Getting the bio-economy bug in Belgium
ERDF-funded initiatives in Flanders aim to tap into unexploited potential of insects for industrial uses. This pioneering sector is looking to scale-up production, create new business opportunities, and export the resulting products and services around the world.
Industrial inputs derived from insects have the potential to create new value chains and contribute to a bio-based economy. The Belgian Insect Industry Federation aims to explore the possibilities of using insect matter to create new products and services for industries in the food and feed, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors.
For example, a bioconversion plant in Turnhout, Belgium aims to process 15 000 tonnes of waste into 2 000 tonnes of products annually. This is expected to lead to the creation of at least 20 jobs and will set an example to others.
In addition, an insect pilot plant will breed, process and harvest insects such as black soldier flies, crickets, mealworms and locusts. The bio-refinery will isolate proteins and fats, converting kilos of insects into high quality materials.
The initiative also aims to launch an insect training plan for agricultural businesses. This will demonstrate the opportunities presented by the insect sector.
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