Livestock feed production is the single largest land user in the world. The rapidly growing world population and increasingly demanding consumers are causing a huge rise in the demand for meat. This causes the necessity to identify alternative protein sources to ensure a more sustainable supply of proteins for animal feed. Research has identified several feedstock families as potential sources. These include low value biorefinery side-streams, residues from the agro-food industry (fruit, vegetables, cereals side-streams), seaweeds and algae or dry land crops.
The challenge is to demonstrate the sustainability and efficiency of the identified new protein sources at sufficiently large scale to meet market demands.Scope:
Demonstrate the techno-economic viability of the sustainable, cost-efficient and consistent conversion and upgrading of industry side-streams via biorefinery into suitable quality protein products, ensuring consistent end-product quality and quantity.
Proposals should cover the whole value chain, from identification and characterisation of available feedstock, to development of a process capable of ensuring acceptable efficiency and suitable quality and quantity levels of the targeted products. In particular, proposals should involve biomass suppliers as well as breeders and farmers in order to ensure the sustainability and feasibility of the developed value chain.
Proposals must validate safety, quality and purity of the products in order to meet commercial and/or regulatory requirements. Proteins and nutrients obtained should be comparable and competitive with those from the conventional sources of proteins used for animal feed (such as plants and crops).
A Life Cycle Assessment should be part of the proposal in order to evaluate the environmental and socio-economic performance of the whole value chain.
Proposals should achieve technology demonstrated in an industrial environment, or system prototype demonstration in operational environment (Technology Readiness Levels 6-7) of the whole value chain, from feedstock identification and supply through the identified suitable processing steps into the targeted protein products, and their utilisation in animal feed. Proposals for the conversion and upgrading steps therefore include the involvement of relevant actors in the feedstock supply sector as well as in the animal feed market sector.
Proposals should also include a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in order to evaluate the environmental and socio-economic performance of the whole value chain.
It is considered that proposals with a total eligible budget of up to EUR 15 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals with another budget.Expected Impact: