In this region deeptech and biotech have evolved for a long time, and some of the leading research and development globally is happening at companies and universities here. However, these fields have not interacted that much. Now FooCafe is hosting a first event with a focus on just that: the Protein Hack 2023.

Protein design is rapidly emerging as a new branch of technology with the potential to disrupt multiple industries and mediate a shift towards a more circular economy.  Recent breakthroughs in ML based protein design have democratized the field and open an opportunity to conduct workshops and hackathons enabling teams of talented students and entrepreneurs to tackle challenging environmental problems.

Taste-modifying Proteins

The event is focusing on taste-modifying proteins. It will be about working together to both build tools required for better defining the taste stimulating properties of proteins and also to design a set of new proteins capable of giving a spectrum of taste sensation.

Nature has evolved a number of proteins capable of mimicking sweat sensation. These small proteins are 100,000 times sweeter than sugar, so very little of them is needed to trigger the sensation of sweet taste. Other native proteins are able to change the taste of foods. Some convert sour taste into sweet sensation. Others do just the opposite, block the sensing of sugar, so sweet foods taste sour.

ProteinHack2023 challenges:

  1. Designing a set of taste modulating proteins 
  2. Predicting protein ligand affinity in the context of taste receptors 
  3. Predicting order water in and around proteins


  1. Introduce protein design to the startup ecosystem, developers, data scientists, engineers, chemists, biologists, etc
  2. Link talented and creative people with diverse background required for breakthroughs in protein design 
  3. Have fun together 

This is an event open to the general public, but will be science heavy.

The event is facilitated by Amijai Saragovi, a protein designer at the Baker Lab, in Washington, USA. He holds a PhD in immunobiology from the Hebrew University and a BSc in Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, the University of London.

The event will be held Friday the Jan 27 and 28th, starting at 17.00 the 27th. It will be held at Goto10, at Mindpark Malmö.

Read more and signup: at the FooCafe website