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    Algae – an unexpect...

    Many people are looking for sources of protein to replace meat. The reasons vary from dietary and cultural preferences to ecological and animal welfare concerns. In addition, we face the challenge of feeding a global population and must come up with an effective solution. Today, we decided to take a look at a protein source that might be quite unexpected for many – algae.

     

    Surprising for some of us, algae consumption on the European Atlantic coasts and in Asia can be traced back to pre-historic times. Algae protein has been gaining momentum in North America and Europe, and one type of algae, spirulina, has been known as a superfood for several years now. Many of you have probably also tasted dried seaweed at least once in your life.

     

    Why is algae so good?

    First of all, algae is a rich source of micronutrients, antioxidants and is 40% protein. Secondly, its production doesn’t take a lot of time and requires little resources. The algae grows very fast using sun, air and water — and most of the water is recycled. It can also be harvested year round and on land that is not suited for traditional crops such as within ponds and pools. Furthermore, when grown in sunlight, algae absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the air, just like any other plant

     

    What does algae taste like?

    Some might expect algae to be stinky, slimy and gross. However, there are hundreds of thousands of strains of algae in the world and algae produced for consumption simply taste salty or do not have any distinct taste at all. Algae is widely used as a new protein ingredient in food products and found in protein bars and powders, green smoothies, food supplements and in a form of green chips.

     

    The main challenge remaining is its price level – algae still costs more than real meat. Various produces across the world, however, are working to bring the price down.

     

    By the way, long before the current efforts to sell algae as food, algae was considered a potential source of biofuel that is also carbon neutral. But this is a whole nother story…

     

     

    Want to learn more about producing algae and the future of protein in general? Then join us at the Future of Food event! Anneliese Schmidinger, the founder of Helga, a company producing algae superfood, will take part in the Protein of the future panel and share her expertise with us.

     

    Written by Olga Bratsun

    Why food waste is a globa...

    “Food waste” refers to food appropriate for human consumption being discarded, whether or not after it is kept beyond its expiry date or left to spoil. 30 % to 35 % of global food resources are not consumed by mankind. This means, that resources worth over 1 trillion $ are thrown away, which indicates a high level of inefficiency within the food industry, especially if we compare it to other sectors.

    While 800 million humans go hungry to bed every night and are strongly limited in their nutritional intake, not even speaking of their access to fresh and high- quality food, each of them could be sufficiently fed on less than a quarter of the food that is wasted in the USA, UK and Europe each year. With globalization and, thus, globally ongoing changes, the food supply system changed, which had a huge impact on price politics and price developments.
    The existing demand for food in the West can potentially drive up the price of nutritional goods grown for export in developing countries. This also displaces the necessary growth of crops to feed native populations and drives accelerated degradation of natural habitats.
    Furthermore, hunger is not an issue which people are dealing with “somewhere”, pointing out the UK, where over 1 million inhabitants accessed a food bank last year, as well as the US, where millions of people are suffering from food poverty.

    However, this moral aspect is representing only one side of the problem. Facing an environmental crisis and dealing with corresponding issues, food waste is a huge part of this problem. It would take an additional land in the size of China to regrow the food each year, which is ultimately never eaten and thrown away.
    A level of capacity that does simply not exist on this planet, a level of capacity which is exponentially decreasing through a lack of arable lands. Not only wasted resources as land, water, energy, labor and many more are an issue. A vast majority of food waste goes to landfill, where it decomposes without oxygen and creates methane, which impacts are much more negative for our sphere than the ones coming from other gases.

    Sounding quite dystopian, already small steps like paying attention to personal consuming behavior can have a positive impact.
    We listed a few tips for avoiding unnecessary food waste, which can be easily implemented in ones daily routine!

    • Don’t buy too much groceries, especially if you’re shopping for a small household. Multipacks often may seem less expensive, however, you will save money in the long term by buying amounts of food which correspond with what is actually needed. You save money and help the environment!

    • Never go grocery shopping if you’re hungry! This as well saves you some money and you avoid buying useless products which could potentially be thrown away.

    • Planning is everything! This does not have to be a strict meal plan, listing your needed groceries prior entering the store is enough and will surely save you some time and money and prevent you from buying unnecessary food.

    • Don’t be too meticulous with minimum expiry dates for certain foods. If the “use-by” date of your yoghurt was yesterday, it will be also enjoyable 1-2 days after. Please note: Only if stored appropriate and cool enough! 

    You will have the opportunity of learning more about food waste if you join us on the 30th of September, where our professional Katharina Unger will talk about this important topic!

    Written by Aleksandra Kirpenko

    Does our future grow in l...

    Ranging from artificial sweeteners to plant-based milk goods, all traditional nutritional products can be replaced by different kinds of substitutes nowadays. The newest trend: artificially grown meat. Grown in labs and harvested when fully developed, this technique is highly complex, not clearly accepted by the broad mass and not fully developed yet. However, lab-grown meat sees a strong rise in popularity, which is based on its potential to meet the needs of our exponentially rising population and tackle the associated difficulties.

     

    Planted and infused with nutrients, the product fully develops to an equivalent of meat, without harming animals. With only one single stem cell it is possible to create a piece of meat. These can be turned into an infinite amount of meat. When fed a nutrient-rich serum, the cells transform into muscle cells and proliferate, doubling in number roughly every few days.

    After cells have multiplied, they form into muscle strips, like muscle cells from fibers in living tissue. Afterwards, these fibers get attached to a scaffold that floods them with nutrition and undergoes a certain kind of exercise, which means that they are mechanically stretched. Growing in size, the muscle cells parallelly increase their protein content. The result is an equivalent to animal-based meat, which can be harvested and seasoned, before being cooked. Taking a closer look at this process points out the importance of the nutrient-rich serum which is used. Based on a certain mixture of amino acids and animal blood, the current way of development is strongly criticized, as it still includes animal-based components as animal blood.

     

    Opinions on this topic are ranging from total acceptance to great skepticism. A nationwide survey in the UK shows that only 40 % would rather eat lab- grown meat, whilst 40 % are still indecisive. 20 % refuse this idea, though it is clearly stated that younger generations, urbanites and wealthier people are more open to it.

    During our research on this topic we came across some behavior, which corresponds with the statistics. While on the one hand the avoidance of slaughtered animals, as well as lower water usage and no need for arable lands clearly states the positive impact of this concept, the thought of eating something which was artificially produced in the lab causes irritations. However, there is still a huge gap between the product development and full implementation and accessibility for the broad mass.

    Jump at the chance meeting Benjamina Bollag, CEO of Higher Steaks UK and a professional in this field, and register for the Future of Food event, which will be held on the 30th of September. See you there!

     

    Written by Aleksandra Kirpenko 

    Insect Protein – be...

    Seeking change and new tasting experiences brings our society from one hype to the other. Ranging from Italian food, over burgers, sushi, poke bowl or Vietnamese cuisine, food trend phenomena keep on changing on a regular basis.

    However, we have good news for those of you who keep on striving for thrilling their taste buds: Eating insects is increasing its popularity.

    What may sound gross and unfamiliar in the beginning, turns out to be not only extravagant, but also beneficial.

     

    Well-spread in Asian countries, eating insects is becoming more and more popular in western countries. Facing the challenge of overpopulation and thus, a lack of resources and arable land, insects come in handy. They do not only contain lots of high-quality protein, but also nine essential amino acids, zinc, magnesium and a broad range of other minerals and trace elements. Compared to beef, crickets for example are 69 % protein, while beef is only 29%.

     

    Including one of the over 2000 types of edible insects in your nutrition plan does not only benefit your health but also has numerous positive effects on the environment and ecosystem. Crickets, for example, produce 80 times less methane gas per year compared to cows. The amount of space and water required for production is also exponentially lower. It takes 100 gallons of water (about 378 liters) to produce 6 g of beef protein, 18 g of chicken protein and 238 g of cricket protein.

     

    If you are disgusted by the simple imagination of biting into a crispy-fried and seasoned dragonfly – you are not the only one. As the visual aspect is as important for many as the environmental consideration, several companies started producing and selling processed insects, in a form of bars, snacks or protein powder. So next time you bake a cake – why not try shredded insect flour instead of the conventional one?

     

    Since the consumption of bugs and insects is not only more nutritional, but also more sustainable, bug protein is exploding into a multiple billion-dollar business, with large corporations on board.

     

    With this booming topic we decided to invite Samuli Taskila, co-founder and CEO of Entis Finland, to talk about insect protein at the Future of Food event. Don’t forget to register for the event or the workshop and join us on 30.09 and 01.10 to learn more!

     

    Written by Aleksandra Kirpenko

    What is Vertical Farming?

    “Vertical Farming” is one of these terms you surely read from time to time, probably without exactly knowing what it really is. This is the reason why we decided to do some research and dive into this quite complex topic.

     

    Vertical Farming or vertical agriculture facilitates viable agricultural production inside buildings, especially in the metropolitan areas of our cities (VFI). Though the idea seems very new, the origins of this concept go back to the beginning of the last century. Geologist Gilbert Ellis Baily named this process after agricultural practices in Asia – as people there were farming their rice fields in vertical layers.

     

    Vertical farming has potential to secure the future of food in the context of global challenges. As world population continues to grow, arable lands are falling victims to inevitable urbanization and the climate crisis is becoming a reality, humanity faces a rough road. We cannot afford further expansions of farm lands, have to increase yields, reduce water and energy usage, and cut on CO2 emissions. We also have to adapt to the weather conditions that are getting more extreme.

     

    All this can be implemented by introducing vertically stacked layers of plants in closed spaces. By using modern farming techniques, and controlling external factors such as temperature, light and humidity, optimal conditions are created. Vertical farms bring fresh, locally grown products straight to your table.

     

    You will have an opportunity to learn more about vertical farming from Daniel Podmirseg, founder of the Vertical Farm Institute, who will be one of the speakers at the Future of Food event. Don’t forget to register!

     

    Written by Aleksandra Kirpenko 

    Health Pioneers 2018

    A second edition of Health.Pioneers Conference took place in Vienna BioCenter on October 10, 2018. Over 300 healthcare innovators, start-ups and experts from across 24 countries have gathered to exchange ideas and share knowledge. It was a truly thought-provoking experience and a great opportunity to make new connections in the field of digital health.

    Of course, the team of 1030 Innovation couldn’t miss a chance to spend an entire day in company of people that use technology to change the face of health sector. Below are some of the things we have heard and seen, and that impressed us the most.

    Better eye diagnostics with the help of artificial intelligence

    The first keynote speaker and the founder of Visulytix Sameer Trikha presented the new AI-based retina scanner that can radically increase diagnostics accuracy in the eye care industry. Acknowledging that many people are sceptical about AI or even scared by this technology, Trikha offered a fresh view on it, using an example of his company’s solution called Pegasus. It can be viewed as an “Augmented Intelligence” that is here not to replace professionals but to support them, reduce errors and save time. Working together, humans and AI can achieve great things.

    Open innovation in healthcare

    Collaborating with start-ups is becoming more and more popular in healthcare. Participants of the panel discussion “Open Innovation in Healthcare” shared their perspectives and advice on the start-up-corporate partnerships:

    => Focus on responding to specific gaps in your industry and fill them up with innovations offered by start-ups. It is not about replacing functioning solutions with the new ones but rather further developing the entire sector and creating the best experience for patients and healthcare professionals.

    => Set up a steering committee for each collaborative project, making sure that you don’t rely on a single person within a corporation. If your champion moves away from the company, you will still be able to continue your work.

    Believe in what you do!

    A great piece of advice came from Melanie Matheu, Co-Founder and CEO of Prellis Biologics, a 3D bioprinting company. Growing a start-up is quite a challenge and there are always people that don’t believe in you, your idea and business model. Talking specifically about drug discovery and clinical research, Matheu pointed out that it is impossible to successfully go through entire process thinking that what you do “might work” and “may be good enough”.

    Start-up Exhibition

    15 start-ups, ranging from the seed stage to Series A, participated in a start-up expo and demonstrated their solutions to the public. It was fantastic to see so many different ideas including: a device for couples struggling with male fertility; remote monitoring wearable and an app that together make recovery simple; a mobile neurofeedback superhero game for children on the autistic spectrum, and much more.

    The Awards

    The most exciting part of the day was an announcement of the winner of the Health.Pioneers Challenge Award. And the Oscar goes to… ThinkSono! ThinkSono works on the intersection of medicine and technology and has developed a solution addressing the problem of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) diagnosis. This technology makes diagnostics easier and more affordable.

    We are already looking forward to the next event and hope to see you there as well!

    Written by Olga Bratsun
    Foto Credit: Sebastian Kreuzberger

    MINGLING & MATCHMAKI...

    What happens when 500 startups are gathering together for two days? Just look at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna, a yearly event that brings together technology and business to realize new steps towards the future. For international as well as local startups an important date in their diary and can’t be missed – at least for the lucky ones making it among the 600 chosen startups.

    Why is the Pioneers Festival so important for startups?

    Networking & matchmaking: A big variety of startups, investors, companies and renowned representatives of the tech and innovation scene meet at one spot. For startups it’s a unique opportunity to meet investors and secure their funding. The festival is crucial to find new possibilities for cooperation with other startups, companies as well as to get attention for their projects within the expert audience. Therefore it’s all about the right “matches” during the two festival days.

    But which matches are the most promising?

    The answer lies in diversity and the resulting new combinations. This indicates that the most interesting matches often result from the clash of unexpected and at first sight not related fields. Therefore a lot of startups at the festival were looking for intended uses they haven’t kept an eye on yet but for which their technology represents a solution. So networking becomes a crucial function for inspiration and „creative brainstorming“, how you hear it from the participants.

    How was diversity created at the festival?

    The importance of diversity was reflected through several levels of the festival starting with the location and the atmosphere: While the historical building reminded you of the past, robots, virtual reality glasses and self-driving cars seemed to act as carriers of the future. The resulting contrast created an atmosphere of departure and pioneering spirit.

    Furthermore the diversity was reflected in the thematic fields represented. In contrast to other startup festivals the pioneers unites several technical disciplines – from biotech, artificial intelligence, robotics, cyber security to space tech. So you found startups revolutionizing cancer research, developing swimming maritime drones or indicating future nutrition through mealworm farms.
    On a third level the diversity of topics prevented participants from only engaging in discussions dominated by technical details. Rather general and business-orientated topics came up concerning challenges for startups like marketing, patents, support tools for several business processes, design or consistent focus on customer value. Eventually it’s not done simply by an idea or technical invention. Valuable realization and building a successful corporation goes much further.

    How can networking and matchmaking be effectively organized?

    All this diversity raises the question how the right matches find together in all the hustle and bustle of the festival. The Pioneers Festival managed to optimize this matching process by an online Match & Meet Service. It allowed participants to easily arrange meetings for the two days. A digital assistant provided personalized suggestions, handled requests and organized time and place for the meetings aligning to personal timetables. Through Match & Meet 2800 meetings between startups, corporations and investors were conducted on the two days of the festival. Not counted here are all those random meetings at talks, booths and countless side events. It remains to see what resulted out of all this new matches. Some of the startups might soon become successful corporations, interesting projects might be realized thanks to investors and promising cooperation as well as problems might be solved through new technologies in new industries.

    By Sabrina Peterer

    START-UPS MADE IN AUSTRIA...

    At the latest since the sale of the “Runtastic” app to Adidas for 220 million euro or “Myfitnesspal” to Under Armour for 475 million euro, the world knows the potential of the fitness industry for start-ups. The three founders Nico, Max and Bernhard recognized this potential during their studies at the Vienna University of Economics about 2 years ago. The developers are still at the testing stage, but soon they want to take the app and therefore also fitness studios to a new level. This is a solution for banning the pen and paper from the sports bag for the training utterly.

    Our January Start-Up: Fittrack

    What is Fittrack?

    The hardware developed by fittrack is simply attached to the fitness equipment. The obtained data is send to the app of the customer. This gets his profile in accordance with a customized training plan according to his personal performance and its training goals.

    The typical equipment of a fitness studio such as power machines, cardio equipment and free weights are now smart high-end products, which communicate with the customer. The customer is rescued from tracking his training sequence with the pen and paper. The modern customer of fitness studios gets its hard-won physical workout day directly and customized on his mobile phone. In addition to the added value for the customer, fittrack is also seeking the attention of providers of those studios. Starting with data concerning the utilization of the devices up to the spatial distribution of devices; all of this can be dealt with the amount of data stored by fittrack nowadays and in the future.

    “Especially the small fitness centers are under intense pressure of competition; instead of lowering the prices, Fittrack offers the possibility for those companies to highlight themselves from other providers. Data about the behavior of the customers and the usage of the tools is really important for the providers”, describes CEO Nico the advantages and interests of the operators of fitness studios.

    Fittrack is currently still in the finalization of the development phase. The product is tested in cooperation with the contract partner from Unterhaching(D). The pilot phase has been completed at the end of December 2016 and the product was and will be brought to maturity by several iterative feedback loops.

    The Co-Founder and COO Max outlines that „since the devices are not changed and the hardware is just an add-on to the current devices, the conversion phase from the normal to a smart fitness studio can be arranged over night“.

    Who is behind the idea? What is the nature of the day-to-day work at Fittrack?

    The three founders (CEO) Nico, (COO) Max and the (CTO) Bernhard met approx. 2 years ago in the course ” E&I Garage” at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. The idea of Fittrack was also emerged, shortly after the course. Nowadays the network of the start-up reaches from Serbia to England. The team is working in three groups in the areas of software, hardware and business development.

    The working atmosphere is characterized by start-up flair. Each Monday at the “Monday’s kick-off” the strategic direction is rearranged by the team. Team building and the identification with the product is extremely important. Therefore, the team members are gathering together in the fitness center up to three times a week. Being active is seen as a part of work and is also an argument also for participating on larger events such as the Spartan race which is similar to a triathlon. The participation in the events is therefore particularly important for the founders. In addition to the team building process those events are an important part of the business. Many contacts are formed solely through those activities.

    In addition to the Monday kick-off and the different team events, cooking together is another aspect to support the idea of the start-up. To protect the atmosphere inside the team it is very important to force the so-called “No-Secret Policy” between the team members. Everything can and should be addressed directly.

    Furthermore each employee has a monthly budget of €50 for gaining additional expertise by buying books on business-relevant topics. Books for personal development can be purchased and shared. Other activities such as visiting the relevant fairs like the “FIBO” sports trade fair, characterizes the teams cohesion.

    What are the biggest challenges in the future?

    The test phase of the software and the hardware has been finalized since the end of the year 2016 in the premises of the Germany-based partner „Jumpers Fitness“. Funds were important for the development and growth phase. Fittrack could already raise funding’s from the incubation program “INITS” and the international accelerator program “tech founders”. Currently the financing of the roll-out phase is guaranteed by friends, family and other funding approaches.

    International competitors such as the North American provider “GymTrack” are not seen as a threat. “The aim of Fitttrack is a rapid growth in the DACH region and the development to the largest fitness data provider in Europe in 2020”, says COO Max and describes their long-term objectives on this way.

    We from 1030 can’t wait to join the first training with fittrack and are happy that we can leave the pin & paper at home hereafter!

    1030 Innovation, Can Ceylan

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