Kees Aarts is the founder and CEO of Protix, the leading developer of smart insect-based technologies that convert organic byproducts into valuable nutrients and proteins for animals and humans. A frequent speaker at international forums — including the 2017 World Bank spring meetings, the World Economic Forum general meetings in Davos, Switzerland, and the 2018 World Government Summit in the United Arab Emirates — Kees is widely recognized as a visionary and innovator in the food and feed industry thanks to his work in reimagining global food supply chains.
Aarts founded Protix in 2009 and has since raised more than $70 million in funding with partners such as Rabobank, Aquaspark and Buhler, the latter of whom Protix recently collaborated with to establish a joint venture global food solutions company. In 2015, Protix was named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, and recently, Protix was featured in National Geographic for producing the first full-grown salmon raised on insect-based protein in the world.
Aarts is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Future Council on Food Security and Agriculture, serves on the board of The Shadow View Foundation, and is a member of the Druid Collective. Prior to founding Protix, Aarts trained as an aerospace engineer and worked at McKinsey. He is the founder of both ECOvation and Stichting Discovery and is a former partner at KOJAC CV. He received a master's degree in aerospace engineering from Delft University in the Netherlands.