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INESC TEC joins project to place Portugal at the forefront of the insect bioindustry

The InsectERA is a mobilising agenda that features close to 40 national entities. Funded within the PRR – Recovery and Resilience Plan, this agenda aims to develop, industrialise, and commercialise nutritional solutions for people, animals, and plants, while fostering opportunities for the cosmetics and bioplastics industries, as well as for the biomedicines sector. It focuses on the creation of organic waste recovery solutions, contributing to the sustainability of value chains.

23rd March 2023

NESC TEC is part of this mobilising agenda, in the areas of digitalisation and automation, industrialisation, and design of business models to support the commercialisation of different solutions. The Institute is represented by the Centre for Industrial Engineering and Management (CEGI), the Centre for Robotics in Industry and Intelligent Systems (CRIIS) and the Centre for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE).

“INESC TEC will focus on the development of solutions for the mapping and identification of by-products and other raw materials; the definition and evaluation of logistical hotspots for the creation of industrial insect units; the automation of collection processes of Hermetia illucens eggs and Tenebrio molitor pupae, and the design and validation of business models to support the exploitation of results – while designing and implementing actions to disseminate and promote results”, explained Tatiana Pinho, INESC TEC researcher responsible for this project.

The InsectERA project will allow the creation of three new insect production plants, a chitosan production site, two R&D centres and a logistics centre – with an estimate of 140 new jobs, thus boosting the first Economic Development Zone fully dedicated to circular economy activities.

The consortium is composed of three Portuguese insect producers – EntoGreen, Thunderfoods and The Cricket Farm Company -, the technological innovation consultancy INOVA+, the collaborative laboratories B2E CoLab, Colab4Food, FeedInov CoLab and InnovPlantProtect CoLab, and the companies Auchan, Mendes Gonçalves, AgroMais, Silvex, Mesosystems, Sorga, Savinor, Nutrifarms, PetMaxi, Sensetest, Solfarco, etc.

The InsectERA mobilising agenda started on February 14, 2023, at the National Exhibition Center and Agricultural Markets, in Santarém – with close to 120 participants potentially interested in the solutions that will be developed during the project.

The researcher mentioned in this news piece is associated with INESC TEC.