The Insect Engineers-led project aims to serve as the main knowledge hub and meeting place for the insect industry, helping the insect protein market grow, with the goal of accelerating the transition towards circular global food production.
Located in the town of America in the Netherlands, testing facilities will soon be available for every step of the black soldier fly (BSF) farming process. This starts with the adult flies laying eggs, to the processing of larvae into protein for animal feed. In several climate-controlled rooms equipped with high-tech systems, Insect School customers and partners will be able to get hands-on experience with the industrial process of farming BSF larvae commercially.
Insect School aims to help startups to make the step to an industrial-scale commercial black soldier fly farm, and a provide a place where entrepreneurs can analyse the technological feasibility of their plans.
"Hands-on experience in commercial BSF farming is essential to get started. We believe in the value of shared intelligence for both customers and brands, driving business growth through collaboration and innovation," said Bob Holtermans, CEO and founder of Insect Engineers, in a press release. "By sharing knowledge and working together, instead of keeping everything to ourselves, we can expand our knowledge and really move forward as an industry".
Meanwhile, the Insect School website will be an online news source and knowledge base for anyone interested in learning more about the insect protein industry, and the black soldier fly in particular. In this way, Insect School wants to show the world what the black soldier fly has to offer in the movement toward a circular economy and leaving a sustainable planet for our future generations. Visitors to the website can easily find answers to their questions in the knowledge base. In this way, anyone can gather information on how to get started with commercial BSF farming.
By collaborating with educational institutions, such as Wageningen University & Research and HAS University of Applied Sciences, and various business partners, Insect School aims to make its facilities available for research. In addition, by collaborating with waste management companies, the highly efficient waste disposal by BSF larvae can be assessed and put into practice.
"We believe that if you want to make serious changes in the world, you can't do it alone," said Holtermans. “By sharing both practical and theoretical knowledge and serving as a meeting place, we want to bring together the insect protein sector, which will help achieve the necessary revolution towards sustainable animal feed production.”
An official opening week is due to take place from June 28 to July 3, during which the school will be open to visitors, while an interactive expert session will take place on Thursday 30 June, in which different experts in the insect sector will hold presentations.