Power to the protein transition!

The Province of South Holland aims to become one of the core regions in the field of alternative proteins. Recently, Planet B.io together with InnovationQuarter took the initiative to start a consortium of regional frontrunners to help realize this ambition: Protein Port. The initiative is supported through a grant from the Province of South Holland. For 2022, the aim is to lay the basis for a regional ecosystem for alternative proteins; develop a joint acceleration agenda for the next 4 years; market South Holland as a leading region for alternative proteins; and strengthen innovation services and infrastructure. And the foundation has been laid!

Sustainable protein alternatives

Our food sector, after the energy sector, is the world’s second largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Within the food sector, roughly half of the environmental impact is related to animal farming, however consumption of animal-based proteins continues to rise globally. To provide the growing world population with sufficient and sustainable protein in the futurea transition is needed from consumption of animal-based proteins to plant-based and alternative protein sources. This so-called ‘protein transition’ has led to a worldwide boost in activities in research and development, entrepreneurship, and capital investment. The protein transition is also on the agenda in the Netherlands, both in the private sector as well as in the public domain. In 2020, the ministry of agriculture published  a national protein strategy , calling out for initiatives to make animal farming more sustainable, but also to invest in non-animal based protein alternatives. More recently, the Dutch government earmarked €60 million to support the formation of a national consortium kickstarting the sector of Cellular Agriculture in the Netherlands. This is the technology to produce animal products like milk and meat from cells instead of from animals. This is the largest public funding into the cellular agriculture field worldwide, with a focus on education, research and scale up.

South Holland as a leading region

Inspired by the political ambitions to realize the protein transition on national level, the Province of South Holland investigated the opportunities in our province. Research by TNO and InnovationQuarter concluded that South Holland is in a strong position to contribute to the protein transition, particularly for the development of alternative proteins such as cultivated proteins, fermented proteins, and aquatic plant proteins. The existing centers of gravity at the Biotech Campus Delft, BlueCity in Rotterdam, and the Campus@Sea in Scheveningen offer an excellent basis to build a strong network of companies, knowledge institutions, and public parties. Strengthening the interconnections and successes of these players will be the goal of a consortium called “the Protein Port”. Together we can boost the potential of the growing sector of alternative proteins to our region and capture the value from cooperation and innovation. 

Protein Port Kickoff Event (June 1)

On June 1, Planet B.io together with InnovationQuarter organized the Portein Port Kickoff Event. Over 60 frontrunners in the sustainable protein space gathered in The Hague and explored how we can bring the protein transition to the next level. The event offered an inspiring opportunity for a variety of public and private organizations in the alternative protein space to connect; to identify the needs to be successful; and to explore how South Holland can realize its full potential as a hotspot for alternative proteins.

Through roundtable discussions led by key experts from within the community, the event offered new insights and concrete topics to work on together. The participants identified shared needs for the sector, including the quest for talent; more effective ways to bring protein innovations to the market; a bigger capacity for scale-up and production infrastructure; a conducive regulatory framework; and the importance of tailored public and private (blended) financing. To develop solutions for these needs, collaborations between different parties along the value chain and across the public and private sectors are key and this is exactly what Protein Port aims to facilitate. We look forward to developing creative solutions to tackle these needs together with the Protein Port community as a next step in this dynamic process! Stay tuned to learn about our next event, and let us know if you want to join Protein Port community.

Faces of the protein transition

At the Protein Port Kickoff Event, eight frontrunners in the protein transition shared their views. Watch their interviews:

Get in touch 

The Protein Port network focuses on building the ecosystem in South Holland, but we are interested to invite alternative protein players from outside the province as well. Do you want to know more about Protein Port or how you can contribute? Please contact us via info@planet-b.io