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This is our colleague Yannik Weinreis. He creates efficient planning processes for our projects and works in the area of product research and development. For this purpose, he analyses product characteristics, supervises test series, and tests various valorization strategies. Already during his studies of agricultural sciences (B.Sc.) and agricultural and food economics (M. Sc.) at the University of Bonn, Yannik was a passionate insect enthusiast and wrote both theses on the use of insects as feed and food. His academic background and network help us to identify current trends in the international research landscape and incorporate innovative development opportunities into our concept of regional circular economy.

Our colleague Justus von Sonntag optimizes technology. Here he is checking possible interfaces of our container control system with the control system he co-developes for the TEMIFUGA project at the University of Leipzig for a possible crab breeding system. Justus studied process engineering at Karlsruher Institute for Technologie (KIT) and is familiar with air conditioning technology. His experience in research supports us in the practical implementation of animal breeding. He has been with us for a year in April, and with a doctorate in chemistry, the chemistry is just right.

Despite the big cold snap over the weekend, our larvae are doing very well. Our modular construction is based on shipping containers, which of course all function independently of each other, regardless of whether it is warm or cold outside. The temperatures in our reproduction containers for our flies and young larvae remain pleasantly warm thanks to the connected biogas plant and the same of course applies to the temperatures for our larvae in the mast containers. Partly there were temperature differences between container temperature and outside temperature of 50C! Only our employees are a bit cold this week – the only thing that helps to stay warm is to keep moving! As our intern Jörn once said “work is the best jacket”. In this sense: no matter if Sahara wind or Arctic cold – we don’t let it get us down.

From the first shipping container in production to the complete production plant and from the foundation to the finished office complex. An incredible amount has happened for us and that despite the global pandemic occuring in this year. All this was only possible because of the sweat, commitment and ambition of our team and all our partners. A big thank you to each one of you! We are now starting the new year with great confidence and will continue on our course.

Here our black soldier flies cavort in the Reproduction module. As you can see, we feel very comfortable among our flies. Only those who are visiting us for the very first time have fear of contact. In this module, they lay the eggs from which larvae later hatch and is therefore of great importance as it determines our amount of larvae and thus of protein meal. The entire output of our plant is therefore determined by this module. Currently we still use some quantities for reproduction, but in the future we plan to use only a small part of 5%. This percentage is sufficient to keep our production quantities at the same high level.

We are state winners of the KfW competition Gründen 2020! Many thanks for this to KfW, which is one of the leading funding banks in the world. Since 1948 it has been committed to improving economic, social and ecological living conditions worldwide. In the KfW competition, more than 500 companies were evaluated according to their degree of innovation, creativity and their assumption of social and ecological responsibility. We are particularly pleased to have been selected under these criteria. So that we can also win the Audience Award, vote for us here.

The heart of our plant: the technology. You can see the development from the beginning of this year until now. As you can see, this room has been filled with everything from cables and pipes to the most important highlight: a coffee machine. Compared to the total size of the plant of 2500m2, this area is manageable, but it forms the center. Our future installations are extremely flexible: we can customize them according to your needs and location, from a low level of automation with higher manpower requirements to a high level of automation with lower manpower requirements.

This week we received an elementary final part of our production. This was positioned in the part of the hall where the processing, the last steps in the production for the production of the protein flour, is located. In order to complete our plant before the end of this year, the individual modules now only have to be connected to each other. This machine, like most of our individual parts, has been manufactured in close cooperation with our suppliers and on the idea of both managing directors, Kai Hempel and Jonas Finck, only for madebymade. Due to the perfect size of a shipping container this part is as always scalable and fits exactly into our concept. In the future several thousand kilos of larvae will be processed here. What do you think this could be?

A pleasant nutty smell led the whole team to our oil press to admire and smell our final product. It is produced during pressing of the dried larvae of our black soldier flies. This last step of production increases the ratio of protein to fat; the protein flour has a residual fat content of less than 8% and a protein content of over 40%. It contains essential amino acids and can be used in many ways in the feed industry.

Insight into our plant: our modules for rearing the BSF larvae are located behind our 1400m² production plant. The containers are delivered when they can no longer be used at sea. We then remove the front wall and party the side walls. In this way we can stack our rearing trays to their full height. We use vertical farming and thus achieve the greatest possible area utilization for produced proteins/m². We could theoretically even go higher – only the ceiling prevents us from doing so. We see a clear advantage here because we can scale to more height than other comparable concepts.