Lars-Henrik Heckmann

Technology Manager, Danish Technological Institute (DTI)

Lars-Henrik Heckmann is Technology manager and leader of the insect production group at the Danish Technological Institute (DTI). Lars has a strong academic background in biology (ecology, entomology, ecotoxicology and molecular biology) and holds a PhD from University of Reading (2007) and a MSc from Aarhus University (2003). He has extensive R&D experience based on participation in and coordination of numerous national and international projects; and has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

Through employment in the biotechnology industry (2010-2014), Lars has acquired detailed business understanding as well as practical experience in regulatory affairs. Since 2014, he has been the main driver of building an innovation chain at DTI focusing on insects as feed and food; with the current portfolio covering commercial activities and several R&D projects on insect production, focusing on black solider flies and mealworms, as well as development of various insect-based products for feed and food. Currently, one of the main projects at DTI is inVALUABLE (Insect Value Chain in a Circular Bioeconomy), which is running from 2017-2019 and has a total budget of 3.7M EUR. The project focuses on industrial mealworm production and includes 11 partners from the entire value chain.

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Insect protein promise

Over the last few years, insects have taken a major leap forward towards becoming a relevant animal protein source in feed applications – not least since the legalization of insects as feed in aquaculture in July 2017 in the EU. During this short talk, some of the opportunities of sustainable insect production for feed will be presented; and main challenges of the industry will be highlighted. The presentation will include current and future examples based on the broad portfolio of research and development projects that have been conducted or are ongoing with special emphasis on the black soldier fly, which is a ‘super star’ amongst insects particular regarding application in feed.