How alternativeless are alternative proteins? Why does the world need alternative proteins at all? Alternative to what? These were the central questions of the symposium. Alternative can mean different things: Alternatives to imported soy feed, to animal products or additional proteins for the growing world population. During the first day, the topic of new proteins was explored from the perspective of plant breeding, cultivation and food technology to nutrition, markets and consumer acceptance. We explored the latest developments and innovations in food production. In doing so, we addressed the challenges and opportunities of the ever-changing food landscape. For example, we took a look at the macauba palm. In South America, this can be used to simultaneously produce vegetable oils, proteins as well as dietary fiber. As an agroforestry system combined with livestock, it can also improve environmental impact.
Proteins4Singapore: Proteins for the megacities
The second day was co-organized by TUMCREATE's lighthouse project "Proteins4Singapore." Singapore, like many megacities around the world, faces the challenge of ensuring food independence and resilience. Aligning with Singapore's 30 by 30-mission, the city-state has set itself the goal of producing 30% of the food required in the country itself by 2030. Currently, the share is still 8%. Scientific and technological innovations are essential to find sustainable solutions. The TUMCREATE initiative "Proteins4Singapore" sets out a comprehensive scientific strategy and focuses on the development of alternative non-animal proteins.
Start-ups Ionselect and Global Sustainable Transformation impress jury
Two start-up pitch events were part of the symposium. In the end, the winners were Ionselect and Global Sustainable Transformation (GST). The founders of Ionselect are developing a technology that measures the levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in liquid manure in real time and controls the amount applied accordingly. GST is developing biotechnological processes to produce sustainable oleaginous materials, for example as raw materials for the food, cosmetics or pharmaceutical industries. Other pitches came from:
Start-Up Pitch Event for Booster Grant:
- Hula.Earth: monitoring biodiversity and ecosystem
- Kapsobi: Biosynthetic production of spices with the pilot product capsaicin
- Airgae: Production of algae as an alternative to fish oil as feed for aquacultures
Pitch Event International:
- Prevo: new technology for the production of protein from algae
- Lactoverde: Production of milk using fermentation and cell cultures
HEF AgriScience Symposium: A sucessful event
The exhibition accompanying the HEF symposium gave start-ups, companies, partner institutions as well as projects from Proteins4Singapore and TUMCREATE another platform to present themselves. Exchanging information, networking, penetrating the boundaries of disciplines - this is how the participants described their expectations of the 14th Agricultural Science Symposium of the HEF at the beginning. The event fully met these expectations.
TUMCREATE is the multidisciplinary research platform of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) at the Singapore Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE). Together with partner universities, public institutions and companies, we are working to develop new pioneering technologies in the fields of protein research, sustainability, medical diagnostics, mobility or energy, among others.
- Recordings can soon be found here