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Nutreco starts FeedTech Challenge for breakthrough innovations

Nutreco has been at the forefront of some of the major breakthrough innovations that have made food production more sustainable. With the world population growing to over 9 billion by 2050 and finite natural resources, the animal nutrition and aqua feed industry needs to collectively step up its efforts.

High-value on-farm validation trial on offer

The Nutreco FeedTech Challenge offers a ‘greenhouse & pressure cooker’ environment aimed at identifying, nurturing and enriching high-potential concepts in pilot or proof-of-concept phases.

Nutreco CEO Knut Nesse points out that the validation trial for the winner is a real boost for any start-up.

“At Nutreco we focus on bringing new science and technologies to farmers, faster and more effectively. It is part of our continuous quest for innovation in animal nutrition and aqua feed. We know that validation and knowledge on how to apply new technologies in a real farm environment are crucial for farmers to embrace innovation.”

“This challenge and in particular the validation trial can provide a significant contribution to introducing new breakthrough innovations into real life. For start-ups it is a great opportunity to accelerate the development of their innovations, possibly even leading to a funding offer from Nutreco or one of our partners.”

Open platform

Over a competition period of two months, contestants will participate in an online platform where entries are open for comments, discussions and contributions from others. This provides a unique opportunity to connect with other start-ups, industry experts, scientists,and ultimately with farmers and the rest of the world.

In that respect, the Nutreco FeedTech Challenge is different from most other start-up competitions. Also because the winner is not rewarded with a cash prize, but with the opportunity for a scientific on-farm validation trial.

Challenge themes

Centred around the question ‘what is your breakthrough innovation – that CANNOT wait?’, the Nutreco FeedTech Challenge hopes to inspire start-ups with breakthrough innovations in the following three areas:

•             nutrition against antimicrobial resistance

•             feed-to-farm efficiency

•             young animal nutrition 

More information on the themes can be accessed via



International jury

The international jury is chaired by Professor Dr.Ir. Daniel Berckmans of KU Leuven. He is an expert in animal and human health engineering, and one of the pioneers of precision livestock farming.

The other members of the jury are:

-              Adam Anders; managing partner at Anterra Capital, a specialist venture capital investor operating in the food & agricultural sectors.

-              Professor Dr. Johan Verreth; professor at Wageningen University & Research (WUR), where he leads the aquaculture and fisheries group within the WUR. He has a particular interest in the ecological sustainability of fish farming.

-              Dr.Jason Clay; senior vice president market transformation at WWF and the author of 15 books, more than 300 articles and 700 invited presentations.

-              Viggo Halseth; Chief Innovation Officer at Nutreco.

Three phases

The Nutreco FeedTech Challenge is set up in such a way, that every contestant is a winner.

In the first phase from 29 November 2016 until 17 January 2017, entries receive valuable feedback and enrichment from industry experts and scientists.

An expert jury will then select ten finalists, who will receive further feedback and training in pressure cooker sessions during the two-day Nutreco FeedTech Challenge Event on 22 and 23 February in The Netherlands.

At this event, the winner will be selected and receives a scientific on-farm validation trial in one of Nutreco´s research farms, including a validation report.

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