In Ovo secures €40 million loan from EIB to end male chick culling

This funding will propel the expansion of in-ovo sexing technology
calendar icon 3 November 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

In Ovo, a Dutch AgriTech innovator, has entered into a €40 million loan agreement with the European Investment Bank, according to a company press release

This funding will propel the expansion of Ella, a fast and accurate technology to determine the sex of hatching eggs at an early stage. By implementing this groundbreaking technology, hatcheries can exclusively hatch female chicks and decrease the use of valuable resources. This makes culling day-old male chicks unnecessary and improves overall sustainability.

Globally, an estimated 6.5 billion male chicks are culled each year in the production of laying hens. The Ella technology from In Ovo paves the way for an egg supply chain with an enhanced animal welfare and reduced environmental footprint.

“We are super excited and humbled to be receiving this prestigious and fantastic support from the EIB," said Wouter Bruins, founder of In Ovo. "It will permit us to further develop our technology pipeline and become a worldwide player, positively impacting animals throughout the food production channel."

“In Ovo’s technology represents a significant leap forward in terms of animal welfare and sustainability within the poultry sector, aligning seamlessly with the overarching priorities of EIB," said EIB vice-president Kris Peeters. “We have consistently supported critical innovations stemming from the Netherlands in recent years, and we intend to persist in doing so, particularly in the case of environmentally significant technologies.”

“Ensuring that Europe’s animal welfare standards are amongst the highest in the world is a priority for us," said commissioner for the Health and Food Safety,  Stella Kyriakides. "With this technology, we will be avoiding the systematic killing of millions of male chicks throughout the European Union. This is a major step in our work to strengthen animal welfare standards in our Union."

The InvestEU program backs the EIB financing for this project. Aiming to mobilize over €372 billion in additional investments for EU policy priorities from 2021 to 2027.

Beyond Ella, the loan will be used to further develop Eve – In Ovo’s innovative sensor platform that optimizes the full hatching process. This allows for hatcheries to produce more and healthier chicks, thereby supporting animal welfare even further. Lastly, In Ovo is actively engaged in a pipeline of further innovations dedicated to the ongoing improvement of sustainability in the poultry sector.

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