Protein transition across regional borders allows entrepreneurs to flourish

November 5, 2020

November 2020

Helping entrepreneurs by stimulating inter-provincial cooperation and thereby increasing the national and international impact of initiatives within the protein transition. It is the goal of a joint initiative of the provinces of Gelderland, Overijssel, Zeeland, Noord-Brabant and Flevoland – within The Protein Cluster. “This will enable entrepreneurs to fulfill their ambitions for sustainable protein, better and faster,” says Jeroen Willemsen, Innovation Manager at Foodvalley NL. The collaboration starts, officially, on 13 October 2020, during the Foodvalley Summits.

Entrepreneurs, who have committed to the protein shift, have been receiving support from various provinces and Regional Development Agencies (ROMs) for a number of years. This cooperation is intensifying, now that, after Gelderland, Overijssel, Foodvalley NL and Oost NL initiated The Protein Cluster 3 years ago, the provinces Zeeland, Noord-Brabant and Flevoland have also joined this business network. Currently, The Protein Clusters counts 65 members. With this extended cooperation, there will be even more companies that benefit from support in their plant-protein businesses.

Cooperation across provincial borders

“We bring together entrepreneurs from different provinces with complementary ambitions, networks, products and facilities. Growers, processors and end users, for example, alongside producers and food designers,” Willemsen illustrates. “The protein transition does not stop at the border of a province or a country. This cooperation is, therefore, a valuable new step in the development of the protein transition ecosystem as imagined by Foodvalley NL and its partners.”

Faster growth

Companies can grow faster with an multi-province approach. Mark Laponder of Evolution Meats knows this better than anyone. The entrepreneur develops and produces 100% vegetable products with the taste and bite of meat. “As an entrepreneur I look beyond the borders of Gelderland, my own province. Some of our raw materials, for example, come from Zeeland, and the storage and distribution of our products is taken care of from our production site in Limburg. When our partners receive support from their own province, we benefit too.”

Promotion abroad

Protein transition across provincial borders also helps promote Dutch vegetable protein products, technologies and services further afield. Laponder: “The Protein Cluster is also an enabler: member companies join forces in creating a shared global platform. It’s great that we can present ourselves together at global events such as Floriade 2022 in Almere, and major food fairs in Germany and France.

Want to know more?

Want to know more about Protein Transition without borders? Contact Jeroen Willemsen, Innovation Manager Protein Shift at Foodvalley NL.


Innovation Scan Protein Shift: Netherlands and Singapore can strengthen each other

November 1, 2020

November 2020

The market for sustainable proteins is growing rapidly, in both the Netherlands and Singapore, creating significant collaboration opportunities for entrepreneurs. A recent innovation scan, by Foodvalley NL and Enterprise Singapore (the key government agency developing Singapore as a startup hub) absolutely confirms this. The scan-report was presented during the Foodvalley Summit Protein Shift, on October 13, 2020.

“The Netherlands and Singapore are international leaders in R&D and knowledge-intensive systems, and there are many innovative players in the sustainable proteins market,” says Miranda van Dijck, Foodvalley Innovation Analyst closely involved in the innovation scan. “This makes them interesting dialogue partners.”


According to Van Dijck, there are plenty of opportunities for cooperation between the two countries. “Think of the development of new production processes and technologies, but also co-branding and co-manufacturing,” she illustrates.

Some parties in the Netherlands and Singapore are already working together. Singapore start-up Shiok Meats, which cultures shrimp meat, recently received a total of US$12.6 million through the Dutch investment fund Aqua-Spark and SEEDS Capital, Enterprise Singapore’s investment arm.

Deeper understanding

Through this innovation scan, Foodvalley NL and Enterprise Singapore aim to develop a deeper mutual understanding of each other’s ecosystems, identify market opportunities, and catalyze further exchanges and innovation partnerships between Dutch and Singapore institutions and businesses.

Growth market

In both Singapore and the Netherlands, the market for sustainable proteins is growing, mainly driven by sustainability and health concerns. “Developments are particularly rapid in the meat substitutes category,” says Van Dijck. Vegetable snacks and ready meals are also on the rise in both countries, but especially in Singapore.

Alternative protein sources

The report highlights several companies extracting proteins from alternative sources such as algae, insects and residual flows (e.g. okara, from soy and tofu production), as well as applications based on cell cultures (cultured meat) and fermentation technologies.


The report also provides an overview of the key players in the ecosystem – the incubators, accelerators and investors, who are supporting the growth of innovative startups in the alternative protein space. In addition, it lists shared facilities – from pilot to industrial scale – for both countries. “This will help companies, who want to scale-up production of alternative protein ingredients and end-products, to identify relevant infrastructure support without the need for heavy setup costs during the initial phases,” says Van Dijck.

Free download

Members of Foodvalley will receive a link to a free download of the report.

Foodvalley membership

Foodvalley member companies have access to the best knowledge, knowledge suppliers, partners and a large (inter)national business network to accelerate innovation and growth. More information about the Foodvalley Membership.

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