Scale it up!
Fast-tracking innovation through industry collaboration
A consortium of food industry leader team up to accelerate innovation and build new partnerships through a joint open innovation initiative
What is ScaleItUp! ?
Scale It Up! is a start-up challenge run by a consortium of companies within the food industry. The consortium consists of Bühler, Cargill, Givaudan, and Puris – all leaders within the food system value chain with a shared vision of nourishing the world with healthy and sustainable food solutions. The purpose of Scale It Up! is to find and collaborate with start-ups working with plant-based proteins and help them accelerate.
A requirement for introducing new products in the food industry is that prototypes need to be tested at large scale facilities. Consequently, start-ups rely on access to these facilities to get their products to the market. On the other hand, food corporations need innovations to meet new consumer demands and tackle current challenges related to sustainability. While internal R&D accounts for a large portion, development would simply be too slow if companies were to carry out all innovation in house. Therefore, innovation from all sources to benefit the whole ecosystem is needed.
In order to better face the challenges ahead and help the ecosystem, the partners behind Scale It Up! decided to launch an open innovation challenge, inviting start-ups working on plant-based proteins. After a selection process and pitches from the participating start-ups, the Top 5 will get to visit partner facilities and create a proof-of-concept. Based on this, the partners assess which start-ups will benefit from further support by getting access to their network, experts, and facilities. Remarkably, Scale It Up! Allows participating start-ups to retain new IP and ownership rights to their solution. So far, Scale It Up! has run in the US and in Europe and is planned to launch in Asia. Read more about the challenge here: https://www.scale-it-up.org
How we did it?
As Scale It Up! is an open challenge and a collaboration of different industry partners, a unified visual identity is required for communication and building awareness. Therefore, together with the partners Nosco developed a designated brand and website for the initiatives. Moreover, we supported the partners in promoting Scale It Up! via the partner networks of the consortium and social media. The Nosco platform is used to collect and evaluate all projects as well as connect start-ups with each other.
Scale It Up! in the US was completed in 2021 and the winning start-up, Nowadays (producing plant-based chicken), has had great success since the collaboration started. The benefits of being able to mention winning Scale It Up! has enabled the company to ensure further $7 Mio. in funding and is now growing in market presence with their products.
Scale It Up! Europe is currently running and from the 40 projects submitted, the Top 5 projects have been selected to visit facilities and build their proof of concept.
Scale it UP! Asia is currently in the planning phase.