2017 The inVALUABLE Challenge2019-10-31T15:00:59+00:00

The inVALUABLE challenge

“How can we generate new and sustainable sources of high-quality food with protein from insects to meet the future protein demand?”

The Challenge

We challenge you to come up with creative ideas and innovative foods based on insects.
Particularly with focus on the use of mealworms and flour made from mealworms.


Can you imagine a future with insects as an alternative animal protein to meet future global demands for food? The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimate that the demand for protein will increase by more than 70% in 2050, highlighting the importance of generating new and sustainable sources of high-quality food. Protein from insects is a new promising alternative, and the future has begun with industrial producers emerging in all major regions. The industry is still young and needs innovation in all segments of the insect value chain.

At present, the insect market is still limited, but it is steadily increasing. Initially, the establishment of an insect industry in Europe (and Denmark) is expected to result in hundreds to thousands of new jobs and benefit stakeholders throughout the value chain. Long-term, however, it will facilitate a societal transition of producing food that could likely lead to disruptive innovation within the food chain, partly resulting in conversion of conventional agriculture. Introduction of climate and resource-efficient ‘mini-livestock’ will lead to new and improved processes and services, e.g. value-added utilization of resources for food production, and services within engineering and biotechnology, as well as food innovation. This will drive the need for implementing relevant courses taught at educational institutions supporting the transition, and a ‘bottom-up’ enactment of the bio-based society. The potential here is great – the missing ingredient to achieve this could be you!


inVALUABLE is, to date, one of the largest international projects on insects as feed and food with a total budget of approx. 3.7M EUR (with a 2.5M EUR investment from Innovation Fund Denmark).

The vision of inVALUABLE is to create a sustainable resource-efficient industry for animal production based on insects.

The partners span the entire value chain and include entrepreneurs, experts in biology (entomology and nutrition), biotech, automation, processing and food technology and safety, as well as an international leading insect producer. This interaction of competences is key to lifting insect production to an industrial level.

The student challenge team

The team of students within these expertise will work and pressent their solution to the challenge

You have strong analytical skills, personal drive and a strategic mindset to problem solving
You have global market and food trends insight and have a strong BtB consumer understanding
You have a passion for product development and a strong interest in proteins

You have knowledge within global health and nutrition and food chemistry

You have outstanding communicational skills and political understanding

Speakers at the conference

Experts for the inVALUABLE challenge.

Lars-Henrik Lau Heckmann,
Technology Manager, PhD, Danish Technological Institute 

Lars-Henrik Lau Heckmann has worked with science and biotechnology in different R&D (e.g. as postdoc at Aarhus University) and business environments (e.g. DuPont) since 2003. Currently, Lars is at the Danish Technological Institute (DTI), where he is technology lead and scientific project manager of the large innovation project inVALUABLE (Insect Value Chain in a Circular Bioeconomy). Since 2014, he has, together with colleagues at DTI and leading Danish universities, worked hard on putting insects on the agenda as the food of the future, highlighting the benefits that insects of as sustainable food, while simultaneously working on developing technology throughout the insect value chain.

Andreas Lieberoth,
PhD, DPU, Aarhus University

Andreas is an assistant professor at the Danish School of Education (DPU) and PlayTrack Research Fellow at the Interacting Minds Center (IMC) at Aarhus University. Dr. Lieberoth’s research centres on media psychology as well as behaviour design and knowledge/attitude formation in informal learning situations – including the workplace, online communities, and through marketing.
Dr. Lieberoth is predominantly a mixed methods researcher, typically working in cross-disciplinary teams with domain specialists and industry partners to conduct close-to-life experiments on product designs, or interventions directed at behavioural, educational, and psychological change. His research has been featured in journals and conferences dedicated to psychology, games, and citizen engagement, as well as in Nature and recent books on behaviour design and research methods.

Massimo Reverberi,
Owner, Bugsolutely

Massimo founded and managed a marketing company in Italy for more than 15 years. He moved to Thailand in 2013 and founded Bugsolutely (2015) to produce the unique Cricket Pasta. He writes regularly on Food Navigator and other magazines about edible insects. He was a founding member of the South East Asian association of edible insects AFFIA (ASEAN Food and Feed Insects’ Association), and he is the chairperson for the current year. In 2017, Massimo founded Bugsolutely China to develop innovative food CPG based on silkworm powder.

Hanne Boskov Hansen,
Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark

Hanne is Special Advisor at the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration under the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark. She has a background in food science from the Agricultural University of Copenhagen, and a PhD in food science from the University of Hohenheim, Germany. She works with legislation and politics in the areas of novel foods and new trends, such as insects as food.

Rene Damkjer,
Innovation Fund Denmark

As Regional Program Officer, René Damkjer is focusing on developing the regional connections of Innovation Fund Denmark with InnoBooster. Recently René has been working with entrepreneurship and SMEs regarding a major European application – FoodNexus-KIC, and as Vice-Chairman of the InnoBooster panel.


  • Session time: August 31th,  13.30 – 15.00.

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