South Korean EGG opens new lab for innovative production of seed potatoes in Enschede
EGG’s micro tubers are a breakthrough in potato cultivation because they are virus-free and can be planted directly in the field. After the market development phase, the lab will scale up capacity starting in 2025. The lab in Enschede is the first location in Europe.
The Netherlands produced more than 736 tons of seed potatoes in 2021, the Dutch Potato Organization calculated. Traditionally, seed potatoes are grown in the field and then tested and planted. With EGG’s biotechnology, it is possible to develop potato micro tubers in a lab under conditioned conditions. This method produces healthy seed potatoes in a fraction of the time compared to conventional methods. In addition, the micro tubers can be planted directly into the field by machine and it is easy to introduce new potato varieties. Last year EGG received the ‘Gold Innovation Award’ from PotatoEurope for their ‘microtuber’ technology.
Establishment in Enschede
Oost NL and NFIA (Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency) helped establish EGG in Enschede. “The sustainable production of healthy and affordable food is one of the biggest challenges of our time. The eastern Netherlands has traditionally been strong in developing and testing innovative solutions in the field of agro and food. We are pleased that a company like EGG is establishing itself at the Kennispark in Enschede. The development of micro tubers fits perfectly within the ambition to contribute to feeding the world population without losing sight of the climate objectives,” says Francine Hellinga, project manager Food at Oost NL.
First lab in Europe
EGG is now starting with a small lab and plans to scale it up further after 2025. In addition to the lab in Enschede, EGG has production labs in the United States, China and South Korea. “We are happy to settle at the Kennispark among other innovative companies with the knowledge, expertise and facilities of Wageningen University & Research relatively close by and the University of Twente a stone’s throw away. With our technology we make better, faster and cheaper food production possible. We are putting ‘lab to farm’ into practice with micro tubers for potato cultivation, but of course we are also investigating whether this technology can be applied in other food crops,” says Epi Postma, director EGG Business Development Europe.