Expertise & research centre in Sustainable Protein Sources

The Expertise & research centre in Sustainable Protein Sources will spend the coming years working towards an insect and aquaculture (fish farming) sector that, from a veterinary point of view, is healthy, sustainable and safe. The ERC will establish a close collaboration between HAS University of Applied Sciences and Wageningen Bioveterinary Research.

Onshore aquaculture

Worldwide, fish is viewed as an important source of protein for the future. Producing fish sustainably using insect proteins can contribute towards reducing the impact on the climate while also fulfilling increasing demands for protein. The new ERC aims to link Dutch onshore aquaculture with insect farming by using healthy and food-safe insects as a source of protein in fish food, possibly grown on materials from waste flows. This meets the clear need for connecting the two sectors as well as that for increasing production of novel, fish and insect proteins.

Research areas

The ERC is based on three research areas, each resulting in a Research Agenda, an Education Agenda and a Business Agenda:

  • Research Area on Edible Insect Farming
    Farming insects as an ingredient for food for people or for animal feed has been taking place in the Netherlands and Belgium for around 10 years. One of the aims of the ERC is to develop a health monitoring system for edible insect farming businesses
  • Research Area on Aquaculture
    One of the focuses of the ERC is on developing guidelines for optimal, sustainable, safe aquaculture in a healthy supply chain, for onshore fish farms in the south of the Netherlands
  • Research Area on Insect-based Fish Food
    Using insects as a source of protein in fish food is a new concept and is not yet widely used in practice. HAS University of Applied Sciences and Wageningen Bioveterinary Research aim to play a pioneering role in this field in collaboration with business

In all research areas, our expertise will also be applied in the area of diagnosing and conducting research into diseases of insects and fish, hygiene, contact zoonotic bacteria, health parameters, epidemiology and disease prevention.

Expanding education and research

The ERC focuses on expanding education at HAS University of Applied Sciences and research at Wageningen Bioveterinary Research, as well as applied research, both explorative and compiling reviews, conducted by the HAS under the supervision of Wageningen Bioveterinary Research. In addition to Professor Olga Haenen, the ERC has an expertise network with participation by lecturers and teaching researchers from the study programmes Applied Biology, Animal Husbandry and Environmental Studies.