The three-year old start-up Solar Foods has received 10 million euros in funding from the Finnish Climate Fund, the first investment by the organisation.
The capital loan now granted will go towards starting commercial-scale production of protein for human consumption made from atmospheric carbon dioxide and electricity.
According to Solar Foods CEO Pasi Vainikka, the company's aim is break the direct link between food production and agriculture.
"Our gift to society, the essence of what we are doing, is to decouple food production from agriculture. After that, all the climate benefits basically fall into your lap when this disconnection can be accomplished," says Vainikka.
The company says that changing the way protein is produced will have an effect not only on greenhouse gases, but also on the changes in land use, soil impoverishment, biodiversity, and the status of water systems.
Traditional food production is one of the largest burdens on ecosystems in Finland and globally, while deforestation caused by food production in developing countries, for example, worsens the climate crisis.
The Finnish Climate Fund describes the planned Solar Foods facility as the first commercially operating plant in the world to produce protein from carbon dioxide and electricity. The new plant is scheduled to be operational in early 2023.
In remarks to the media at the announce of the loan arrangements, Finnish Climate Fund chair Perttu Puro pointed out the special nature of this first investment decision.
"With regard to Solar Foods, it is also good to note that it is well understood, or at least I think so, that this is a very exceptional project," he said.
In practice, funding can be provided for more tried and tested technologies.
"I believe that in the future, the decisions of the Climate Fund will be a little more down-to-earth. Among them will be more conventional, and more established businesses," Puro added.
The Finnish Climate Fund is a state-owned company with operations focused on combating climate change, boosting low-carbon industry and promoting digitalisation.
Depending on the financing category and target, the financing by the Climate Fund can vary between 1 and 20 million euros. Approximately 65 percent of investments relate to climate change and about 35 percent to climate-related digitalisation. Its annual financing volume is approximately 80 million euros.