Major grant from Vinnova to Johannas’ consortium

Press release: 25 July 2023

Johannas Stadsodlingar AB receives 8.8 MSEK for the construction of an automated, circular food production facility in Morgongåva, Sweden

Sweden's Innovation Agency Vinnova has, through the initiative “Upscaling for a sustainable industry 2023”, awarded the consortium led by Johannas Stadsodlingar AB 8.8 MSEK. Johannas is one of five projects that will receive a total of 49 MSEK. With the money, Johannas will build an automated facility for circular food production. The facility will be a development and upscaling of the existing production.

Johannas designs and operates circular and nature-like cultivation facilities for the production of vegetables, fish and fish feed from insects. The various parts of the production form a water-based cycle and its own ecosystem. The heart of the system is a symbiosis between vegetables and fish in a natural bacterial culture, called aquaponics. The fish provide nourishment to bacteria and the vegetables, which in turn clean the water for the fish. The vegetable side streams that arise in production will be used to grow insects that are used in the system as fish feed. Plant waste from other producers is also taken care of by the insects in the facility.

“We are very happy and proud to be selected by Vinnova and to receive support for our first automated production plant. Our aim is to become one of the world's largest operators of closed circular food production facilities. The plan is to start in Sweden and northern Europe. The grant facilitates the establishment of the facility in Morgongåva”, says Thomas Bjelkeman, co-founder and CEO, Johannas.

Johannas have three partners in the consortium: Morgongåva Företagspark, Gothenburg University and Recirkfisk. The facility is being built in Morgongåva and the University of Gothenburg contributes with research on nutrient recycling. Recirkfisk is the producer organization for recirculating aquaculture farmers and supports with communication about our project.

Vinnova's project support will be used for a scale-up and a test of our concept in a real environment. The test minimizes risks with full-scale production and promotes the commercialization of solutions that contribute to sustainability and climate change. Through this support for testing and demonstration in a real environment, an industrial implementation is promoted.

“That our application is approved is a clear stamp of quality on our way of working, our technology, our future plans and us as a company. We have high ambitions for our company and our work. Now we are proving that it is realistic to achieve the premium quality of products we deliver through efficient and ambitious circular resource use”, says Thomas Bjelkeman.

Vinnova received 16 applications, of which five were selected for support after two and a half months of evaluation. The consortium that Johannas leads was the only one of these five that works with food production. In the last six months, together with 21 other actors, Johannas has received a total of 37 MSEK in grants from Vinnova and Formas in four different projects with a combined budget of over 80 MSEK for their joint work in creating a circular and sustainable food production system. Johannas’ share of the contributions is 10 MSEK. Read more about the various projects at (partially in English):

Contact: Thomas Bjelkeman-Pettersson, CEO, Johannas Stadsodlingar AB
Telefon: 0704 386 355
Link to pictures and other press materials: Media

About Johannas

Johannas is a Swedish company that designs, builds and operates circular, nature-like cultivation facilities for the production of vegetables, fish and fish feed from insects. The company also develops biogas and nutrient recovery systems for land-based aquaculture and aquaponics. The most recent investments in Johannas were led by and Kull & Partner.