Bulgarian Scientific Project Participates in a Million Dollar Competition

World | January 15, 2018, Monday // 16:06
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Scientific Project Participates in a Million Dollar Competition Source: Pixabay

A Bulgarian project to create "farms" for growing a special kind of flies that feeds on organic waste and process them into proteins and larvae to be used for the production of animal feeds competes for award-winning funding for the realization of the innovative idea. NASEKOMO, a Bulgarian-French family, was selected to present Bulgaria to the global final of the Chivas Venture 2018 business competition, which will take place at the TNW conference in Amsterdam in May 2018.

Annually, the competition supports innovative companies using the power of entrepreneurship to change the environment around for the better. The Bulgarian startup, that will present our country at the final of the competition, is developing a socially responsible business based on technology to convert organic waste into an alternative source of protein by breeding larvae of the Black Soldier fly insect. The NASEKOMO project is based on the concept of circular economy and plans to grow larvae of the type of fly that can quickly and efficiently convert organic waste into protein by feeding on and harvesting protein biomass. After processing, this biomass is used to feed animals where larvae are a natural part of nutrition.

The realization of the project would solve the problem of the accumulation of organic waste which, when decayed, emit methane and contribute to air pollution and the growing need for proteins, for which the traditional industries spend the scarce natural resources - arable land, water and fish stock. Proteins produced in this way will also allow farmers to feed their animals cheaper. "We created NASEKOMO because we deeply believe that many of the most significant problems facing our society have their own decisions that do not require huge budgets but rather innovative and non-standard thinking." The protein extraction technology we are developing is proof of this "commented Olga Marsenak, co-founder of the company with her husband.

All 28 finalists in the competition from all over the world will initially go through a business accelerator program in Oxford and then will be given the opportunity to present their projects at the TNW Technology Festival in Amsterdam in May 2018. The ambitious entrepreneurs will compete for the place in the top five to get their chance to convince the international jury, including investors, entrepreneurs and media representatives, that they deserve a portion of the $ 1 million prize pool. On April 4, 2018, shortly before the Chivas Venture 2018 final, a three-week online vote will begin, on the basis of which $ 250,000 of the total prize pool will be distributed among the projects with the most votes. At the grand final of the competition in May 2018, the international jury will determine among which finalists the remaining part of the prize pool will be distributed. NASEKOMO competed to become Bulgaria's representative in the world final with three more socially responsible business startups - Heckpoint Cardio, AGNON and Jamba.

Checkpoint Cardio is a system for online patient monitoring, emergency response, prevention, and real-time diagnosis. Thus, in constant real-time control of patients, wherever they may be, mortality in at-risk patients can be reduced, as well as saving money on the health system as preventive measures are taken. This telemedicine system has been developing for 3 years, so far it has reviewed over 36,000 patients and has saved hundreds of people from death in Bulgaria and the Balkans. The system is now integrated into health systems in several European countries, such as Austria, Germany, France, Russia and Greece. AGNON's software developer Zhivko Stefanov and Stoyno Kalvachev are a special type of rocket stove "Gamera" that works on wood and even cones, is highly efficient and produces extremely little carbon emissions The heat is reinforced by a built-in clay bench that has an accumulation effect The advantage of the appliance is that it uses two or three times less fuel, which can be also eco-briquettes, wood furniture from the furniture industry.The third contender was JAMBA - Career for all - an online platform that connects business with people with disabilities in Bulgaria, optimizing the process of their integration into the labor market. Besides recruitment, the platform also offers a module for online and offline training and pre-training, adapted for people with different options.

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