Best Projects 2021 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.

Norbite - upcycling plastic waste into healthy food solutions

Published on September 29, 2021 um 19:30

Your title/position

CEO, founder

Type of Enterprise

registered company

Year the ngo or company was founded



Explain your project in details:

Objective Transforming 300 Mt of yearly generated plastic waste into sustainable goods while feeding the world population in a sustainable manner Innovation Upcycling of plastic waste into healthy food is an amazing paradigm shift. This approach corresponds to a radical change of mentality, and, simultaneously, it contributes to the development of world population in a harmonious way, inspired by nature, and where every leftover is infinitely reused to meet global sustainability and circularity. Our approach consists in the utilisation of cutting-edge research and technology to mimic natural features of value recovery, from waste to healthy food! Comparing to the existing solutions Norbite presents several new aspects: - Up-cycling of plastic, i.e. gain of value, comparing to the more traditional loss of value, basically down-cycling, obtained after mechanical or chemical recycling of plastics - Providing with a variety of products comparing to the single-cell proteins producers that are mono-product businesses - Utilisation of plastic waste as feeding substrate for the insects, comparing to other insect industries that are using raw materials that can be consumed by other feedstocks Viability of the project Galleria mellonella, also known as great wax moth, was recently shown to possess a unique and outstanding capacity of consuming plastic. This specific capacity of the insects comes from the remarkable molecular similitude between the natural substrate of the moth beeswax, and the molecular structure of commonly used plastics. Norbite has been working on the scope of the degradation capacity of G. mellonella and have demonstrated that this insect can digest more than 80% of commonly used polymeric materials. Moreover, at the end of the transformation the high-quality proteins and lipids to be used for food and feed are obtained, and even the insects poop, is used as biofertilizer, making this process a perfect example of circular economy.

Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development

Measures to evaluate success The overall most important metric for us is the positive impact we are making on environment and society. Norbite provides with a totally circular and high impact solution through the combined sustainability of the developed process, raw materials used, and the quality of the obtained products. Environmental impact The effect on environmental impact is double, due to the handling of plastic waste pollution and to the production of sustainable and healthy food solutions: - transformation of plastic waste allows savings of 104 000 t of CO2 for a facility transforming 60 000 t of plastics per year - production of insect-based protein allows reduction of e.g., land use - 14 times, GHGs emissions - >30 times, energy use - 40% Social impact - food quality: absence of chemical residues on agricultural products, specifically benefiting to fragile groups of population - health: handling of plastic waste pollution & providing with products for organic farming Achievements - Development and protection of the core technology 4 pending patent applications - LOI for organic farming products - Entering ESA BIC Sweden - Entering EIT FAN - obtaining grants (ESA BIC, Arbetsformedlingen, Vinnova) - launching key collaborations (Stockholm school of economics, University of Chalmers, etc.) - gaining good media coverage (local, national, specialized and professional press, digital TV)

Sustainability and future plans

Business model Norbite is a B2B business, and our value proposition is double: service of handling of plastic waste and healthy food products for food, feed, and organic farming. The complete business model has been divided into three different activities: - approaching the customers: divided in 2 categories 1) broad approach attendance of professional fairs, etc.; specific approach participation in common projects - entering the markets: incremental approach, 1) petfood open market, 2) other feed compliance with EU 2017/893 regulation; 3) food compliance with EU Novel Food regulation - revenue streams definition: convergent revenue streams, 1) form the service of handling plastic waste instead of incineration, customers: plastic/polymer/textile producers, waste treating companies, 2) from the products for healthy food, customers: petfood producers, food formulators, farmers Vision Milestones to come within 2 years: - technology: automatization and scale-up on real waste streams (up to 10 kg/batch) - business development: partnership with upstream and downstream customers (tailoring of our solution to their specific needs) - increasing the team around 4 pillars: R&D, Industrialization, Business Development and Finances; hiring key executives - CIO, CCO, CFO In 5 years - industrial development: 1) demonstration unit has been totally validated; 2) construction of the commercial facility able to transform up to 60 000 t of plastic per year is in progress - business development: 1) production of the demonstration unit: partly used for finalization of qualification of our products for aquaculture, poultry and pigs; partly is sold for petfood and organic farming, overall revenue 2 M; 2) production of the industrial facility: at least 50% are pre-sold - other: 1) team > 50 people; 2) ISO 9001 & GMP certification received; 3) R&D in progress on more elaborated products In 10 years - 3 running industrial facilities - Overall revenue >75 M - Team >300 people -Diversification of offering in progress

Your profile as an entrepreneur

Nathalie Berezina, PhD in Biotechnology, MSc in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, founder, CEO & CSO of the company. Nathalie has extensive knowledge of industrial biotechnology, the field she has been active in for more than 15 years now, of which 10 years within bioplastic industry and 5 years within the insect industry as CSO and IP representative. Nathalie possesses thus the unique combination of knowledge and understanding of the constraints and bottlenecks of these industries. Nathalie is a recognized expert in the field with more than 30 peer-reviewed scientific papers and book chapters, and 20 filed patent applications, she serves as a consulting expert on a regular basis, Nathalie also was appointed for 3 years the VP position within the French Chemical Society and serves currently as its Board member. Moreover, from the business side, Nathalie is used to the start-up environment, as she entered the last company she was working with, Ynsect, at the early stage, i.e., 10 M valuation and contributed to its growth as Chief Scientific Officer and IP representative up to 0,5 B valuation in 5 years time. She built a multinational multidisciplinary R&D team of up to 15 people, developed the IP portfolio from 0 to 23 patents, managed a budget of up to 5 M. Nathalie is the leading scientist and works on Norbites overall strategy.

General presentation of Norbite

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Post a comment


October 20, 2021 20:10

This is an area where a lot of startups/companies are focusing. How are you guys going about it in a unique way that will give you a major competitive advantage in this area? However, it's a very interesting idea. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors :)