GlobalTop100 Outstanding Project Announcement 3/10: Aspire Food Group

Published on January 26, 2022

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Aspire Food Group is currently constructing the world’s largest, fully automated cricket production and processing facility (in London (ON), Canada). With the use of artificial intelligence developed by DarwinAI, Aspire will be able to optimize yield and provide real-time insights into conditions and plant operations. The production of this quality protein at scale using AI addresses several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals while accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable ingredients and materials through insect technology. The UN Sustainable Development Goals impacted by this solution are as follows: SDG2, SDG3, SDG9, SDG12, SDG13 & SDG17.

As announced in the previous two articles, the IRCAI Scientific Program Committees and the IRCAI Scientific Journal Editorial Board have completed their review of the Global Top 100 project submissions. 10 solutions were deemed “outstanding projects” based on their centrality of AI, the potential impact on relevant SDG(s), demonstration of potential in completed work (either proof of concept or completed research paper), and ethical design. The aim of this article is to introduce the project to relevant stakeholders and the broader public and to make the voices of the Aspire Food Group and DarwinAI heard on the world stage.

While technology is incessantly evolving to meet the demands of a growing world population, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) emphasizes that “there are worrying global trends in malnutrition”, calling for “new ways of thinking about hunger and food insecurity”. Currently, predominant livestock-based protein production processes (e.g. cattle) come with a high production of greenhouse gasses and require large amounts of water, land, and feed for the livestock. Acknowledging that our planet’s resources for protein production are shrinking, the team behind this project aims to accelerate the scalability of the much needed protein source with their novel application of advanced manufacturing approaches to high-quality insect-based protein.

The project is a joint effort by Aspire Food Group and Darwin AI. Aspire Food Group is the world-leading producer and processor of crickets and cricket waste into nutritional ingredients. Currently building the “densest cricket production facility in the world”, Aspire developed a (proprietary) innovative process that aims to produce a high-quality protein with a low impact on the planet’s resources, by making use of advanced automation, IoT-enabled data accumulation, and machine learning in a “climate-controlled, indoor vertical agriculture facility”. Meanwhile, DarwinAI contributes to the project with its patented explainability technology which “enables human-in-the-loop decision making in AI systems”. Featuring in CB Insights’ annual list of the 100 most promising AI companies in the world (AI100), DarwinAI’s deep learning solution is capable of analyzing “more than 50 input parameters to unearth insights that can improve more than 15 output parameters, creating a loop that changes facility conditions to produce healthy crickets and maximize facility yields while minimizing costs”.

For more information about this project, contact simone.traverse[at] (Aspire Food Group) / brian.tatarnic[at] (DarwinAI) or follow their social media accounts:


Georgia DIP and AI Research Project

Georgia DIP and AI Research Project

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has published the digital innovation profile for Georgia, a document analysing digital innovation ecosystem in Georgia, focusing on the opportunities and challenges in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). The document had been prepared with the collaboration of IRCAI experts.

Highlights from the 16th ASEF Classroom Network Conference

Educators and professionals from across Europe and Asia gathered in the picturesque city of Ljubljana, Slovenia, from November 12-15, 2023, for the 16th ASEF Classroom Network Conference. Hosted by the International Research Centre on AI under the Auspices of UNESCO (IRCAI) and supported by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, this annual event was a success: it brought teachers together, facilitated the creation of new partnerships, answered some questions about AI in education and uncovered many new and important ones.

In Person Meeting of the African Members of the NAIXUS Network of AI Researchers on AI and Development

In Person Meeting of the African Members of the NAIXUS Network of AI Researchers on AI and Development

The NAIXUS project (Network of AI Researchers on AI and the United Nations SDGs) convened a significant meeting during the Deep Learning Indaba 2023. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the progress of the project, share insights, and plan future actions to strengthen the network’s impact on advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through artificial intelligence (AI) research.

Workshop at the Deep Learning Indaba 2023: “Building a Global Network of AI Researchers on AI and the United Nations SDGs” 

Workshop at the Deep Learning Indaba 2023: “Building a Global Network of AI Researchers on AI and the United Nations SDGs” 

The International Research Institute on AI under the auspices of UNESCO (IRCAI) and its core members in the Network of Excellence NAIXUS; a multi-stakeholder initiative aimed at bridging the gap between AI and sustainable development hosted a meeting amd a workshop in Accra, Ghana. Both events were held as part of the Deep Learning Indaba 2023 Forum on September 8 and 9 and were co-hosted by the NAIXUS members from Africa.


International Research Centre
on Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI)
under the auspices of UNESCO 

Jožef Stefan Institute
Jamova cesta 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana


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