ValuSect - Valuable inSects

Project Summary

At a time of rising population and decreasing resources, especially in a very densely populated area like North-West Europe, sustainable alternatives for resources for food are needed. Insects could also be one of them. As part of Interreg North-West Europe, the ValuSect consortium aims to strengthen the transnational cooperation and exploitation of research on insects as resources for the development of (semi) finished food products.

Currently mainly driven by demand from migrated communities or by the development of niche markets, the trade in insects as food in Western countries is limited but could be broadly expanded thanks to the ValuSect consortium. Its lead partner organisation is the Thomas More University of Applied Sciences. Together with this leader, 9 full members as well as 8 associated partners from 7 countries are part of this transnational project.

Approximately 30% of the EU consumers is willing to eat insect-based food, a practice also known as entomophagy. The ValuSect consortium aims to enhance such level of perception by improving the quality of the insect production and processing, including its environmental impact. Research will be done on the emission of greenhouse gasses, on the impact of the substrate, on food safety and on the shelf life of the food product.

The project will use insect species that are subject of a novel food dossier. It will focus on the development of an accelerator program for insect-based food products. In the form of various amount of vouchers for SMEs, this program will transfer knowledge to enterprises and actors from the whole supply chain. Such knowledge transfers between stakeholders will be key for the development of this market.

Improving insect production as well as consumers’ attitude are at the heart of the project which aspires to make insects a crucial part of the tomorrow’s more sustainable diet of North-West Europe.


From April 2021 onwards, the ValuSect project does not only support the development of insects for food, but also extends its research and knowledge transfer to feed. An additional vouchers call for feed will be launched at the end of 2021, offering the opportunity to SMEs in the insects as feed sector to also boost their business.

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Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
Thomas More Kempen vzw 4 Kleinhoefstraat
Name Contact Name Email Country
Inagro vzw Jonas Claeys Belgium
Aberystwyth University Alison Kingston-Smith United Kingdom
Zürcher Fachhochschule Christine Brombach Switzerland
Stichting Fontys Marcel Roosen Netherlands
Boerenbondvereniging voor projecten vzw Kristof Severijns Belgium
Teagasc the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland Carlos Alvarez Ireland
New Generation Nutrition Pro-Active Marian Peters Netherlands
AliénorEU Elise Regairaz Belgium
BIC Innovation Limited Linda Grant United Kingdom
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Züchtungskunde e.V. Dr. Bettina Bongartz Germany


In the news

ValuSect's project counts 11 full partnersThomas More, Inagro, University of Aberysthwyth, ZHAW, Fontys, Innovatiesteunpunt, Teagasc, NGN Pro-Active, BIC Innovation, DGfZ and AlienorEU.

The project can also rely on 10 associated partners who will help spreading the knowledge on insect-based food and feed: Flanders Food, BIIF, Greenport Westholland, Eurasanté, Pole Valorial, Bio Treat Center, Food Processing, BAF, CCPA Groupe and the Welsh Government.


You can find below a description of the full partners:

Thomas More Radius- Lead partner: Thomas More is the largest university of applied sciences in Flanders, offering over 50 bachelor and master degree programmes and doing practical research.

TM is a fully fledged knowledge centre and engine for innovation and is located in province of Antwerp and belonging to KU Leuven Association.

RADIUS is one of the TM research groups and is a unique collaboration that has been established between the training Agro-& Biotechnology, Chemistry and Biomedical Laboratory Technology.

Aberystwyth UniversityThe Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) is an internationally-recognised research and teaching centre (of AU) providing a unique base for research in response to global challenges such as food security, bioenergy and sustainability, and the impacts of climate change.

IBERS' scientists conduct research on genes and molecules, whole organisms and the environment.

Aliénor is a European policies consulting agency based in Brussels. Working in full collaboration with the European institutions, Aliénor monitors EU developments regarding agriculture, rural development and food quality policies and provides legal and political advice to policymakers and stakeholders.

Aliénor promotes and disseminates the results of projects and uses its relations with policymakers and stakeholders to find support for the project.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Züchtungskunde e.V.: As a non-profit association, the DGfZ represents the areas between science, administration and practice and between the scientific disciplines of animal breeding, production, nutrition and animal health. Their main business is dissemination of research results and information.

BIC Innovation Limited is an SME specializing in R&D and Innovation working with SMEs in the agri-food, bio-health, life sciences and other sectors.

The company main strengths are R&D and Innovation, internationalization, access to finance and investment, improving productivity, cluster development. BIC Innovation is a partner for the Welsh Government, supporting growth of the agri-food sector in Wales.

Stichting Fontys is one of the largest universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands and offers a variety of bachelors and masters programs in Dutch, English and German language.

Besides the broad educational program, Fontys performs in many practice based research through all the knowledge domains.

Currently, there are over 40 Lectorates (Research groups) active in practice oriented research with major implications for the national, regional and local business environment.

Inagro is an applied research centre for agriculture. It has a long standing tradition in applied research and individual and group advice to farmers.

Inagro does research on broad topics of agriculture: arable farming, horticulture, aquaculture, insect rearing, energy, crop protection, fertilization,…

Inagro has a online platform to give the farmers individual advice, based on analysis, audits and experience. They give group advice by organizing workshops, study tours, panel debates, etc.

Innovatiesteunpunt: their mission is to inform and inspire farmers about new challenges and opportunities and to support them with the development and implementation of concrete projects. Innovatiesteunpunt reach this mission by

1) coaching farmers with the development of early innovation projects and grassroots ideas;

2) Providing answers to individual questions;

3) Giving standard support on general themes;

4) Support farmers with implementation of partnerships;

5) Using different types of learning modules;


New Generation Nutrition Pro-Active is focused on education, training and consultancy in insect rearing, value chains and business opportunities.

NGN has an extensive network in the insect sector, both in the Netherlands and internationally.

Key business activities include training services for insect rearing entrepreneurs, rearing and business model consultancy and international projects to bring insects into local diets and animal feed applications.

Teagasc – the Agriculture and Food Development Authority – is the national body providing integrated research, advisory and training services to the agriculture and food industry and rural communities.

Zürcher Fachhochschule ZHAW -carries out practice-oriented research projects on food innovations which either lead directly to new developments in companies in Switzerland and globally, or which bring improvements for our society. Researchers at the ZHAW are therefore in close contact with business partners and with public institutions. The institute for food and beverage innovations carries out research on food development and reformulation, innovations, sensory sciences and consumer insights.

And the associated partners: 

The Belgian Feed AssociationBFA strives for the general social acceptance of an economically and ecologically justified feed production. The best guarantee for the health of the present and future generations, because healthy animals ensure healthy people. BFA represents the interests of all her members (premixtures and compound feed manufacturers) in all the decision and consultative bodies.

Biif - Belgian Insect Industry Federation - is an international branch association, originally founded in Belgium. 

 The Biif brings together actors (commercial or not) of the edible insects market, both in terms of human consumption (FOOD) and animal consumption (FEED). The members are from all over Europe.
The BiiF is committed to help and support them.

Bio Treat Center:  is all about making better use of biomass.
A community of entrepreneurs active in the biobased economy developing new, sustainable products that contribute to a green society with a promising business case from biomass.

CCPA GroupeExpert in animal nutrition and health (livestock feeds). They supply products and support their customers with their expertise on animal physiology, feed nutrition and knowledge on raw materials (as insects meal for example).

Economic Interest Group Eurasantéis the Northern France services to a large range of stakeholders: academics, clinicians, healthcare professionals, companies, local authorities, etc.

These support services are: networking activities, design of collaborative projects, seek funding, provision of knowledge and thematic expertise, IP management, market and regulatory studies, workshops and international events.

Flanders' FOOD is a unique, strategy-driven platform that contributes to a more competitive, innovative and sustainable agri-food industry through innovation.

Flanders' FOOD strengthens the innovation power of the target group by increasing scientific and technological knowledge, uses an integrated approach to this end, and in this way contributes to the economic and social development of Flanders.
As a spearhead cluster for agri-food, Flanders' FOOD will further broaden the framework on which it has been working for the past 10 years. Moreover, cooperation will become (even) more important than before. The spearhead cluster agrofood will focus on cooperation across the value chain, cross-border and cross-sectoral.


Food-Processing Initiative e.V.“Connecting competences for innovative solutions!” - this summarizes best FPI ́s mission. The food cluster aims at strengthening the competitiveness and innovation capacities of companies in the food sector.

Their key objectives are:

  • Facilitating contacts across the various food chains;
  • Supporting and initiating collaborative projects for innovative solutions;
  • Dissemination and exploitation of new knowledge.

Currently the association counts 117 members.

Greenport West-Holland is a triple helix partnership between businesses, public authorities and knowledge institutions in West Holland. Parties work together on creating a healthy, vital and sustainable regional cluster, which comprises all businesses and organisations in food and ornamental horticulture sectors. Greenport investigates how to achieve this sustainable future, placing businesses firmly in the driving seat and with public authorities and knowledge institutions as facilitators.

Pole de compétitivité ValorialValorial accompanies SMEs/companies with a range of à la carte services, from shared to tailor-made, depending on the innovation issues.

Their core business: Identify, set up and support innovative collaborative R&D projects in 5 cross-disciplinary themes of excellence:

  • Food-Nutrition-Health
  • Food quality & safety
  • Production, processing and conservation technologies
  • Functional ingredients
  • Agri & Food Marketing

Welsh Government: is the devolved government for Wales, making policies and laws in areas including education, health, local government, economic development, agriculture and rural affairs etc.

You will find on this page ValuSect's publications throughout the project. The consortium will publish a litterature review, policy briefs, policy papers, scientific publications...

Policy paper: Why should we feed pigs and poultry with insect protein?

Policy brief: Insects as food and feed in the EU

Consumer acceptance among Dutch and German students of insects in feed and food

Valorisation Potential of Using Organic Side Streams as Feed for Tenebrio molitor, Acheta domesticus and Locusta migratoria


ValuSect has attributed €410.000 worth in services to 17 SMEs located in North-West Europe to help them develop their insect-based food business. You can find them below:

Selected applicants



Native Foods

Consumer acceptance



Technological Services


Protein Rebel

Consumer acceptance


Biopolymer Solutions Limited

Technological Services


Small Giants

Strategic business services


Cricket Lab

Technological Services



Food development and innovation



Consumer acceptance

The Netherlands

De Krekerij

Strategic business services &

Food development and innovation 

The Netherlands



The Netherlands

Horizon InsectsSensfoods

Food development and innovation


My Pocket Protein 

Consumer acceptance



Food development and innovation



Technological Services

The Netherlands

David Kremer-Schillings

Technological Services



Consumer acceptance

The Netherlands

Sens Food

Food development & Innovation




Our vouchers call is now closed. Thank you to all participants!



Apply for our vouchers to benefit from services provided by our consortium to help you develop your insect-based food business! 

The aim of the vouchers is to support SMEs in accelerating the development of insect-based foods in Europe. SMEs located in North-West Europe can apply for a voucher worth €10.000, €20.000 or 40.000 in services provided by the project partners. 40 cases will be selected over 3 years.  


Which services can we provide? 

A menu details the available services that can be provided by ValuSect’s partners. They include technological services, food development and innovation, consumer acceptance and strategic business services, all related to insect-based food products.  

Our quick look guide will give you an overview of the available services. 


Criteria to apply 

  • You belong to the food and beverage or agri-food sector and you are in, or want to become part of the value-network of the insect as food market 
  • Your SME should have an innovative idea for the development of the insect business in Europe 
  • Your SME should be interested in studying one of the three species included in the scope of ValuSect: grasshoppers, crickets and mealworms (Locusta Migratoria, Acheta Domesticus and Tenebrio Molitor). Proposals on other species will not be accepted, because they are out of the scope of the ValuSect project.  

It is important to note that the vouchers concern insects for food, and not for feed. 


How to apply 

The application process consists of two phases: 

  1. Idea stage: submit your application between 1 and 31 December 2020 

Applicants should send the Application Form Stage 1 to by 31 December 2020 at the latest.  

Successful applicants will be informed of their selection for the 2nd stage by the end of January 2021 

  1. Detailed stage: submit your application between 1 and 15 February 2021 

Applicants who received a positive answer in January 2021 will be invited to give a detailed description of the idea (via Application Form Stage 2) and prove it is in line with ValuSect’s objectives. The requested support should be directly linked to the services detailed in the menu. Successful SMEs will receive an answer in March 2021. 


A manual details the procedure, selection criteria, IPR, data protection and other guidelines for the vouchers.


If you have any questions, please consult our Q&A.  If you don't find your answer, contact: 


Please find all the documents below: 

Menu of services

Quick Look Guide

Manual: Guidelines for applicants

Application form Stage 1

Application form Stage 2

Data Privacy Policy

SME declaration form

De minimis self declaration

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