Spinverse supported HYDROCOW to secure European Innovation Council funding for producing milk protein from carbon and electricity

Solar Foods is leading a ground-breaking HYDROCOW consortium project to develop a novel biotechnology platform introducing new ways to produce sustainable food, materials, medicine and chemicals. Spinverse funding experts worked with the project consortium for their successful project proposal, which was selected for funding by the European Innovation Council (EIC) from more than 400 contesting teams.   

The four-year HYDROCOW project is coordinated by Solar Foods (FI), which will develop novel biotechnology solutions together with University of Groningen (NL), RWTH Aachen University (DE) and FGen AG (a subsidiary of Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc.; CH). The HYDROCOW consortium project has a total budget of 5.5 M€.   

Milk protein from carbon dioxide and electricity  

In developing their innovative biotechnology platform, the HYDROCOW project takes bold steps by building a carbon-neutral system that works independently from agriculture and photosynthesis. The biotechnology platform will open new ways to produce sustainable food, materials, medicine, and chemicals.   

As their first application of the platform, the consortium has chosen to genetically engineer a hydrogen oxidizing bacteria (HOB) to naturally excrete beta-lactoglobulin, which is the major whey protein for example in cow’s milk. In simpler terms, this means developing a novel biological tool to produce sustainable milk protein from CO2 and electricity whilst removing cow from the process. According to Dr Arttu Luukanen, SVP at Solar Foods and the Coordinator of the project, HYDROCOW could lead to the creation of truly ground-breaking technology for the food industry and make a remarkable impact in the quest of lowering CO2 emissions. 

Spinverse supported HYDROCOW consortium in their successful project proposal stage 

Funding for the project was granted from the 2022 EIC Pathfinder call by the European Commission. The EIC Pathfinder seeks cutting-edge and bold research projects to achieve breakthroughs in six strategic areas.  

At the project planning stage, the HYDROCOW consortium decided to turn to Spinverse to seek their expertise on proposal preparation. Spinverse team helped execute the consortium's project idea into a winning proposal. Arttu Luukanen concludes: “We were impressed by the level of professionalism of Spinverse experts, who supported us in putting together our EIC Pathfinder funding application. Spinverse guided our project consortium in crystallising the project plan, deliverables and budgeting, and structured the funding application so that it turned out to be successful. This collaboration gave the technical experts an opportunity to focus on the content and technical details of the project proposal.”  

More information: Press release on Solar Foods website 

Photo by Solar Foods: AI-generated image of a micro organism producing milk protein. 

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