« The Future Of CCU for food »: Lesaffre launches innovative open call for carbon capture and utilization (CCU) in food industry.


Lesaffre, a key global player in fermentation and microorganisms for over 170 years, launches groundbreaking open call to discover new paths of innovation in carbon capture and utilization (CCU) specifically tailored for the food industry, partnering with SoScience, a unique company expert in responsible research and innovation.  

The challenge of feeding sustainably a growing global population is becoming increasingly urgent. By 2050, there will be more than 9 billion people on earth, and at least 56% more food will need to be produced with the same land area1. This challenge comes at a time when agricultural resources are already suffering from the consequences of global warming2.

Addressing this challenge is a global concern that requires collective innovation. Fermentation and microorganisms, as they offer unlimited potential for innovation can contribute to the solution of this challenge, helping to create sustainable and efficient methods of food production.

At Lesaffre we are committed to exploring innovative ways to help tackle the major food, health, and environmental challenges that the world faces. We acknowledge that the challenge of climate change is immense and believe that fermentation and microorganisms are part of the solutions; We are convinced collaboration will be key to finding solutions. That’s why, relying on our expertise in fermentation, we’re seeking to lead joint initiatives and to work with partners from across the industry to develop innovative approaches to carbon reduction and sustainable production. By joining forces with SoScience and experts in this call to open research, we are once again affirming our desire to work together to better nourish and protect the planet,” declares Brice-Audren Riché, CEO of Lesaffre.

Lesaffre launches an initiative that seeks to create a circular economy model, where carbon dioxide is not seen as waste but as a resource. The aim of this initiative is to create, develop, and implement competitive sustainable solutions using carbon capture and utilization (CCU) to produce fermentation feedstock or food products while ensuring their societal and environmental benefits. Given the multiplicity of expertises required, Lesaffre is inviting innovators, researchers, and startups from around the globe to collaborate on this project.

The project has the ambition to have a wider positive impact than carbon emissions’ reduction, notably on biodiversity, land use and water consumption.

CCU for food, a new pathway to explore.

Applied to food production processes, Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) technologies could offer a path to sustainability, producing low-impact food products such as baker’s yeast.

To be relevant and impactful, alternative CCU pathways must be technically feasible, economically viable and provide the same level of environmental and social benefits, if not more, than the existing process.

This complex challenge requires new partnerships throughout the entire value chain, involving technology providers, manufacturers, end-users, researchers, policymakers, and consumers. This open innovation call is structured to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing among participants, ensuring that the best ideas are identified and developed into practical solutions. Lesaffre is committed to supporting the selected projects through funding, research and development resources, and access to its extensive industry network.

Innovators interested in participating in this pioneering initiative can submit their proposals through SoScience’s dedicated open innovation platform. The submission window is open from April 11 to May 27, 2024 with further details and application guidelines available on the SoScience app programme page.

In September 2024, 50 experts from the worlds of research, industry, scientific start-ups and civil society will be selected to meet and design collaborative projects with a strong focus on social and environmental impact. These multi-stakeholder research projects can provide access to a range of European and national funding windows.

Announcement of the winners is scheduled for Fall 2024. The winning collaborative projects will be supported for a maturation period of 6 months.

1Searchinger, T., Waite, R., Hanson, C., & Ranganathan, J. (2019). Creating a sustainable food future: A menu of solutions to feed nearly 10 billion people by 2050. World Resources Report. P16. Lead modeler: Dumas, P. Editor: Matthews, E. Designer: Klirs, C. https://research.wri.org/sites/default/files/2019-07/WRR_Food_Full_Report_0.pdf
2IPCC, 2023: Climate Change 2023: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. P12. [Core Writing Team, H. Lee and J. Romero (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 184 pp., doi: 10.59327/IPCC/AR6-9789291691647.