Leading the protein revolution

Climate-KIC Start-Up

Founding Year: 2017

Location: The Netherlands

Sunchem is an industrial research and development company, applying genetic and recombinant DNA to plants for energy and human purposes.

Sunchem is developing a non-nicotine non-GMO tobacco variety, named Solaris, into a novel source of protein and biofuel. This nicotine-free Solaris yields 3-4 times the protein per hectare than Soy, with oil and fibre as additional high value-adding co-products.

Given population growth, reductions in arable land and climate change, it offers a more sustainable way of producing high quality protein for food and feed. A hardy crop able to thrive in many environments, Solaris is a viable alternative to smoking tobacco – the largest agricultural export of several African countries. Further, from a European perspective, local production would be able to significantly reduce imports of Soy from South America, but with a fraction of the land-use.


Hayo De Feijter 

Team Members: Samantha Hampton (Mechanical Engineering, M.Sc), Hayo De Feijter (Agriculture, M.Sc), Sergio Tommasini (Law, MBA)