Ground-breaking carbon recycling project set to transform food production systems

20 July 2020

Innogen researchers are part of the Innovate-UK funded project REACT-FIRST, which brings together ten industry and academic partners to develop a scalable route to generate animal feed from captured carbon dioxide.

Through a process that uses microbes to convert carbon dioxide from industrial emissions into high-value proteins, pioneered by Deep Branch, the project will contribute to the UK’s Net Zero climate change commitment.

Innogen will support the delivery of the sustainable protein feed for fish and poultry called ProtonTM by assessing its economic, societal and environmental benefits. It will also offer guidance to consortium partners on how to innovate responsibly and engage with relevant stakeholders to ensure wider acceptance of the technology.

Alan Raybould, Chair in Innovation in the Life Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, said: “REACT-FIRST is an exciting opportunity for Innogen to work with Deep Branch Biotechnology and its partners throughout the animal-feed value chain to maximise the benefits of ProtonTM and increase the sustainability of animal-protein production systems”.

Joyce Tait, Founding Director of Innogen and Technical Author of the British Standards Institution (BSI) standard for Responsible Innovation (PAS440) published in April 2020, said: “Innogen’s experience in supporting responsible innovation from a business point of view means we are ideally placed to enable REACT-FIRST to deliver and demonstrate a responsible innovation approach for ProtonTM production and commercialization, including consumer acceptance”.

Both Alan and Joyce are involved in research and teaching programmes in the University of Edinburgh’s Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security, an interdisciplinary hub committed to transforming global agri-food systems to achieve food and environmental security.

Geoff Simm, Director of the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security, said: “Sustainable protein feed sources will contribute to reducing the environmental impact of meat production systems. Projects like REACT-FIRST are key to help the industry move towards achieving net-zero emissions”.

Further information about recently funded UK Agri-tech projects can be found here.