Flybox® and it’s consortia partners led by RiniGARD and University College London have recently been awarded a €5.2 million grant by Horizon Europe- EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.
The consortium of companies called NESTLER (Which consists of 14 partners in total) will be developing technologies and systems that contribute to EU-Africa for Food Security. The name for the project is NESTLER and fits into Pillar II – Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness, specifically the Farm to Fork Strategy which is at the heart of the European Green Deal; aiming to make food systems fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly. The four year project seeks to develop an integrated platform that will closely integrate with the existing stakeholders of the entire food value chain from Africa to Europe. The project will develop and integrate advanced remote sensing technologies. The project platform will develop software interfaces for receiving satellite data sources along with video streams captured from unmanned aerial vehicles and other IoT devices installed for monitoring environmental and animal well-being. The large volume of data incorporated into the platform will be subjected to additional processing for the extraction of intuitive insights with the assistance of machine learning algorithms and deep-learningnetwork architectures. The extracted insights will be translated into predictive models affecting One-Health sustainability programme through machine automation.
Additionally, and key to Flybox’s involvement, the NESTLER project will also undertake research activities to investigate the impact of insect protein on the circular economy for the well-being of animals. The project will develop methodologies for edible insect farming which will be in animal farming. The project will also conduct research studies on the impact of animal waste in crop-based farming. As a complement to the analysis of health benefits, the project will also undertake efforts to evaluate the economic sustainability of such farming practices which will lead to the setup of a EU-Africa joint task force on One-Health Sustainability.
The outcome of the project will result in a transition from a linear economy to a circular economy delivering sustainable growth and development.
Flybox will be working closely with European and African partners including The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) based in Nairobi, and will contribute towards the development of new recipes for animal feed and develop IoT sensors for monitoring breeding and harvesting cycles in the production life cycle of insect protein. Insect protein is seen as a key sustainable innovation for the future of food security across the world and our mission to democratize insect farming across the world fits perfectly with the aims of the NESTLER project.
This project builds on a previous £30,000 grant won by Flybox earlier this year on Global Cooperation Feasibility Studies (GCFS)through Innovate UK where the team spent 6 months mapping over 1000 organic waste sources across East Africa.
We are incredibly proud to be a central part of this project, pushing insect protein into the forefront of EU-Africa sustainable development.