Upcycling our plastic waste towards a more circular and sustainable future, Norbite placed second in the Creative Business Cup Sweden 2021, showing great potential of contributing to a greener future. We met with Founder and CEO, Nathalie Berezina, to chat about Norbite, vertical farming, and the (almost) unbelievable synergies of the insect industry.
Nathalie Berezina isn’t just an entrepreneur; she is also a senior scientist with a PhD in Organic Chemistry and Biotechnology, as well as several years of experience in both the bioplastic industry and the insect industry. But for Berezina, chugging away at big corporations wasn’t always ideal.
“I used to work at a private research center in Belgium focusing on bioplastics and biotechnology, but I often felt like they were targeting the easiness of solutions rather than their efficiency,” Berezina explains. “I wasn’t interested in taking the easy way out; I wanted solutions that were challenging but more efficient. Using insects instead of microorganisms – which was what we were using at the research center – had this potential, which is what led me into the insect industry.”
After five years of working at the French company Ynsect, Berezina moved to Sweden and founded Norbite in the summer of 2020.
“I was thinking about how I could combine my experience within both the plastic and insect industry, as well as the big environmental challenges we are facing today,” Berezina says. “I remembered an article I had read about these plastic-eating caterpillars. The research was controversial at the beginning, but I decided to dig deeper into it, driven by academic and laboratory curiosity – and found great potential. That’s when I decided to start Norbite.”
“In nature, the wax moth larvae feeds on beeswax – and the chemical structure of beeswax is actually very similar to that of common plastics,” Berezina explains. “The initial finding is actually a funny story, because the scientists were doing completely different research with these larvae. They’d left them in the lab in a plastic bag overnight, and when they came back, the plastic bag was gone and the larvae were everywhere," she continues.
For us – this is huge. In a 2019 report made by The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket), 1,258,000 tons of plastic raw materials entered the Swedish market in 2016. That’s equivalent to 130 kg of plastic per person throughout the country; a dizzying figure, to say the least. With plastic-digesting insects, we may efficiently upcycle some of this plastic for use in other areas, making our plastic consumption more circular, and more sustainable.
“In plastic recycling procedures, plastic sorting is often a bottleneck. Because there is such big diversification in what we can feed the larvae – different sorts of packaging, fibers from the textile industry, polyurethanes – our process can be much more efficient,” Berezina explains.
Well, the larvae use the plastic for their own growth, so that they can one day make cocoons and turn into moths, which means that the plastic is digested into proteins and lipids.
Using a biorefinery technology, these proteins and lipids may be turned into feedstock for agriculture or pets – or even into food for us, humans – and the larvae excrements can be used as manure in organic farming, meaning the larvae can be of use in several different aspects of food production.
Although insects are considered to be highly nutritional, being rich in protein, iron, and healthy fats, they still haven’t really made a breakthrough on the food market.
“I absolutely understand that there are doubts about using insect proteins in the food industry. But for anything to even enter into the industry, it has to pass through the EU Novel Food Regulation, which is one of the strictest regulations in the world concerning the quality of the products.” Berezina explains. “A lot of people complain about this regulation, saying it’s too strict and that it prevents business development and innovation – but for us, it’s actually a safeguard. Once our product passes through the regulation, our consumers can be completely reassured that it is safe to consume and safe to enter the market. The same goes for if we were to use the larvae for agriculture or feedstock.”
Right now, Norbite is in a process of upscaling and automatization, co-developing the company together with early adopters.
It may sound like a lot, but considering our 1,258,000 tons of plastic each year, it’s still only 5% of our consumption.
“But what’s great about our technology is that it’s not competing against regular plastic recycling – it’s complementary, because it’s simply a different market – and we’re upcycling plastic for other uses. All together, I really do think we can make a difference,” Berezina says.
Förra veckan höll NEST ett spännande panelsamtal om framtidens textilproduktion. Slow vs. fast fashion: hur ser framtidens textilproduktion ut? Vad är egentligen hållbart? Se samtalet här!Read more
Den 7 december kickar vi igång NEST 2023 med ett event om Framtidens Textilproduktion och vad slow vs. fast fashion innebär. Samtidigt öppnar vi upp för anmälningar till NESTs bootcamp – för dig som vill utveckla din affärsidé tillsammans med oss.Read more
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Vinnare av NEST-pitchtävling och TEKOs stipendium på 75.000:- blev startupbolaget RecoMended som erbjuder automatiserade och skalbara textila reparationslösningar.Read more
A time machine in your pocket, Be Here Then is the winner of the 2022 Creative Business Cup Sweden! Founder and CEO, Charlotte Rodenstedt, tells us about her creative journey and the future for her company.Read more
Please join us on the 29th of April for an exploratory afternoon and get a taste of the great opportunities emerging out of meeting and collaborating with entrepreneurs, companies, institutions and cities!Read more
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As our world turns increasingly more digital, and as the virtual and physical self start fusing, digital fashion might accentuate and create more space for self-expression. How did we get here, what does it mean – and is this our future?Read more
Den 23:e februari samlades aktörer från modeindustrin på Textile Fashion Center i Borås för att diskutera utmaningar och lösningar i branschen. En sak stod säker: NU är tiden för förändring; och för det krävs korsindustriella och innovativa aktörer.Read more
Vad behövs för att vi ska lyckas förändra textil- och modeindustrin till att bli mer hållbar? Och vad kan vi göra för att nå dit? Missa inte att kolla in hybrideventet den 23 februari kl 11:30-12:00 för att höra en diskussion av vår expertpanel!Read more
Textil- och modeindustrin är en av världens största klimatbovar. Nu måste branschen förändras. Välkommen att ansöka till NEST – initiativet som ska revolutionera industrin.Read more
The textile and fashion industry has one of the biggest climate footprints today. Do you have an idea that could make the textile and fashion industry more sustainable? NEST wants to hear all about it.Read more
Nyligen släppte den alternativa offentliga finansiären Kulturbryggan höstens beviljade projekt inom Konstnärlig förnyelse, Kreativ infrastruktur och Nya finansieringsmodeller. Välkomna på digital infoturné i januari!Read more
Craftsmanship and sustainability stood in the spotlight at the 2021 Unicorn Fashion Awards. With patterned textures and an exceptional attention to detail, three winners rose to the top. Congratulations KoH T, MIKAGE SHIN, and Hyun Wook Jo!Read more
How do we convey complex information in a simple and easily digestible format? This was the question that students at Medieinstitutet tackled while re-defining the brand identity for Norbite, the runner-up in the 2021 Creative Business Cup Sweden.Read more
In this week's DARE Story, Aaron Greiner – Founder and Director of CultureHouse – tells us how the pandemic has caused the disappearance of public spaces; as well as a solution to bring them back.Read more
Welcome back to DARE Stories – the series in which we invite your favorite entrepreneurs to tell their own story. This week, Nathalie Berezina – Founder and CEO of Norbite – tells us about finding innovative solutions to solve world problems.Read more
Open call for creative entrepreneurs, startups and smaller IT companies. Pitch your most innovative idea for a digital match-making platform in this collaborative GovTech PubSec challenge from Creative Business Network and the City of Copenhagen.Read more
The finalists of the 2021 Unicorn Fashion Awards offer glimpses into the future of fashion. With designers spread across the globe, craftsmanship, innovation, and nature keep them united.Read more
What drives Elin Beckman forward is the enormous pleasure of playing music and making a dance floor happen “DJ:ing for Crossing Borders was such a pleasure and honor and I really loved the initiative."Read more
An interactive media technology that changes how we act, think, and feel about branded content, Phlay engages audiences in an innovative way. During this week’s episode of Recap & Rewind, we revisit Mario Amura – Phlay’s Founder’s – presentation.Read more
Hosted by DARE Clan and ERA-KI, the Unicorn Fashion Awards seeks to find and promote emerging fashion designers to an international platform through a 4-12 month long accelerator program. Let's dive deeper into the UFA process.Read more
Getting out of a creative rut can be overwhelming. How can psychology help us harness our brain's energy? In this episode of Recap and Rewind – a look back at our annual event, Crossing Borders – we let psychologist Pär Säthil tell us the answer.Read more
How can psychology help foster creativity? How do we kick-start our creative processes? In this week's DARE Story, Pär Säthil – writer, psychologist, and former musician – tells us all about the intersection of psychology, creativity, and bravery.Read more
During #BRIGHT21, 80+ countries competed in the Creative Business Cup to be crowned the best creative entrepreneurs in the world. TAI/SafariSeat – representing Sweden – claimed the bronze, ranking them the third best start-up in the world!Read more
During this episode of Recap and Rewind – a look back at our annual event, Crossing Borders – we catch up with Markku Lorentz of Natural Pengu to talk storytelling, heroes, Dungeons & Dragons, and the power of the internet.Read more
In this episode of DARE Stories, Kamal Aubakirov tells the story of 360 Mentors: an educational organization changing the lives of youth in Kazakhstan by helping them prepare for college.Read more
On this episode of Recap & Rewind: FemTech and its importance in the modern entrepreneurship ecosystem. How do we render a new social reality of services, products, and design to support women’s health? And what really is FemTech, anyway?Read more
Welcome to DARE Stories – a new series hosted by xPlot in collaboration with creators all over the world. Here, we let creative entrepreneurs tell their story – of daring, of innovating, and building their own. First out: Raul Romero and his Yakera.Read more
Welcome to Recap and Rewind – a look back at our annual event, Crossing Borders. First out is a discussion on urban design and the importance of creating third places – all through a lens of community, creativity, and CultureHouse.Read more
SafariSeat, the winners of Creative Business Cup Sweden 2020, are one of the top six creative start-ups in the WORLD! Today, June 30th, they're making their final pitch in the Global Finals of the Creative Business Cup, held virtually at #BRIGHT21.Read more
#BRIGHT21 is a three-day virtual event running from 28 June – 30 June that will change your perspective on entrepreneurship and creativity. Join us to talk fashion and see Footprint Level® – winner of Creative Business Cup Sweden – take on the world!Read more
The Crossing Borders event showed us the endless possibilities stemming from the Cultural and Creative Industries. This summer, we’re picking up on loose ends and tying it all together.Read more
In a week – on June 28th to 30th, 2021 – Creative Business Network is hosting their annual conference, #BRIGHT21. Of course, xPlot is joining in on the fun! On June 30th, tune in to hear our thoughts on the future of the fashion industry.Read more
On the 19th of May, we did something we’d never done before – we hosted a full-blown, international, hybrid event. Thank you to all who came! We had a blast and we hope you did too. Here’s what we learned.Read more
How do we build a climate resilient future amidst our ongoing climate catastrophe? We talk to Footprint Level® – the winner of Creative Business Cup Sweden 2021 – to see how their company contributes to the greater good of our climate, world, and us.Read more
After an intense and enthralling final of the 2021 Swedish Creative Business Cup, Footprint Level – under the lead of Mats Huss – emerged as the winner!Read more
TONIGHT, during our annual get-together, we present the winner of Creative Business Cup Sweden! Curious to hear more? Meet this year’s jury and our impressive top two finalists!Read more
What kind of hero would you like to become? In Natural Pengu, Markku Lorentz explores the concept of cooperative storytelling of real-life, albeit virtual, humans, crossing the borders between life online and life offline. But how? Let's see..Read more
How do we render a new social reality of sex? Why is it important? Meet Haruna Katayama, FemTech Analyst, on her journey to democratize sexual pleasure and to normalize women’s sexual health.Read more
DARE means courage, bravery, and risk. To Riccardo Aimerito, DARE is also an acronym for DYNAMIC, ADVENTUROUS, RADICAL, ECCENTRIC. How do we revolutionize the Cultural and Creative Industries through these four principles? Time to meet the Dare Clan.Read more
Crossing borders and breaking the glass ceiling; on May 19th, we bring you Elin Beckman, DJ Extraordinaire! Read more about Elin Beckman; and most importantly – get ready to get grooving.Read more
Internationally acclaimed cinematographer and photographer Mario Amura is crossing borders in many ways. Most recently, by delving into the world of rhythmic-visual performativity and human-computer interaction. Let’s take a look!Read more
Creativity and psychology might benefit more from each other than we think. On May 19th, xPlot welcomes Pär Säthil, psychologist, writer, and former musician, to speak about how psychology has the power to unlock creative action.Read more
On the Swedish CBC Finals on the 19th of May, xPlot welcomes Chelsea Linder from gener8tor and Suai Kee from gener8tor’s Motown Musician Accelerator, to speak about the creative economy and the music industry in the United States and globally.Read more
The winner of Creative Business Cup Sweden does not only get to represent Sweden at the Global CBC Finals in June, but also snatches a spot in an exclusive training program for creative entrepreneurs: the Creative Business Academy!Read more
On the Swedish CBC Finals on the 19th of May, xPlot welcomes Aaron Greiner, founder and director of CultureHouse, to speak about the importance of social infrastructure and how free pop-up community spaces can make a lasting impact.Read more
The Creative Business Cup is currently in full bloom, sprouting new and exciting innovations from all over the world. As part of an international network of 80+ countries, xPlot helped pick the winner in Switzerland last week. Let's check them out!Read more
Time to put your thoughts into action – here’s five reasons YOU should apply to the Creative Business Cup!Read more
At xPlot, we believe in the collective power of the entrepreneurship ecosystem. But what is an entrepreneurship ecosystem, really? We ask researcher and scholar Dr. Jasna Pocek to explain and elaborate.Read more
In 2019, Johanna Forsman and Andreas Jansson of StoryTourist won the Swedish Creative Business Cup. At the Global CBC, they championed their category. We talk with Forsman to talk CBC, StoryTourist, and the importance of cultural entrepreneurship.Read more
Start the week fresh with inspiration – enjoy daily visits to Klump cultural incubator to learn and discuss cultural entrepreneurship with knowledgeable guests and passionate speakers. The webinars are informal, informative, and completely free!Read more
Dreaming of growing your creative endeavors? Thinking about starting your own business? Ready for the opportunity of a lifetime? Join the annual Creative Business Cup and turn your thoughts into action! We are here to guide you along the way.Read more
How can entrepreneurial education benefit from social learning; and what really is social learning? In an academic study of one of xPlot's previous ventures – Barcamper – we may find the answers to our questions.Read more
On March 4th, 2021, The creARTive Sessions begin! Aiming to promote and facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experience amongst entrepreneurs within the Cultural and Creative Sector, this is a digital series you do not want to miss.Read more
Reset and recharge; let’s have some fun! On February 10–12, 2021, you can join xPlot at the fourth annual – and first digital – Folk och Kultur! 250 activities packed into three days of fun and festivities; and best of all, it’s completely free!Read more
Do you need to finance a project in 2021? Navigating the Creative & Cultural industries for funding just got a bit easier.Read more
Even during a tumultuous year of COVID lock-downs and economic uncertainty, Kirill Noskov – founder and CEO of the backpack company IAMRUNBOX – has achieved momentous success.Read more
xPlot and Creative Business Network launch an international educational program for the Creative Industries.Read more
Välkommen att delta vid ett interaktivt event om finansiering och ekonomi i det nya normala. Oavsett om du driver en startup eller ett etablerat företag så hjälper vi dig att reda ut begreppen och se möjligheterna.Read more
In order to create the companies of the future, entrepreneurs need to learn about personal sustainability. For this reason, we’ve invited four top athletes to join the Swedish final of the Creative Business Cup.Read more
Gather your thoughts and sharpen your pens, because the applications for CBC (Creative Business Cup) are open!Read more
We can help you take your business idea to the world together with investors, business coaches and a massive international network!Read more
To support the entrepreneurs in our network, we’ve, therefore, joined forces with Creative Business Network, a global organization whose main focus is to support startups in the creative industry.Read more
Ever wondered how the old train station looked like or how the main city square was used 200 years ago? In October, one of our startups who made it to xPlot's national finals during 2018 launched their time machine app in the city of Lund in Sweden.Read more
I have always believed that good design and creativity can help solve the most complex problems in the world.Read more
Compete for SEK 20,000, business coaching, marketing, mentoring and other profits that will bring you to fruition.Read more
Sweden's incubators for culture and creative industries gathered at Brewhouse's cultural factory to form a new association for incubators within the culture and creative sector.Read more
Creative Business Cup National Competitions are organized in more than 70 countries, sending winners annually to the Global Finals in Copenhagen. Read more
Johanna Forsman, co-founder of Story Tourist takes part in the Baltic-Nordic Bootcamp June 4-5 in Helsinki.Read more
We are happy to announce the winner of Creative Business Cup Sweden. Next step for Story Tourist is the global finals in Copenhagen the 1-2 of July.Read more
The story about a small Italian village that became a leading film and multimedia hub. On the 8th of May, you will hear the full story from Luca Tesauro, CEO of Giffoni Innovation HubRead more
Fierce competition and strong inflow of applications made it really hard for the jury to evaluate and choose the finalists for the 8th of May in Lund.Read more
Next, the finals 8th of May at Mejeriet in Lund.Read more
Apply today to the Creative Business Cup Sweden and check if your idea has the potential to succeed globally.Read more
On the 4th of April in Stockholm, the Sweden Demo Day will take place!Read more