MicroHarvest, a pioneering biotech company, has achieved a significant milestone by opening a pilot plant in Lisbon, Portugal. The purpose of this state-of-the-art facility is to produce samples of MicroHarvest's single-cell protein using advanced microbial fermentation technology.
In just six months, MicroHarvest has transformed a portion of its office space into a fully equipped laboratory and plant dedicated to protein production. The official opening of the pilot plant took place on November 16, attended by MicroHarvest's partners and investors.
Testing and Scaling Proprietary Technology for Sustainable Protein
The pilot plant represents a crucial step in MicroHarvest's journey toward commercialization. It will serve as a platform for testing and refining the company's proprietary technology, expediting the process of bringing innovative products to market. MicroHarvest aims to have its first product available by early 2024, thanks to a strategic partnership with a contract manufacturer that will enable production at a scale of up to 1 ton per day.
Luísa Cruz, CTO of MicroHarvest, highlighted the significance of the pilot plant, stating, "This pilot plant serves as tangible evidence of the scalability of our process. With a lower investment when compared to alternative technologies, and within a mere 200 square meters, we can achieve a daily production of 25 kg."
Sustainable, High-Protein Ingredients
MicroHarvest's innovative ingredients can be produced in a remarkably short time frame, taking only 24 hours to complete. These ingredients boast an impressive protein content of over 60%. What sets MicroHarvest apart is its sustainable production process, which consumes significantly fewer resources compared to traditional methods. This eco-friendly approach has the potential to revolutionize various industries, including pet food, human nutrition, and animal feed.
In April, MicroHarvest received the prestigious BloombergNEF Pioneer Prize, recognizing the technology's potential to accelerate global decarbonization efforts and combat climate change. The company's commitment to sustainability and innovation was further reinforced when it secured €1.5 million in funding from Simon Capital. These achievements came on the heels of an €8.5 million Series A funding round led by Astanor Ventures in September of the previous year.
Katelijne Bekers, CEO of MicroHarvest, expressed the company's dedication to driving positive impact through rapid market entry, stating, "Within the next three months, we are on track to introduce our first product to the market. These milestones underscore our commitment to driving real impact by bringing commercially competitive, consistent, and sustainable ingredients to market fast."
MicroHarvest's remarkable journey, marked by its scientific breakthroughs and sustainable solutions, positions the company at the forefront of the biotech industry's efforts to reshape protein production and contribute to a more sustainable future.