Monday, December 7, 2015

5 development projects for sustainable food production

The Dutch government has rewarded 5 projects with funding for a second phase (development) commission. This is part of the call for making food production more sustainable.

In 2050 9 billion people have to be fed. Making food production more sustainable is crucial for food security. Especially for the Netherlands as second-largest agricultural exporter in the world. Through a specific SBIR call 5 submitters can put their ideas for (re)use of resources into practice.

Efficient use of resources is important for sustainable food production. Hence the 'Top sector Agri & Food' launched a call together with the state secretary of economic affairs in 2014.

Can entrepreneurs come with proposals to reduce waste and increase utilisation of waste streams? This call resulted in 78 proposals. 16 projects were funded for executing a feasibility study. Now the five most promising projects were selected. They started this December with the development of their innovation.

For the selection of the five projects the assessment committee looked at the impact of the solution amongst others. To what extend do the projects contribute to more efficient use of resources, minimizing waste stream production or high quality use of waste streams? The five convinced also by involving strong chain partners in the project. And their concept has economic perspective: the possibilities for up scaling are promising.

One of the winning projects is Provalor. 'We came up with a concept to extract high quality proteins from vegetable residues' says one of the initiators Piet Nell. 'This involves the so called Rubisco protein. This is a better alternative for animal protein than for instance soy. It is present in very low concentrations in green leaf and for this reason has never been exploited. We have developed an innovative approach together with TNO and the Wageningen University, which makes our concept so favorable.
The potential impact for our concept for the world food supply in protein is large. More over we expect to make a profit within about three years after scaling up our production.

Cholesterol from fish processing
Dishman also works on a solution for the global demand for animal proteins, explains director Mark Ipema. 'Shrimp and fish can supply this. An important component of their food is cholesterol. That is mainly in animal material. We have found an alternative source of cholesterol in the residue of fat processing. This is a sizable waste stream for energy production in the Netherlands. Our feasibility showed that this cholesterol can be applied as ingredient in shrimp food. We will investigate the application in fish food in the second phase.'

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Winning companies SBIR call "Flexible gas equipment"

The assessment committee for the Dutch SBIR call "Flexible gas equipment" has awarded a positive first phase assessment to the following companies and projects:
1. Winterwarm B.V. - Flexwarm
2. KEMA - Motorregeling voor gasmotoren (engine control system for gas engines)
3. KEMA - Gaskwaliteitsregeling met een CV ketel (gas quality control with a central heating boiler)
4. Analytical solutions & Products - OOG
5. Alliander B.V. - Flex-BC
6. Zantigh B.V. - FIG

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Call for proposal: using satelite data for wildfire control

The Netherlands Space Office (NSO) has issued a call to EU companies for the development of new products using satellite data for more efficient and effective wildfire control. The best ideas receive an order for writing a feasibility study (phase one). The best feasibility studies receive a follow-up order for prototype development and demonstration (phase 2). The maximum price offer for the first phase is € 20.000, for the second phase € 70.000. All offers as well as the feasibility study will have to be supplied in Dutch. Contact me for more information.

Dutch SBIR call: wanted smart solutions for flexible gasconsumption

The Dutch ministry of economic affairs challenges entrepreneurs to develop new products and services for flexible gas equipment for a sustainable gas supply. The objective of the call is to enable consumers and companies to use gas efficiently and flexibly. The challenge is to respond to future changes in the gas composition of hi caloric and low caloric gas, such as blending in biogas and hydrogen.
This call is now closed. More information will follow concerning the projects that were approved.

Opening post - Dutch SBIR public procurement

In 1982, the Small Business Innovation Development Act was enacted in the United States. This led to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programme in the US. Through the SBIR programme, the American government commissions small companies to conduct societal relevant innovative research – and with great success. Leading companies have been established as a result of an SBIR assignment; examples include telecom company Qualcomm and software producer Symantec.
Inspired by American successes, the Dutch government started its own SBIR programme in 2005. The Dutch Government uses its procurement power to mobilise the innovative capacity of companies to solve major societal challenges, such as mobility, sustainability, safety and health. At the same time, we promote innovation, especially in small and medium sized companies, strengthen the business climate and increase the competitiveness of Dutch companies. This is in line with my focus on top priority areas, such as logistics, food and life sciences, in which we stand out international. Source: report.

In my personal experience with this program I noticed that although public procurement through SBIR and other programs is open to both Dutch companies and companies from elsewhere in the EU, the Dutch government has not put any effort into marketing its program within the EU. All offers and feasibility studies have to be submitted in Dutch and the English version of the website does not contain any references to the program. As such I have decided to try and fill the void with this blog, providing information about the program.
Of course I have a special interest. As a consultant I support companies so they can make offers in this program.