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We are proud to announce that Xavier Marcenac, co-founder and co-CEO of Nasekomo, has been prominently featured on the cover story of the latest edition of Forbes Bulgaria magazine.

The latest edition delves into the essentials that form the bedrock of successful ventures: personal drive, trusted networks, a clear vision backed by thorough research, meticulous planning, and unwavering belief. And crucially, a commitment to a business with a mission.

We are delighted to see in this context our Co-CEO featured on the cover of Forbes Bulgaria! The magazine highlights Xavier Marcenac’s journey as emblematic of “sustainable business with the potential to address significant challenges.”

This recognition reaffirms our commitment to building a business that not only addresses sustainability challenges but also provides impactful solutions grounded in responsibility and mission.

Forbes Bulgaria online edition is available at https://forbesbulgaria.com/store/

Sofia, Bulgaria – April 5, 2024 – Nasekomo, the only biotechnology company developing technologies for industrial insect breeding in Eastern Europe, announces its first internship program in Bulgaria. The programme provides young scientists with the opportunity to gain practical experience and realisation in the field of industrial insect farming research. Selected interns will work directly with Nasekomo’s experienced research and development team and will have the opportunity to join and contribute to three ongoing research projects and follow their implementation in a real-world environment:

This is a unique opportunity to gain practical experience in the fascinating realm of scientific research on industrial insect farming.

The internship program is open to students pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in biology, entomology, biotechnology, agronomy, microbiology or related fields. Its duration varies from 4 to 30 weeks depending on the students’ availability and the time frame of the project they decide to join.

“At Nasekomo, we blend science and innovation using the power of natural sciences and intelligent technologies. With our internship program, we open our doors to fellow innovators passionate about making a difference,” says Vesela Georgieva, HR Manager at the company.

Applications are open until the end of April 2024. More information on the programme and how to apply is available at https://nasekomo.life/careers/

Sofia, Bulgaria – March 20, 2024 – Nasekomo, a leading biotech company in the insect bioconversion industry, announces the appointment of Stefka Mavrodieva as its new Chief Digital Officer. Ms. Mavrodieva brings over 20 years of experience in the IT industry, with a focus on strategic programs involving digitalization, Cloud solutions and overall business development.

In her new role, Ms. Mavrodieva will be responsible for the development and execution of Nasekomo’s digital strategy, including big data management, Artificial Intelligence driven automation, technology integration and cyber security. She will also play a key role in the company’s efforts to scale its operations and expand into new markets through its innovative franchise model.

The appointment comes a few months after the company attracted an investment of 8 million euros to develop a new generation of bio-based technologies with zero waste and after late last year Nasekomo and Siemens Bulgaria announced a strategic partnership to digitise the cultivation of Hermetia Illuces for industrial purposes .

I am inspired to join Nasekomo at this pivotal time in the company’s growth,” said Ms. Mavrodieva. “The company presents the unique opportunity to revolutionise the insect bio-engineering industry and I am confident that my experience and expertise will help achieve these goals.”

Nasekomo’s ambition to be an innovator in the dynamically developing insect industry has driven the company to work forward scaling the access to bioconversion technologies through a franchise model with a network of digitised farms. A key prerequisite for achieving this goal is the development of smart technologies and the training of artificial intelligence to digitise all stages of the insect rearing process, protein production and inter-factory connectivity. Nasekomo already holds a series of international patents for robotic solutions in this field, giving it a technological advantage over competitors from other countries.

“Both the company’s ambitions and culture response to my nature. I believe I will find new opportunities to apply my previous experience, exploring completely new territories in the field of biotechnology in synergy with the innovations in the technological world,” shared the new Chief Digitisation Officer at Nasekomo.

Sofia, Bulgaria | 11.01.2024 – Nasekomo, the European scale-up with operations in France and Bulgaria, is proud to announce the successful closing of its Series A financing round, securing €8 million in growth capital. The investment, led by Invenio Partners, a private equity fund focusing on the SEE region, alongside several high-net-worth individuals, comes only a month after Nasekomo’s strategic partnership with Siemens.

Nasekomo is primed to leverage this substantial capital infusion to launch an extensive network of cutting-edge insect bioconversion facilities across Europe, with an eye towards expanding onto additional continents in the near future. The first franchised factory, serving as Nasekomo’s second facility after the successful launch of its industrial demonstration center near the capital Sofia, will also be located in Bulgaria, in partnership with a local entrepreneur, starting operations in 2025. Currently the company is exploring opportunities in Romania as well.

The company’s mission is to play a pivotal role in advancing the industrialization of insect farming for high-quality protein production, addressing global protein demand, food access challenges, and sustainability issues in feed production. Insect protein, a sustainable alternative, follows a circular production model, promoting circular economy practices in farming and the food and beverage industry.

Established in 2017 by serial entrepreneurs Xavier and Olga Marcenac and biologist Marc Bolard, Nasekomo is driven by a commitment to creating a sustainable business with a positive mission. The founders aspire to pioneer proprietary robotized, AI-assisted technologies that will revolutionize the manufacturing of feed by delivering higher-quality, sustainably produced protein, aligning with the dynamic needs of the global agricultural landscape.

Xavier Marcenac, co-founder and co-CEO of Nasekomo, expressed his pride in the company’s accomplishments and its strategic partnership with Invenio, stating, “We firmly believe that our collaborative efforts will lead to the successful realization of our ambitious vision – to accelerate the growth of the insect industry by providing the picks and shovels to newcomers which in our case means genetically selected seed larvae and our end-to-end bioconversion factory technology.”

Co-founder and co-CEO Marc Bolard added, “Our objective is to enable insects to positively impact our food chain in nutrient availability, quality and sustainability. To do so, we need to attain the highest level of standardization and process optimization in our upcoming network of franchised factories through genetics, automation, digitalization, AI-native solutions, and interconnected operations.”

Stanislav Nikolaev, Partner and COO at Invenio Partners, who will become Board Member of Nasekomo, added: “The biotechnology industry, with its inherent sustainability, is well-positioned for rapid and substantial expansion, presenting an exclusive opportunity for investors seeking returns in the realm of sustainable production. This investment in Nasekomo underscores our commitment at INVENIO Partners to support industry pioneers using the latest technologies to enhance their production processes.”

In a recent development, Nasekomo signed an agreement with technology leader Siemens for a strategic partnership focused on the digitization of the insect industry.

About Nasekomo: Nasekomo is a European scale-up dedicated to advancing insect bioconversion for sustainable high-quality protein production. Established in 2017, the biotechnology company is committed to addressing global agricultural challenges through innovative solutions, leveraging cutting-edge AI technologies, robotics and digitalized solutions. Through Fly Genetics, its joint venture with Groupe Grimaud, a world leader in animal genetics selection, it has developed a sophisticated selection program, empowering its partners to produce enhanced premium insect protein on an industrial scale. Rooted in its core activities, the company employs a circular model that has the potential to inspire and elevate sustainability practices across other industries.

About INVENIO Partners: INVENIO Partners manages a private equity and growth equity fund INVENIO Partners Fund II SCSP focused on investments in Southeast Europe. INVENIO Partners has experience in promoting and helping companies realize their full potential and enhance their performance by providing growth capital, strategic guidance, and operating support to strong management teams. INVENIO Partners discovers companies with a solid track record and potential for a leadership position in their respective industry with competitive business models and an experienced management team. The fund is supported by the European Investment Fund as its anchor investor, while also bringing onboard multiple reputable investors, including among others two of the leading pension fund managers in Bulgaria.

The Open Doors event was organized by the European project CoRoSect to present its recent achievements

The CoRoSect project, which brings together 19 innovation-leading organizations in Europe, has opened its doors to some of the key achievements so far. The project aims to optimize insect farming through digitization and provide greater opportunities for industry growth.

A complete robotic system for managing the production of insect protein, demonstrated connectivity and networking, during which individual robots and subsystems served together different stages of the production process.

Each of the robots is the result of two years of development by various partners, and, in Nasekomo, within nearly a month, the behavior of the robots was tested and the connectivity between them was perfected.

During the Open Doors event, an autonomous transport robot, an industrial robotic arm and a fine manipulation arm were shown working interactively in a dynamic robotic cell to perform operations together.

The CoRoSect project is an example of how avant-garde the insect industry can be, which, in addition to providing the much-needed protein, also plays a key role in introducing circular production by acquiring low-value raw materials from the agro and food industries.

The interest in the cultivation of insects for alternative protein is growing rapidly, which will soon lead to the need to automate processes and even the entire production in order to scale up according to market demand. A study on the global insect protein market reveals that while this market is valued at USD 428.12 million in 2022, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.5% is projected, whereby the market will grow to US$ 1,386.55 million by 2027.

The CoRoSect project is ahead of its time to respond in time to the predicted increase in the need for new protein production technologies and provide greater opportunities for industry growth. Because CoRoSect works with living organisms, the challenges are many and varied. For example, tracking and managing the conditions in which insects are reared is extremely key to providing quality protein in pre-set volumes. A system was demonstrated today that, with the help of artificial intelligence, monitored and analyzed the state and well-being of insects, as well as their condition and number.

Rico Möckel, project coordinator and associate professor at Maastricht University, shared:

“The work at Nasekomo was extremely rich and successful. We tested the CoRoSect system extensively and got pretty good results that exceeded our expectations. Thanks to the support of Nasekomo, we were able to successfully test an automatic quality management application under real-world conditions. With the help of artificial intelligence, we were able to analyze the quality composition of the insects provided to us for observation. In fact, today, for the first time, we demonstrated connectivity of our robots in a configuration to serve a real larval rearing process for the Black Soldier Fly that Nasekomo works with.”

The CoRoSect project is facing another insect species research and work on, and the biggest challenge is going to be the final demonstration at the Spanish Entomotech farm.

“This project supports both our positioning as a biotech company and also paves the way for the development of an innovative multi-level industry,” said Xavier Marcenac, co-founder of Nasekomo.

CoRoSect is excited to announce the Open Day event at NASEKOMO, Sofia, Bulgaria, scheduled for September 28th, 2023, from 10:00 AM to 12:00. This event will provide attendees possibility to dive not only into the main goals of the CoRoSect project, but also into the significance of optimization of the insect farming practices.

During the event, the attendees will have an opportunity to experience an interactive part of the CoRoSect project, as well as to hear about the goals and achievements reached so far. Furthermore, Open Day will serve as a mini exhibition of the technologies developed and deployed throughout the project’s lifetime. During the exhibition, CoRoSect will showcase the robots and hardware, the connectivity among them, thus demonstrating their networking and integration.

The participants will get a unique possibility to observe cutting-edge farming practices being used in action, as well as the use of various tools and technologies. Attendees will therefore walk away with priceless knowledge, see cutting-edge developments in the industry, and join the effort to unleash the enormous potential of insect farming in resolving urgent global food issues.

About the CoRoSect project

CoRoSect, an EU-funded project under Horizon 2020, aims to revolutionize insect farming as a sustainable solution for European food insecurity. By combining cutting-edge robotics with insect research, CoRoSect scales up production, reduces costs, and unlocks the potential of this innovative farming approach.

The CoRoSect project gathers 19 partners across Europe and is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme and all the information is available on the project’s website, as well as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Youtube.

 

The European Insect-tech Scale-up Secures Funding to Advance Circular Bio-Economy

Sofia, Bulgaria | September 4, 2023Nasekomo, pioneering insect-tech scale-up in Europe, is thrilled to announce that it has been selected for receiving a grant under the European Recovery and Sustainability Plan. The prestigious funding is bestowed upon innovative enterprises that have received the Seal of Excellence from the European Commission, recognizing Nasekomo as a trailblazer in biotechnology and sustainability. 

The grant is going to be disbursed through the Bulgarian Ministry of Innovation and Growth. Thus, the Seal of Excellence, awarded to Nasekomo in 2022, has now been translated into tangible national support. The company is among the 12 distinguished Bulgarian enterprises with Seal of Excellence granted for their innovations. The support aims to propel the development of cutting-edge products and services. Out of the total grant allocation exceeding BGN 34 million for all 12 approved companies, Nasekomo will be granted BGN 4,9 million (€2,5 million). The funding is furthering Nasekomo’s mission to revolutionize the circular bioeconomy and address critical sustainability challenges. 

The Seal of Excellence is part of the European Commission’s supra-national mechanism designed to bolster breakthrough innovation, particularly in small and medium-sized enterprises. Administered by the European Innovation Council under the EU’s Science and Innovation Framework Program, Horizon Europe, the Seal of Excellence rewards projects of exceptional quality and innovation. It serves as a powerful endorsement, urging national funding programs to back projects that contribute significantly to the European economy.  

Nasekomo will invest the funding in the first phase of realizing the visionary plan to establish an international network of bioconversion factories, strategically located near partnering agricultural or industrial sites, committed to sustainable utilization of their secondary raw materials. the first stage of the Project will secure that Nasekomo will supply the partnering bioconversion factories with Hermetia Illucens larvae, robotized bioconversion equipment, and digital platform to analyze and leverage data through machine learning algorithms.

The insect industry, central to Nasekomo’s mission, addresses pressing sustainability concerns on multiple fronts. It offers a solution to reduce overfishing and the depletion of wild fish stocks, as our network of bioconversion farms will contribute to saving 560,000 tons of wild fish from being processed into fishmeal annually. Moreover, by replacing soybeans in animal feed, it reduces Europe’s reliance on imported soybeans, decreasing the environmental impact associated with soybean cultivation and transportation. Furthermore, the insect industry is a champion in carbon emissions reduction. Nasekomo’s efforts alone are estimated to cut carbon emissions by a significant 430,000 tons annually, contributing to a more sustainable future. 

Nasekomo’s ambitious vision necessitates substantial investments in cutting-edge technology for the emerging insect industry. The company holds several international patents for robotic solutions in industrial insect farming, positioning itself as a technological leader in this exponentially growing field. The company continuously develops technical solutions and digitization for insect rearing as well as the bioconversion process to achieve maximum automation, precision, and efficiency. Investors from around the world are expressing a keen interest in Nasekomo’s innovative technologies, now demonstrated at full scale at Nasekomo Insect Center of Excellence (NICE), located near the capital of Bulgaria – Sofia, and servicing the aim of Nasekomo to provide next-generation solutions for waste-free industrial processes.  The grant contract with Nasekomo is set to span two years, facilitating the realization of this visionary project. 

This publication reflects the financial support of the European Union – NextGenerationEU, under the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism. All responsibility for the content rests with “Nasekomo” AD and under no circumstances can it be assumed that the publication reflects the official opinion of the European Union as well as the Bulgarian Ministry of Innovation and Growth.

Pioneering the future of sustainable food ecosystems, the Bulgarian scale-up Nasekomo launches operations in its new demo facility, producing insect ingredients for petfood, animal feed and soil fertilizers.

SOFIA, Bulgaria – Nasekomo, a leading scale-up in insect biotechnology in Eastern Europe, founded in Bulgaria by the Bulgarian entrepreneur Olga Marcenac and the French citizens Xavier Marcenac and Marc Bolard, proudly announced the commencement of operations at their Insect Center of Excellence (NICE) and its groundbreaking innovations, among which is the revolutionary automated platform for insect rearing. Designed on the principles of vertical farms, this data-driven and fully automated platform is a neoteric achievement in the realm of bioconversion technologies and a demonstration base for potential investors, partners, and clients.

After two years of relentless dedication to research and development, the company is thrilled to announce the kick-off of NICE and its groundbreaking innovations, among which is the revolutionary automated platform for insect rearing. Designed on the principles of vertical farms, this data-driven and fully automated platform consists of up to 12 vertically stacked modular beds that can be 100 m long. It includes a multifunctional robot that performs all necessary actions to run the bioconversion process, an integrated environment controlling system and an AI (Artificial Intelligence) driven automation. This setup can process up to 20,000 tons of organic biomass with almost no human interventions beyond supervision and maintenance. The groundbreaking automated platform for insect rearing can be operated either as a standalone solution or part of the comprehensive Nasekomo franchise.

“This state-of-the-art facility is the culmination of intense research and dedication, bringing to fruition a range of unique solutions that are set to revolutionize the bioconversion industry” stated Marc Bolard, co-founder of Nasekomo. “The NICE facility is a testament to our team’s passion for innovation and our dedication to creating a positive impact on the world.”

Nasekomo Insect Center of Excellence aligns with the founders’ strategic plan to establish a partner network of local entrepreneurs interested in becoming insect protein producers. The 5,000-square-meter facility operates as a demonstration base where potential investors, partners, and clients can witness the automated insect rearing solutions in action. There they can experience firsthand Nasekomo’s technologies employed to manage the bioconversion processes from the insect genetic improvement (thanks to the joint-venture with Grimaud Group called “FlyGenetics”), through reproduction, egg hatching, larvae rearing, to conversion from biomass to high-quality ingredients – protein meal, insect oil, and insect frass, now produced in-house at NICE.

“Our persistent efforts are dedicated to revolutionizing the insect industry, driving sustainability in agriculture and food sectors through innovations, advanced automation and AI solutions,” shared Xavier Marcenac, co-founder of Nasekomo. “We extend an invitation to entrepreneurs keen on promoting sustainability in the circular economy to visit NICE and experience our end-to-end solutions in managing bioconversion processes.”

NICE is conveniently located in Bulgaria, close to its capital Sofia and its international airport, ready to introduce a new era in the bioconversion industry.

„Насекомо“ стартира проект по Национален иновационен фонд за параметризация на ключови индустриални индикатори за био-валоризация чрез насекоми 

На 9 декември 2022 г., „Насекомо“ АД стартира проекта „Иновативни услуги за новоизгряващите био-базирани индустрии: параметризиране на ключови индустриални индикатори за био-валоризация чрез насекоми на нискостойностни растителни суровини”, финансиран от Изпълнителна агенция за подпомагане на малките и средни предприятия, в рамките на програма “Национален иновационен фонд”.  

Партньор в проекта е “Районна ветеринарна станция – Русе” ЕООД, акредитирана изпитвателна лаборатория. 

Общата стойност на проекта е 616 234,82 лв., от които 440 132,84 лв. bезвъзмездна финансова помощ. Проектът е с продължителност 18 месеца, като приключва през юни 2024 г.  

Основната цел на проекта е да се изведат научни данни, валидирани както лабораторно, така и в близка до производствената среда, за ключовите физико-химични индикатори в процеса на био-валоризация чрез насекоми, които да рамкират оптималните параметри за стартиране и рентабилно управление на мощност за био-валоризиране чрез насекоми. 

Научното и техническо знание, което ще се придобие, е насочено към развиване на капацитет за въвеждане на нови за пазара услуги, базирани на научни данни, статистически валидни методи и производствен опит, които да улеснят инвеститорите и ползвателите на технологии и продукти на био-валоризация чрез насекоми. 

Специфичните цели са формулирани по начин, който покрива всички необходими аспекти, позволяващи проектът да приключи с ниво на технологична готовност минимум 6/7.