European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can apply to the European ValuSect project for services totaling €440,000 to help them further develop their innovative idea involving edible insects.

About 30% of consumers in the EU are willing to consume insects as a source of food. ValuSect aims to increase this proportion by improving the quality of the production and processing of insects, conducting taste tests with consumers, and reducing the environmental impact. Among the participating partners in this consortium is the Dutch Fontys University of Applied Sciences.

In April 2021, the ValuSect partner consortium has already awarded €410,000 worth of services to seventeen SMEs to support their business activities around the development of insect-based food products in Europe. After the success of the first appeal, the consortium is once again inviting companies to apply in order to boost the edible insects sector.

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    Three insect varieties

    As in the first appeal, the vouchers have a value of €10 000, €20 000 or €40 000 for services that are provided by the project partners. The range of services is slightly different from last time, but still includes the same categories: technological services, food development and innovation, consumer readiness and strategic business services. All services are concerned with insect-based food products. The list of services and application form will be publicized on the Valusect website on 6 December.

    The appeal is open to all SMEs based in Northwest Europe that have an innovative idea for the development of insect-based food in Europe. Activities related to three insect varieties are being supported: grasshoppers, crickets and mealworms (Locusta migratoria, Acheta domesticus and Tenebrio molitor). In addition, it is important to note that this appeal only covers insects as a source of food, and not as animal feed. An additional appeal that awards vouchers aimed at insects as animal feed will be launched on January 17, 2022.

    Q&A session on November 30.

    A virtual information session is to be held on November 30 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm CET in order to shed light on how to apply for a voucher. A thorough explanation of the process will then be provided: objectives, application process, and a brief look at the range of services. Participants will have time to ask their questions.

    Click here to register

    Submitting an application.

    The application process comprises only one stage. Applicants have to submit a form by January 7, 2022 with, on the one hand, general information about their company and on the other, a description and outline of their innovative idea in the edible insect sector. Participating companies will receive a response in March 2022 about how their proposal has been judged.

    Also interesting: Insect-based food producer Protix awarded as ‘most innovative company’ in the Netherlands

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