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Aspire Food Group and DarwinAI Awarded IRCAI Top 10 Outstanding Project for 2021

Press Release


Aspire Food Group and DarwinAI Awarded IRCAI Top 10 Outstanding Project for 2021

The Artificial Intelligence solution developed by Aspire and DarwinAI has been selected as one of the Top 10 Outstanding Projects applying AI to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals


London, ON., January 18, 2022 – The International Research Center in Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI) has named the solution developed by Aspire Food Group and DarwinAI as one of the Top Ten Outstanding Projects leveraging AI to advance the UN’s sustainability goals. 


The IRCAI, which exists under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), issued a call for solutions with global relevance last year, resulting in an overwhelming number of submissions.   A list of the top 100 projects was chosen by programme committees and the organization’s editorial board, ten of which were deemed ‘outstanding’ and will be highlighted at the IRACI’s press conference in New York next month. 


The Aspire / DarwinAI project – “Novel Application of Advanced Manufacturing Approaches to High Quality Protein” – was one of two outstanding solutions in North America, the other submitted by NASA. 


Aspire is a world leader in the commercial production and processing of crickets into nutritional ingredients for people, pets, and plants.  DarwinAI produces visual quality inspection solutions using their proprietary Explainable AI (XAI) technology for a wide range of global industries, including advanced manufacturing and industrial automation. 


The DarwinAI solution combines automated visual inspection and Explainable AI (XAI) with IoT sensor data analysis to optimize yield and provide real-time insights into plant conditions and operations. The technology will debut at the opening of Aspire’s new commercial facility in London, Ontario later this year.


Both organizations are thankful for the support of Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) and Sustainable Development Technology Canada in facilitating their fruitful collaboration.


“A growing population and increasing demand for food and material requires sustainable, scalable solutions.” said Mohammed Ashour, CEO, Aspire. “We are honored that the IRCAI saw the value in an AI solution which will accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable ingredients and materials through insect technology.”


“Since day one, our mission has been to transform industries by instilling trust in AI” added Sheldon Fernandez, CEO, DarwinAI.  “This important distinction speaks to the breath of Aspire's vision and the transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence, and it is a privilege to apply our technology to such a forward-looking initiative.”




Aspire, dubbed by the United Nations FAO as “an idea whose time has come” is pioneering a modular protein production system intended to be deployed globally. By developing an integral partnership with DarwinAI to optimize this protein production system, Aspire is positioned to support communities around the world to attain protein and food sovereignty.


The state-of-the-art facility in London will be the world's largest, fully automated cricket production and processing facility, leveraging technologies including DarwinAI artificial intelligence, robotics, and automated storage and retrieval (ASRS). 


About Aspire Food Group

Aspire is a world leader in the field of precision insect farming, optimizing the growth and harvesting of an underutilized natural resource to meet global demand for sustainable ingredients and materials. Aspire has pioneered the world's lowest-cost, highest-density, and most ethical automated food-grade protein production system. Crickets are an all-natural, sustainable, superfood ingredient nutritionally on par with, or superior to, livestock, cell-cultured, and plant-based alternatives. Aspire is a Canadian company with operations in London, Ontario, and in Austin, Texas. 

About DarwinAI


DarwinAI is a leader in visual quality inspection using Explainable AI (XAI), a collection of technologies that reveals how and why AI makes the decisions that it does. Such insights enable the organization to build superior enterprise AI solutions for manufacturing to increase production efficiencies that are worthy of the public's trust. Their pioneering technology accelerates the creation of robust AI models with reduced amounts of data to shorten the time to meaningful ROI. The company has been named to the CB Insights AI 100 list for the past two years as one of the hundred most promising private AI companies in the world.


Media Contact Aspire:

Simone Traverse, Media Relations

Tel: 1-512-790-4623

Email: simone.traverse@aspirefg.com / info@aspirefg.com 


Media Contact DarwinAI

Brian Tatarnic, Associate Director of Marketing

E: brian.tatarnic@darwinai.com

T: +1-519-886-6600


SOURCE Aspire Food Group / DarwinAI

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About Aspire

For everyone at Aspire, our long-term vision is to celebrate, innovate, and advance responsible farming and healthy eating of insects. We will continue to research and invest in sustainable insect farming practices to bring this protein alternative to market.