Icelandic Innovators explore possibilities for Nordic protein self-sufficiency

 

On December 10th EIT Climate-KIC Nordic and Copenhagen University, Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO) gathered Icelandic innovators from academia and industry to map out the way towards Nordic protein self-sufficiency and sustainable food security through aquaculture, industry side-streams, algae and insects.

“We want to facilitate the development and growth of a Nordic protein industry in a joint effort between academia, public organizations, companies and start-ups. We believe, that Iceland has some especially interesting competencies to contribute to this process” – says Jesica Murcia Lopez from IFRO, who has been leading a series of Climate-KIC supported activities around Nordic alternative proteins and the potentials for replacing imported soy with local, sustainable protein sources.

Innovators join forces

Bio-economy experts from the industry: Matís, Marel, Codland, Algaeinnovation, Síldarsvinnslan, Svinna-verkfrædi and HB Grandi and from academia: University of Iceland, The Agricultural University of Iceland and University of Akureyri met for a workshop in Reykjavik to explore potentials for future collaboration.
The workshop was led by lead by Pernille Martiny Modvig from Climate-KIC and Jesica Murcia Lopez from IFRO and the goal was to establish future collaborations and set a common direction for the numerous initiatives within the field of new bio-economic value chains and sustainable protein alternatives to imported soy.

“We are delighted to work with such significant players within the field of bio-economy. We want to explore potentials and driving factors towards establishing a Nordic protein industry to replace imported soy in food and feed” – says Pernille Martiny Modvig, who sees great potentials in joining forces across research fields and protein sources. “Iceland has an incredibly strong aquaculture industry and innovators here are agile and active. We need to combine all of our Nordic protein sources to be able to reach the scale and competitiveness, it will take for the market to be ready to replace soy with sustainable proteins. I believe that our North Atlantic friends have a lot to offer in this process.” Pernille continues.

The burning platform

With a growing world population, global food security will be one of the greatest challenges of our time. The area of farmed land is constantly expanding thus outcompeting the forests which we depend on to keep C02 levels at stake. It is essential for future food security in the Nordics, that we replace imported soy with sustainable, locally grown, plant-based, insect-based or algae-based proteins for food and especially for feedstock.

An untapped Nordic potential for green growth

The Nordic region is in a unique position to build a regional protein industry. With an extensive aquaculture industry and some of the world´s leading research institutions along with strong support systems for entrepreneurship, the region holds a huge, untapped potential for self-sufficiency when it comes to protein to ensure food security without compromising the environment.

 
Location
Iceland
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