Kyanos executives take home the prize at France’s Protein Summit.
© Crédit Agricole Mutuel Nord of France

The first edition of the “Plant-based Protein Innovation Awards” organized by the Village by CA Nord de France, the Caisse Crédit Agricole Nord de France and Bridge2Food, presented the start-up Kyanos Biotechnologies, based in Toulouse, France, the award for the best plant-based innovation.

The awards were presented at the 2018 Protein Summit, which took place from October 24 to 26 in Lille, France – an international event aimed at accelerating industry responses to new protein issues and solutions.

The awards are dedicated to rewarding the most innovative start-ups in the field of plant proteins for human consumption. 36 candidates from 15 countries applied for the 2018 awards. Coming from France, the Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Israel, the 14 finalists proposed solutions, services, products or processes encompassing the entire value chain, from the field to the plate.

The six winners chosen were:

  • Via-végétale (France) for Agtech
  • Kyanos Biotechnologies (France) for the “Most Novel Protein Process Technology & IT” category
  • InnovoPro (Israel) for the category Most Novel Protein Ingredient
  • Tempeasy (United Kingdom) for Best New High Protein Food & Beverage
  • Future Food (Ukraine) for the Best Plant-Based Food category
  • Alg & You (France), for the Highest Consumer Impact category

By winning this Award, these six start-ups proposing solutions to current and future issues around food will be able to benefit from the Village by CA Nord’s unique innovation ecosystem and the contributions of partners and other start-ups in the Village. They will receive support to accelerate their development for three months, or more if they choose accommodation in Lille.

“Our strain, combined with our patented “cyclotrophy” process, is an environmental game changer,” said Pierre-Alain Hoffmann, C.S.O. of Kyanos Biotechnologies. “It does not require arable soil or nitrogen fertilizer. Our cyanobacterium has very distinctive cell morphology, heterocysts. These cells allow the nitrogenase to obtain nitrogen gas during the photosynthetic stage. To make a long story short, Kyanos has found a way to grow proteins and sugars from basic air!”

The young biotech firm patented a unique production process to increase the production yields of its microalgae under industrial conditions and get rid of the environmental contaminants often found in open cultures. For the past three years, the company has been working in its Toulouse Métropole incubator labs, extensively prototyping its production system before targeting large-scale cultivation.

By 2019, Kyanos Biotechnologies will start building its first industrial production unit, partnering with the Altran Group. This world leader in engineering and R&D services will develop the technical components of Kyanos’ innovative smart factory.