The Smart Protein Partners

The Smart Protein project consists of a diverse consortium with 32 partner institutions from 14 countries comprising plant breeders, agricultural networks, food ingredient producers, and product manufacturers.

In addition to the main partners, the Stakeholder Advisory Board is strategically position to advise on the project throughout its delivery.

Project Leads

Dr Emanuele Zannini

Smart Protein Project Coordinator

Emanuele Zannini (PhD, PhD) studied Agricultural Science at the Universita’ Politecnica delle Marche. During his PhD in Applied Biomolecular Science at the SAIFET (Italy) and DAFNS (Canada) Departments, he focused on the selection of antifungal lactic acid bacteria as biopreservatives in food products. Since November 2009 he has been working as a Senior Researcher Coordinator at the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork.

Dr Jacqueline Lyons

Smart Protein Project Manager

Jacqueline Lyons (PhD) is Project Manager on the Smart Protein project. Based at University College Cork (UCC), she holds a PhD in Nutrition (2012). From 2012 to 2019, she worked as a Research Scientist at UCC, including post-doctoral research roles on two EU-funded (FP7) projects. She continues to teach nutrition to post-graduate students at UCC.

Our Partners

University College Cork

The Smart Protein project is being coordinated by University College Cork (UCC), an internationally competitive, research-led university that plays a key role in the development of Ireland’s knowledge-based economy. An award-winning institution with a history of independent thinking stretching back over 170 years, UCC is proud to be ranked in the top 2% of universities in the world. UCC opened its gates to just 115 students in 1849 and now has a student population of over 21,000.

AB InBev

Anheuser-Busch InBev is the world’s leading brewer and is a publicly-traded company based in Leuven, Belgium. AB InBev’s dream is to bring people together for a better world. Beer, the original social network, has been bringing people together for thousands of years and AB InBev wants to continue brewing the best beers using the finest natural ingredients for years to come. AB InBev is committed to building great brands that stand the test of time and its diverse portfolio of over 500 beer brands includes Stella Artois®, Beck’s®, Corona®, Hoegaarden® and Leffe® here in Europe.

AB InBev’s brewing heritage dates back more than 600 years, spanning continents and generations. From AB InBev’s European roots at the Den Hoorn brewery in Leuven, Belgium, AB InBev is now a truly global brewer, with approximately 175,000 employees, including 12,000 in Europe, all united by a passion for beer. AB InBev has offices and breweries in 18 EU Member States and its Global Innovation and Technology Center is also based in Leuven, Belgium.

Agresearch Limited

AgResearch’s 700 staff drive economic and environmental sustainability for New Zealand’s food production systems. As a Crown Research Institute we meet three over-arching goals on behalf of the New Zealand Government; to help foster and support prosperous land-based enterprises; produce research that protects and enhances natural resources in a sustainable fashion; contribute scientific understanding to added-value foods and bio-based products to meet evolving consumer demands.


ARCA is a consultancy and training agency based in Italy. Its mission is that of developing and spreading innovative cultivation techniques that allow soil regeneration. To achieve that, ARCA promotes a system based on four main pillars: organic farming, crop rotation, minimum or no tillage, use of cover crops in order to keep the soil covered all over the year.

Barilla G. E R. Fratelli Spa

Barilla is a family business, not listed on the Stock Exchange, run by brothers Guido, Luca and Paolo Barilla. It was founded by their great-grandfather, Pietro Barilla, who opened a bakery and pasta shop in Parma in 1877, and now it is famous in Italy and worldwide for the excellence of its food products. With its brand – Barilla, Mulino Bianco, Pan di Stelle, Gran Cereale, Harrys, Pavesi, Wasa, Filiz, Yemina and Vesta, Misko, Voiello and Cucina Barilla – it advocates a tasty, joyful and wholesome diet, inspired by the Mediterranean Diet and the Italian way of life.


Beotanics has an intense passion for Horticultural Innovation in minority crops such as Sweet Potato, Yacon, Wasabi and others, and has the platform to provide the food and beverage industry with access to a range of unique sources of plant-based ingredients. It partners with those seeking natural, transparent and fair ways to enhance the taste, appearance and nutritional value of food.

Danone Nutricia Research

The Danone Nutricia Research center located in Utrecht, the Netherlands, is the global Research & Innovation organization behind the Specialized Nutrition division of Danone. The Danone Nutricia Research center applies scientific insights to pioneer evidence-based nutritional solutions to infants, young children, pregnant women, patients and the elderly, supporting them throughout their lives.


Delphy is a leading international agricultural consultancy organization, based in The Netherlands. The core activities of Delphy is to advise growers and entepreneurs in all plant based sectors. Delphy covers all aspects of economic, technical and sustainable farm management, such as day-to-day crop management, implementation & development of new, innovative technologies and decision support systems in practice; soil fertility strategies and crop protection strategies.

Dohler Gmbh

Doehler ( is a global producer, marketer and provider of technology-driven natural ingredients, ingredient systems and integrated solutions for the food and beverage industry. Doehler’s integrated approach and the broad product portfolio are the optimal basis for innovative and safe food & beverage applications. The product portfolio of natural ingredients ranges from natural flavours, natural colours, health ingredients, pulses & cereal ingredients, dairy & plant-based ingredients, fermented ingredients, dry fruit vegetable ingredients, fruit & vegetable ingredients to ingredient systems. Headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany, Doehler is active in over 130 countries and has more than 40 production sites, as well as sales offices and application centres on every continent. More than 7,000 dedicated employees provide our customers with fully integrated food & beverage solutions from concept to realisation.


Endori (originally amidori) was established in April 2015 in Bamberg by the Büse and Wedel families, with their love of good food and their hunger for a better future for animals, people and the environment. It now employs around 180 people working across two sites, making delicious plant-based food as an alternative to products of animal origin. The company currently produces plant-based meat substitutes such as burgers, sausages, mince, kebabs and a great deal more, which can be used in virtually any dish as a foolproof alternative to meat. In terms of the raw ingredients, the focus is on high-protein plants such as peas grown in traditional multiple-field crop rotation.


Equinom is the food-seed breeder of choice worldwide and the driving force behind the transformation to truly healthy, sustainable, affordable, non-GMO foods that will nourish the world over. Through its compelling, highly profitable super-trait seeds and strategic technology and methodology, Equinom, as the trusted agro-tech expert in extracting nature’s true potential, is ushering in a new era of optimized cultivation and profitability for all supply chain collaborators


EurA AG was founded in 1999 and is one of Germany’s leading consulting firms for research, development and market launch of innovative products. Their clients include over 1500 companies and research institutions from Germany and many European countries in all technology sectors. With more than 150 people EurA AG are well experienced in innovation network management, life cycle assessment, innovation and process management as well as equity capital.


Fraunhofer IVV is a research institution for process engineering and packaging. They work with research and industry partners to develop tailor-made functional ingredients as well as healthy, high-quality foods e.g. fiber-rich, protein-rich and low sugar products. With utmost respect for nature and people, Fraunhofer put priority on the efficient use of raw materials and the minimization of any environmental impact.

Ghent University

Ghent University (Belgium) is one of the fastest growing European universities in terms of research capacity and productivity and is ranked in the top 100 of both the Shanghai and Times ranking. Within the Department of Agricultural Economics, the Division of Agri-Food Marketing and Chain Management is specialized in applying socio-economic and marketing techniques to the agri-business sector.


Glanbia Ireland is an ambitious, integrated agri-food and nutrition business, with a diverse portfolio of quality ingredients, leading consumer and Agri brands. Glanbia Ireland owns leading consumer and Agri brands such as Avonmore, Kilmeaden Cheese, Millac, Premier Milk, Wexford,,, and GAIN Animal Nutrition. It processes a 2.9 billion litre milk pool from 21 counties and exports high quality dairy and Agri ingredients as well as branded products to over 100 countries. Glanbia Ireland is the largest buyer and user of Irish grains, with a state-of-the-art Oats processing facility. Glanbia Ireland is a joint venture 60% owned by Glanbia Co-op and 40% owned by Glanbia plc. With annual revenue of €1.96 billion, Glanbia Ireland has 11 processing plants, 52 Agri branches and over 2,000 employees.

HES-SO Valais/Wallis

The Institute of Life Technologies is part of the School of Engineering of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland Valais (HES-SO Valais-Wallis). Their activities include applied research and development (R&D), services and continuing education courses. Their partners include SMEs and multinationals from the pharmaceutical, biotech, diagnostics, food, cosmetic and chemical industry sectors.


INTIA is a public body attached to the Department of Rural Development and Environment of the Government of Navarra, Spain. INTIA’s core mission is to provide services for the transfer of knowledge, technologies and the innovation of the regional agri-food system.

MOGU S.r.l.

MOGU is an innovation-driven, environmentally-conscious company, dedicated to developing and scaling-up a range of mycelium-based technologies for the production of naturally-grown biomaterials and food products, able to satisfy the market demand for sustainable and high-performance alternatives.
Müller's Mühle Logo

Müller’s Mühle

Established more than a century ago, Müller’s Mühle is Germany’s largest supplier of dried legumes for the consumer market. The “Business Solution” unit brings the company’s procurement, processing and refining expertise to the B2B market, thus meeting the ever-increasing need for high-quality, pure and safe, plant-based proteins.


Novozymes is the world leader in biological solutions. Together with partners they improve industrial performance while preserving the planet’s resources and help to build better lives. Developing enzyme solutions to change alternative proteins to preferred proteins is now an important priority in Novozymes strong R&D organization.

ProVeg International

ProVeg is a leading international food awareness organisation working across four continents, with ongoing plans for future expansion. ProVeg strives for a world where everyone chooses delicious and healthy food that is good for all humans, animals, and the planet.


Quinoa Marche aims to introduce and broaden the area of cultivation and processing of quinoa by creating a highly innovative production chain that is sustainable from an environmental, social and economic viewpoint, in order to meet the growing demand for healthy and nutritious foods.


SiccaDania focuses on providing the latest process technology for the emerging starch & protein industry and Dairy & Food. We provide our customers with state-of-the-art, efficient & innovative process plants. SiccaDania Group creates high quality and innovative solutions that are engineered to utilise and optimise the raw material and side streams. We provide solutions from single stage to turn-key plants.

Soguima Comércio Indústria Alimentar

Soguima is a Portuguese SME, with more than 30 years of experience on the frozen food market. Over the past few years Soguima strategically focused on using existing synergies to expand the product portfolio into new areas, namely by launching a brand of Vegan precooked products.


Teagasc is the agriculture and food development authority in Ireland. Its mission is to support science-based innovation in the agri-food sector and the broader bioeconomy that will underpin profitability, competitiveness and sustainability

Thai Union Group

Thai Union Group PCL is the world’s seafood leader bringing high quality, healthy, tasty and innovative seafood products to customers across the world for more than 40 years. The company’s global brand portfolio includes market-leading international brands such as John West, Petit Navire, Parmentier, Mareblu, King Oscar, Rügen Fisch and Chicken of the Sea and Thai-leading brands SEALECT, Fisho, Qfresh, Monori, Bellotta and Marvo.

The Good Food Institute

The Good Food Institute is an international nonprofit building a sustainable, healthy, and just global food system. With expertise across the scientific, regulatory, industry, and investment landscape, they are accelerating the transition of the world’s food system to alternative proteins using the power of food innovation and markets.

The University of Udine (UNIUD)

The University of Udine (UNIUD) is an Italian Public University founded in 1978. It has 15.397 students and 638 professors and researchers. They are coordinated by 8 Departments and 4 Research centers. UniUd is involved in European and Italian research projectS, and in public engagement activities. Since 2016 the Uniud obtained the HR Excellence in Research Award from EC.

UCC Academy

UCC Academy is the in-house consultancy of University College Cork, comprising a diverse collective of over 40 highly experienced project and programme managers, internationalisation specialists and subject matter experts. UCC Academy works collaboratively with colleagues throughout the University to define, develop, drive and deliver key projects that further the University’s strategic goals.


UNIBZ is a young university located at the crossroads between the Italian and the German cultural and economic worlds. Its Faculty of Science and Technology is renowned for its experience and competence in the field of microbiology, agricultural science and food science and carries out cutting-edge research in their state-of-the-art laboratories at NOI tech-park.

University of Copenhagen

The University of Copenhagen (UCPH) is the oldest university and research institution in Denmark. It is organized into six faculties and about 100 departments. Working on the Smart Protein project are:
· Department of Food Science (UCPH-FOOD): develops research to solve global challenges related to food such as new food development and ways to produce them.
· Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (UCPH-PLEN): develops research to solve challenges of increased pressure on natural resources and climate change.


As one of Austria´s largest and most successful privately-owned cheese manufacturer WOERLE has been the Austrian cheese specialist for 130 years. The name WOERLE is inextricably linked with exquisite natural and processed cheeses. WOERLE is Austria’s undisputed market leader with its Heumilch Emmentaler and with processed cheese slices. In international trade WOERLE has also made a name for itself with the ‘Happy Cow’ label, under which the company offers primarily processed cheese products, but also natural cheese specialities, to approximately 70 countries around the globe.