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Lesaffre launches open call for carbon capture and utilization

Lesaffre announced the launch of an open call to discover new paths of innovation in carbon capture and utilization (CCU) specifically tailored for the food industry. In this endeavor, Lesaffre partnered with SoScience, a company specializing in responsible research and innovation.

Addressing the challenge of feeding sustainably a growing global population is a global concern that requires collective innovation, Lesaffre believes. Fermentation and microorganisms, as they offer unlimited potential for innovation can contribute to the solution of this challenge, helping to create sustainable and efficient methods of food production.

Innovators interested in participating in this pioneering initiative can submit their proposals through SoScience’s dedicated open innovation platform. The submission window is open from April 11 to May 27, 2024 with further details and application guidelines available on the SoScience app program page. Winners will be announced in the fall of 2024. The winning collaborative projects will be supported for a maturation period of six months.

The project aims to have a wider positive impact than carbon emission reduction, notably on biodiversity, land use and water consumption.


Lesaffre’s initiative seeks to create a circular economy model, where carbon dioxide is not seen as waste but as a resource, with the goal to create, develop, and implement competitive sustainable solutions using CCU to produce fermentation feedstock or food products while ensuring their societal and environmental benefits. Given the multitudes of areas of expertise required, Lesaffre is inviting innovators, researchers, and startups from around the globe to collaborate on this project.

Brice-Audren Riché, Lesaffre CEO, comments: “At Lesaffre we are committed to exploring innovative ways to help tackle the major food, health, and environmental challenges that the world faces. We acknowledge that the challenge of climate change is immense and believe that fermentation and microorganisms are part of the solutions. We are convinced collaboration will be key to finding solutions. That’s why, relying on our expertise in fermentation, we’re seeking to lead joint initiatives and work with partners from across the industry to develop innovative approaches to carbon reduction and sustainable production. By joining forces with SoScience and experts in this call to open research, we are once again affirming our desire to work together to better nourish and protect the planet.”

CCU for food – a new pathway to explore

Applied to food production processes, CCU technologies could offer a path to sustainability, producing low-impact food products such as baker’s yeast. To be relevant and impactful, alternative CCU pathways must be technically feasible, economically viable and provide the same level of environmental and social benefits, if not more, than the existing process, Lesaffre explains.

This complex challenge requires new partnerships throughout the entire value chain, involving technology providers, manufacturers, end-users, researchers, policymakers, and consumers. This open innovation call is structured to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing among participants, ensuring that the best ideas are identified and developed into practical solutions.

In September 2024, 50 experts from the worlds of research, industry, scientific start-ups and civil society will be selected to meet and design collaborative projects with a strong focus on social and environmental impact. These multi-stakeholder research projects can provide access to a range of European and national funding windows.


Photo: Lesaffre