News In Context

Ten FoodTech Companies Win Affordable Nutrition Scale-Up Challenge

Ten European FoodTech companies have been awarded prizes in the Affordable Nutrition Scale-Up Challenge launched by EIT Food, an arm of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and Blendhub, a global food production platform and multi-localized network that aims to help any farmer, startup or scale-up, launch their novel food product.

The competition challenged young companies to come up with innovative ingredients or food formulations that would promote healthy and sustainable diets in Europe. The idea behind the competition was to help professionals and food companies speed up the time it takes to ideate, test, and launch a new product onto the market and deliver more nutritious, healthier, and affordable food products to consumers.The selected companies come from Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark and Israel in the fields of alternative proteins, plant-based ingredients and more sustainable food formulations to mitigate food waste,

 “The challenge is not just an opportunity to accelerate innovation in the nutrition space, but also a pathway to improve food systems through cutting-edge innovations,” Adam M. Adamek, Director of Innovation at EIT Food, said in a statement.

By 2050, the United Nations reports the world’s population will have grown by 16%, which will require an increased food availability of 70%. Meanwhile 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted worldwide every year in our current food system. This loss is estimated at an annual global value of $1 trillion. It represents wastage of the water, land, energy and other natural resources used to produce or transform food, amounting to approximately 4.4 gigatonnes of preventable gas emissions every year.

One of the competition’s winners, a Krakow, Poland based company called Rebread, treats stale bread that would normally be thrown away as a valuable resource that can be turned into  new breads and tasty snacks; probiotic drinks and breadbucha, umami seasoning and meat substitutes, vegan cosmetics, craft spirits; biodegradable packaging and biofilament for 3D printing.

Four other winners are developing new types of flour from waste: the Netherlands’ MaGie Creations and Denmark’s Circular Food Technology separately turn grain left over from beer making into super grain flour which is packed with nutrition and can be used as an ingredient in bread, pasta, and other baked goods. France’s Green Spot Technologies has developed a fermentation platform that uses side streams/ by-products of fruits, cereals, and vegetables to produce upcycled flours that offer nutritional improvement and fiber enrichment while Italy’s CircularFiber, addresses food waste generated by the agri-food industry by regenerating artichoke waste into nutritious vegetable flour.

The other winners of the competition are:

Denmarks’ Aliga, a company which specializes in the development and production of microalgae products for food, feed and dietary supplement applications,

The Netherlands’ Alver, a company developing high-protein products from the microalgue Golden Chlorella which can replace egg or chemical binders in food products and  has emulsifying and gelling properties, which are ideal for alternative milk and yogurt products.

Portugal’s Landratech, which wants to scale up the production of bioactive-rich extracts from acorn-based coffee substitutes.

Israel’s Fabumin, a company that transforms legume cooking water (aquafaba) into a powder that can serve as a functional alternative to eggs for industrial applications. Just like eggs, Fabumin binds, foams, and emulsmifies, making it suitable for food products like cakes, cookies, pastries, crackers, spreads, sauces . The company says its powder also has applications for the cosmetics industry,cultured meat, and the microbiome industry.

Spain’s Keratin, which makes hydrolyzed, decolorized protein powder from livestock blood suitable for various food applications.

The awards ceremony took place in Blendhub’s Innovation and Co-creatio Center in Murcia, Spain.The recognized projects received services worth €25,000 helping them from idea through intelligent targeting to product market launch in any European country.



Tesla Could Reinvent Car Making With Reported Breakthrough

Reuters reported that Tesla has combined a series of innovations to make a technological breakthrough that could transform the way it makes electric vehicles and help Elon Musk achieve his aim of halving production costs.The company pioneered the use of huge presses with 6,000 to 9,000 tons of clamping pressure to mold the front and rear structures of its Model Y in a “gigacasting” process that slashed production costs and left rivals scrambling to catch up.In a bid to extend its lead, Tesla is closing in on an innovation that would allow it to die cast nearly all the complex underbody of an EV in one piece, rather than about 400 parts in a conventional car, sources told Reuters.The know-how is core to Tesla’s “unboxed” manufacturing strategy unveiled by Chief Executive Musk in March, a linchpin of his plan to churn out tens of millions of cheaper EVs in the coming decade, and still make a profit, according to the Reuters report. Terry Woychowski, president of U.S. engineering company Caresoft Global, said in an interview with the news agency that if Tesla managed to gigacast most of the underbody of an EV, it would further disrupt the way cars are designed and manufactured.


EY The Latest Frim To Unveil Billion Dollar+ AI Investment

Consulting firm EY said it recently completed a $1.4 billion investment into artificial intelligence, the latest among a series of peers to make a billion-dollar announcement regarding the rapidly developing technology, reports The Wall Street Journal. In addition to the $1.4 billion investment, announced September 13, the professional-services company said it has created its own large language model, EYQ, and that it would train its 400,000 employee workforce on AI. KPMG in July said it planned to spend $2 billion in AI and cloud services globally over the next five years. Also in July, Accenture announced a $3 billion investment to expand its data and AI practice. PricewaterhouseCoopers in April said it planned to invest $1 billion in generative AI in its U.S. operations over a three-year period, and Deloitte last December said it was spending $1.4 billion on employee training on technologies including AI.

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About the author

Jennifer L. Schenker

Jennifer L. Schenker, an award-winning journalist, has been covering the global tech industry from Europe since 1985, working full-time, at various points in her career for the Wall Street Journal Europe, Time Magazine, International Herald Tribune, Red Herring and BusinessWeek. She is currently the editor-in-chief of The Innovator, an English-language global publication about the digital transformation of business. Jennifer was voted one of the 50 most inspiring women in technology in Europe in 2015 and 2016 and was named by Forbes Magazine in 2018 as one of the 30 women leaders disrupting tech in France. She has been a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneers judge for 20 years. She lives in Paris and has dual U.S. and French citizenship.