Ground-breaking carbon recycling project


Led by Deep Branch, a carbon recycling biotechnology company. This project will obtain critical data about cost, digestibility, nutritional quality and carbon footprint of Proton™, a novel single-cell protein (SCP) produced by Deep Branch from CO₂ directly from industrial emissions.

Take action for a brighter future for all.

members of the REACT-FIRST consortium

Industry & academic partners

transforming aquaculture & poultry industries

REACT-FIRST is the UK’s first-ever scalable route to the sustainable generation of protein capturing the carbon dioxide from bio-energy generation.

REACT-FIRST is supported by grant funding from Innovate UK, the UK's Innovation Agency.

The Challenge

Currently, animal feed protein sources are imported from overseas, making the UK dependent on complicated and fragile supply chains.

The Solution

To address this problem, REACT-FIRST’s solution uses the technology developed by Deep Branch. This project encompasses all key stakeholders in the Proton™ production value chain.

The Consortium

REACT-FIRST represents an end-to-end value-chain-wide consortium of industry and academic partners, with the collective aim to transform the UK’s food production system.





leading technology project



zero carbon Economy

UK Research & Innovation’s (UKRI)

£24M government funding BOOST

Making Communities Safe


What experts say

REACT-FIRST represents an end-to-end value-chain-wide consortium of industry and academic partners, with the collective aim to transform the UK’s food production system.

Peter Rowe
Peter RoweCEO at Deep Branch
"Projects like REACT-FIRST are key to help the industry move towards achieving net-zero emissions. Its solution uses the technology developed by Deep Branch, but whilst this has huge transformative potential, commercialisation is not possible without cooperation with key stakeholders across the value chain..."
Jason Shipstone
Jason ShipstoneChief Innovation Officer at Drax
"Aquaculture is expected to double production by 2050 however to achieve this we need feeds with minimal environmental impact. The REACT-FIRST project is the first step towards the commercial development of a new potentially game-changing protein source, Proton™; using new technology to capture waste CO₂ and creating high-value sustainable protein..."
Valerie Schuster
Valerie SchusterStrategy Director at AB Agri
"REACT-FIRST provides a way of doing exactly this: by growing single-cell protein using CO₂ emissions from industry, it creates a new, scalable and circular protein, which is the opportunity to help feed manufacturers and farmers and improve animal nutrition and wellbeing via a high-quality ingredient that is consistent..."
Paddy Campbell
Paddy CampbellVP Salmon at BioMar
"At BioMar we are constantly seeking innovative raw materials that don’t compete with human food production and nutrients from by-products that minimise waste. We are excited to be part of this project to see how Proton™ will perform in aquaculture feed..."
Judith Batchelar
Judith BatchelarDirector of Sainsbury's Brand
"Being part of the REACT-FIRST consortium is an outstanding opportunity to produce feeds for our farmed fish and chicken, with 65-75 percent smaller carbon footprints than existing feeds, no requirements for arable land, minimal water usage..."
Dr Emily Burton
Dr Emily BurtonAssociate Professor in Sustainable Food Production
"The poultry sector has much to be proud of in terms of low carbon meat production, but REACT-FIRST could catapult the sector into a completely new league. As well as providing access to a sustainable protein source, the project will..."


Net Zero by 2050

"To protect our environment and meet our world-leading target of Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, we must harness the very best of UK innovation across all sectors, supporting the most creative and pioneering ideas. From robotics assisting our farmers in fruit picking, to technology that converts CO₂-to clean animal feed, the incredible and cutting-edge projects we are backing today represent the future of farming. Working with the best of British science, we are accelerating the transition to net zero food production, boosting jobs and productivity and driving forward the UK’s economic recovery." - Science Minister Amanda Solloway