Onderwerp scriptie

Innovation pathways for new protein sources

Among policy makers, researchers, and business there is an increased interest in new protein sources. Products based on seaweed, micro-algae and insects, but also in-vitro meat and legumes, are seen as an environmental friendly alternative to meat-based products. This interest has triggered a series of projects, research programmes, subsidy programmes, networks (e.g. Green Protein Alliance), conferences and the like. The Dutch government has also formulated the 'Voedselagenda' in which it formulates the objective to be a front-runner in healthy and sustainable food in 5 to 10 years. Consequently, budget is made available to support innovation in the food sector.

Still, an explicit vision on how innovation takes place, what role different actors play, and how it can be stimulated is lacking. A number of critical questions can be formulated, that seem to be overlooked up to now:
• Is there an overarching theory on innovation that underlies the approach?
• Are these developments just; are small and new actors able to get access to these developments, of do they benefit large and/or existing actors?
• Are the (financial) resources used in an effective way?
• What are the desirable next steps?
The objective of this thesis is to critically reflect on the innovation pathways of new protein sources. This should (at least) include a comparison of the innovation pathway of seaweed and insects as alternative protein source.
Findings from this thesis are of interest to the Laboratory of Entomology (research on insects) and to Wageningen Economic Research (contact: sander.vandenburg@wur.nl), doing applied research on new protein sources.
Supervisor: Barbara van Mierlo, Knowledge, Technology and Innovation (KTI)
Co-supervisor: Marcel Dicke, Entomology


Which students MCIa, MCIb, MID
Type of research Secondary analysis literature, interviews, surveys
Starting date January 2019
Preferred language flexible
Location flexible
Supervisor Barbara van Mierlo