 2021 by Bakers, CTO Luisa Cruz and COO Jonathan Roberge, MicroHarvest is pushing technological boundaries in the ingredients industry to influence the entire protein value chain. Last September, the company raised €8.5 million in a round led by Astanor Ventures.

Microharvest proprietary technology — based on biomass fermentation and agricultural by-products as feedstock — allows the production of high-quality ingredients with more than 60% crude protein within 24 hours from input to output.

“We are developing technologies that fuel tomorrow’s resilient food systems, creating nutritious and sustainable protein ingredients that the world will need in the very near future. We have already completed a production test at scale within our first two years, which is an exceptional pace in the fermentable alternative protein space,” said Beckers.

protein content
© Image courtesy of MicroHarvest

The champion of future proteins

“Based on our results to date, we are confident that we can marry the sustainability and scale needed to become the protein champion of the future in the B2B ingredients industry,” he continued.

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Claire Currie, co-chair of the selection committee and global head of technology, industry and innovation research at BloombergNEF, added: “I believe our 2023 winners have the technology edge, talent and right support systems to play a critical role. Green hydrogen overcomes barriers to scaling up, producing sustainable metals at scale and decarbonizing our food production system.”

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