UZWIL, SWITZERLAND – With a goal of bolstering the efforts of food entrepreneurs focused on launching plant-based and cultured meat alternative products to the market, Bühler Group has announced a partnership with Big Idea Ventures, a venture capital fund. As part of its New Protein Fund, Big Idea Ventures plans to utilize four accelerator programs, located in New York and Singapore to invest in and accelerate 100 startups across the world that are creating alternatives to animal-based proteins. Bühler joins other food companies, Including Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods Inc., investing in Big Idea Ventures’ protein-focused fund.

Ian Roberts, Bühler’s chief technology officer, said joining the group is consistent with the company’s mission of adding value to the global food supply chain while addressing the daunting challenge of feeding the world’s growing population in the coming decades.  

“Providing safe, nutritious, pleasurable and affordable food to a population of 10 billion people by 2050 and doing that within the planetary boundaries is a formidable challenge," Roberts said. “There is an urgent need for wide-scale collaboration if we are to make an impact on the climate and nutrition challenges within the next decade. Academics, start-ups, and established companies need to come together to innovate and find more sustainable ways to produce food. This is why we are partnering with Big Idea Ventures: to accelerate the journey for promising start-ups, to reinforce partnerships and start-up ecosystems in Singapore and the US, and to do this with a clear focus on creating a more sustainable food supply for the future."

Andrew D. Ive, founder of Big Idea Ventures, added, “We are glad to have Bühler join Tyson Ventures, Temasek and our other strategic investors in the Big Idea Ventures’ New Protein Fund. Together we can support the growth of the new generation of leading plant-based companies in North America, Asia and ultimately, the planet. Bühler and Big Idea Ventures will work together to build great companies responding to consumer demands for great tasting food that is good for them and good for the planet.”

Bühler has an established reputation for developing plant-based protein solutions ranges from primary processing of meat alternative grains, including oats, quinoa, peas, soy and others, as well as facilitating the shape, form and texture of meat analogues, either dry or high moisture.  

"This new partnership benefits from our global network of Food Application Centers across Europe, Asia, and the US,” said Johannes Wick, chief executive officer of Grains and Food at Bühler Group. “However, it is particularly timely, given that we are opening our Food Application Center in Minneapolis on June 19 and introducing new technologies, such as the Filtrex solution, specifically for this sector, and will open our joint innovation facility with Givaudan in Singapore later this year.”