Factory 01

The world’s first Solein® factory commercialises the world’s most sustainable protein – and opens a window into the future of food production.

A facility unlike anything the industry has ever seen

Factory 01 is a unique production facility on a global scale. It is a factory and a hydrogen fermentation platform that grows Solein, the world’s most sustainable protein.

With a unique bioprocess that uses electricity and carbon dioxide, Factory 01 takes a micro-organism and grows it into a novel food. It is food out of thin air, calories out of electricity – and for the first time in history on a commercial scale.

Cellular agriculture is coming
Solein production is part of larger revolution in our global food system. Cellular agriculture will change what we eat, how we think of food and how it arrives on our plates – and Factory 01 is among the first places in the world where you can glimpse this future.
Commercialising a novel food
Factory 01 will grow 160 tons of Solein annually. This lifts the novel ingredient from limited-edition snacks to full-scale food products, making 5 to 8 million Solein-powered meals possible each year – and proving Solar Foods’ ability to scale Solein’s bioprocess to an industrial level.
This is what a farm of the future looks like
The heart of Factory 01 is its 20,000 litre bioreactor, tirelessly growing Solein. The process is powered by hydrogen from the on-site electrolyzer and CO2 – some delivered, some captured by the factory’s DAC technology. Solein farming is high-tech, automated and uncoupled from traditional agriculture.
Year-round growth season – possible anywhere
Imagine a reliable harvest independent of weather, food security in all conditions. It’s not a utopia: Solein can be produced in deserts, Arctic regions, cities – even outer space. Factory 01 is located in Vantaa, Finland, just 10 minutes from the Helsinki international airport and 30 minutes from the Helsinki city center. It demonstrates Solein grows 365 days a year, even in the cold latitudes of Finland.

Key insights

  1. The bounty of nature. Solein comes from the Finnish nature. It has been around probably longer than most foods we know. The Spanish conquistadors first encountered the potato on their travels in the 16th century; bringing it to Europe, they revolutionised both cuisines and societies. Solein is the 21st century potato: a naturally occurring micro-organism grown to nutritious protein.
  2. Unburdening protein production. Conventional agriculture consumes unsustainable amounts of precious resources like water. Solein’s bioprocess achieves the same nutrition with a fraction of the resources – and creates so much less pollution in the process. Even photosynthesis does not reach the same efficiency as our bioprocess.
  3. The quantum leap of farming. Cellular agriculture is one the key scientific leaps of our time, an advancement comparable to AI or quantum computing. It holds the power to help humanity solve central problems in our current food system. Factory 01 is on the forefront of the shift from traditional food production to cellular agriculture.
  4. A first for the new hydrogen economy. Factory 01 is also a part of the European Commission’s strategic hydrogen economy core. In late 2022, Solar Foods investment programme was notified as a hydrogen IPCEI (Important Project of Common European Interest) by the Commission. Factory 01 is the first of the EU’s hydrogen IPCEIs to actually be built.

More than a factory

Factory 01 is Solar Foods’ first large-scale production facility, but also the culmination of multidisciplinary expertise.

For Factory 01 to be possible, many things had to take place. The micro-organism at the heart of Solein needed to be discovered; the scientific research that built the bioprocess had to succeed. After this, extensive product development of the ingredient and meeting regulatory criteria followed.

The production facility is the sum of all this: the scaling of a complex and demanding production process to a new level.

Factory 01 is Solar Foods’ HQ, home to the company’s key operations. It also features The Solein® Kitchen, a culinary playground where our team experiments with Solein and its potential in diverse dishes and tastes. The facility offers our partners, the media, and the public a peek into the production process of an entirely novel protein and its new harvest.

In short, Factory 01 is where we explore the new frontiers of food and make the future of the global food system possible.

A pilot and blueprint for bigger things to come

While Factory 01 already demonstrates the commercial scale of novel food production, its impact is small. To scale Solein and cellular agriculture onto a meaningful level, Solar Foods aims to grow production beyond Factory 01’s capacity. This unique facility provides the company with data and insights about Solein’s production process and growing it.

Operating Factory 01 will draw the blueprint to actual industrial-scale Solein production that will be Factory 02 – and the network of production facilities we hope will grow in the future.

A new day is dawning for our global food system. The future is now.

Solar Foods receives funding from the European Union as part of the European Commission’s Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI).
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