In Ovo founders holding chicks

In Ovo awarded €2.5 million EU grant

In Ovo, spinoff from Leiden University, will receive €2.5 million from the prestigious European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator Pilot grant to support its mission to stop the culling of male chicks around the world.

Every year, the poultry industry culls 6.5 billion chicks. These are male, don’t lay eggs and so they are useless in egg production. In Ovo develops a high-throughput screening machine, that gender types the egg instead of the chick. The machine will make it possible to only hatch the females and prevents the killing of billions of male chicks. The company works in collaboration with a number of large industry players and technology providers and is well on its way to solve this decades old problem. Germany and France are putting legislation in place to end the culling of day-old chicks by 2022 and the technology that In Ovo is working on will help make this a reality.

The EIC Accelerator

The EIC Accelerator (previously known as the SME Instrument) is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot that supports top-class innovators and entrepreneurs with funding opportunities and acceleration services. The EIC Accelerator supports high-risk, high-potential small and medium-sized companies to help them develop and launch new innovative products and services that could drive economic growth. 

“This subsidy enables us to speed up development, scale up the company, and will have massive positive impact on the poultry industry across the globe”, says Wouter Bruins, director at In Ovo. “We are grateful and very happy to receive such a prestigious grant and look forward to working with the council on accelerating our business. Together, we can improve both sustainability and animal welfare in food production on a very large scale.”

In Ovo is one of only 72 companies that are awarded the grant. During this round, the EIC received 3,976 applications from companies based in more than 20 European countries, making it the most competitive round of this funding instrument to date. The company was supported by Scale-up Ventures and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).

The company

In Ovo is a spinoff from Leiden University, founded by Wil Stutterheim and Wouter Bruins. It aims to positively impact the lives of billions of chicks and thousands of farmers, through the development and launch of new technologies. In Ovo is previously supported by investments from Leiden University, Evonik Industries and VisVires New Protein.