September 13, 2022

Following two successful programs in North America and in Europe, Bühler, Cargill, and Givaudan are launching a Scale It Up! challenge in Asia-Pacific to help plant-based protein start-ups scale and commercialise their businesses.

scale it up logo

Registration for the programme is now open for submissions until 1 October, 2022. The top 15 start-ups selected from the first round will pitch their proposals to the partner companies, and then five finalists will gain access to testing and scale-up piloting facilities at the Protein Innovation Centre in Singapore, in an all-expenses paid trip.

By February 2023, the final pitches will be made, and a winner and runner-up chosen. The two selected companies will receive support to help develop and scale their product for market introduction.

Boom times for alternative proteins

Asia-Pacific is experiencing a boom in alternative proteins. Investments in the sector grew from $162 million in 2020 to $312 million in 2021, a 92% surge. Consumer food spending in general is slated to jump over the next decade in Asia-Pacific. A study by PwC, Rabobank and Temasek predicts that consumer-driven growth in food spending in the region will hit $1.1 trillion in 2030 – an 83% jump compared to 2019.

 Alternative protein start-ups
Investment interest in alternative protein start-ups is surging in Asia.

By 2050 the world’s population will reach almost 10 billion people and alternative protein sources will be needed to complement traditional sources to feed them all, according to Bühler, Cargill and Givaudan, who also have a cooperation in South America.

“The rising protein gap is a challenge too big to solve alone,” said Dr Aparna Venkatesh, Bühler’s regional innovation lead. “Scale It Up! is designed to accelerate start-ups who are working to close that gap. It allows regional companies to access our expertise and facilities to develop plant-based meat products and we’re excited to kick-off the Asia-Pacific version.”

Disruptive ideas in plant-based protein

Cargill’s regional technical leader, Kok Wei Beh, commented: “Innovations in food technology are changing how we think about food and how it is produced. Through Scale It Up!, we’re challenging start-ups to come up with disruptive ideas in the plant-based protein space. With our deep knowledge of plant protein ingredients, product development and production, and in partnership with other players in the industry, we hope to help innovators test their ideas and scale it.”

The three sponsoring companies are all active in the production of plant-based protein ingredients, each focusing on different parts of the food value chain.

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