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Protealis (Flanders) to unlock potential of protein crops

Protealis (Flanders), a spin-off company of research centers VIB and ILVO, has raised EUR 6 million. In the first stage, the company will use this capital to develop high-yielding, high-protein soybean varieties that are more appealing for European farmers to cultivate. In addition, the capital will support the company’s plans to further develop its technology and expand its crop portfolio.

Planting the seed

The founders of Protealis are Benjamin Laga and Jonas Aper. Laga used to be a top-level researcher of chemical company BASF in the field of seed innovation. Aper was one of the founders of ILVO, the Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Now Laga and Aper are joining hands with Protealis, sharing the long-term goal of making agriculture more sustainable by cultivating the right soy varieties and other high-protein crops.

Locally grown soy

Protealis aims to promote and advance the growth of local soy in Europe. Today, Europe depends highly on the import of soy from South America, leading to negative environmental and social implications. The founders of Protealis want to provide a sustainable answer to rising demand for protein crops. By developing high-yielding and high-protein crops that are adapted to European climates, local farmers will be incentivized more to cultivate them.

A promising pact

Though Protealis is just starting out, it still brings decades of experience to the table. Supported by ILVO and VIB, they have access to a wide array of knowledge and innovative technologies. Protealis has collected EUR 6 million through venture capital fund V-Bio Ventures. Thanks to the investment, Protealis will further develop its technology and bring the first soy varieties to market in 2022.

The collaboration between VIB and ILVO (…) shows that Flanders isn’t merely vigorous when it comes to biotechnological research for qualitative medicines, but in the agricultural and food sectors as well. VIB’s expertise in biotechnology and ILVO’s expertise in agriculture are combined to support innovation in line with the 2030 sustainable protein strategy that has been proposed recently.

Hilde Crevits
Flanders’ minister for agriculture and innovation

More info

Reported by
press release VIB-ILVO
6 May 2021

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