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BugBox: Mass Rearing & Production Technology to Produce Protein Powder & Other Sub-Products from Edible Insects

Project description

New technology putting bugs on the menu

Insects are not all that bad. The edible ones have always been a part of human diets. Innovation in mass-rearing systems has begun in many countries. The EU-funded BugBox project has developed a light prototype of a rearing reactor that is 200 times more productive and over 10 times more affordable. However, it needs to be tested and demonstrated in a relevant environment (with different insect species and in different geographical locations and conditions). The key component of BugBox is software which runs a fully automated mass rearing reactor. This new technology which is easily scalable, will target farmers of edible insects and producers of protein powders, oils and other sub-products. The list also includes producers of foods, snacks and beverages.


BugBox OÜ was founded in 2015 with the mission to provide a scalable fully automated mass rearing and production technology for the edible insect industry. The rapidly rising population has caused an increasing demand for meat and dairy products resulting in over-consumption and increasing need for land, water and energy resources. The resources must be used more effectively to ensure environmental sustainability. Rearing insects has a much smaller ecological footprint than common farming, making it a more efficient and environmentally sustainable way of producing protein.

Currently there are only manual methods used for rearing insects, which are not capable to rear and produce the insect-based proteins cost-efficiently, in large-scale and high quality. BugBox is developing a fully automatic technology which will enable to produce insects in larger amounts and more cost-efficiently than today’s manual method. The key components of BugBox’s technology are: fully automated mass rearing reactor, sensors and IT-platform. BugBox’s technology will be over 200x more productive and over 10x more affordable than current manual farms.

BugBox has carried out intensive research in entomology field and has currently a light prototype of a rearing reactor which needs to be tested and demonstrated in relevant environment (with different insect species, in different geographical locations and conditions). The objective of Phase 1 project is to assess the technical feasibility, scalability and economic viability of mass rearing and production technology by demonstrating the reactor in different environmental conditions.

Target users of BugBox technology are: 1) farmers of edible insects; 2) producers of protein powders, oils and other sub-products; 3) food, snack and beverage producers.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00
62017 TARTU

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Eesti Eesti Lõuna-Eesti
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 71 429,00