UK cellular agriculture to thrive following £2bn investment plan

SuperMeat signs agreement with Switzerland's largest supermarket and meat manufacturer

SuperMeat aims to help remove the greatest barrier for cultivated meat commercialisation, , the cost of cell feed, and move forward commercial viability for the industry as a whole. Image: SuperMeat

ProVeg International, has described the UK’s plan to invest £2bn in innovative engineering biology as a “beacon of optimism” for cellular agriculture.

“The UK’s 2023 National Vision for Engineering Biology, and the associated investment of £2bn over the next 10 years, ambitiously positions the UK as a global leader in responsible and innovative engineering biology, setting the stage for a transformative impact on cellular agriculture,” Julia Martin, cellular agriculture lead at ProVeg, said.

“The government’s collaboration with industry, academia, and international partners is fostering a dynamic, secure environment where the biotech and life sciences sectors, including cellular agriculture, can flourish.

“Crucially, the strategy recognises the importance of public perception and acceptance. Through effective communication and engagement, it aims to build familiarity and trust in engineering biology-derived products, including those from cellular agriculture. This focus on understanding and addressing public concerns is key to the widespread acceptance and success of these innovative products.

“In sum, the UK’s vision for engineering biology is a beacon of optimism for the future of cellular agriculture. It lays a robust foundation for safe, innovative, and widely accepted cellular agricultural practices, heralding a new era of sustainable and ethical food production,” Martin added.

Cultivated meat allows for the production of meat without the need to slaughter animals as the meat is grown from cells.

A life-cycle assessment shows that cultivated beef could result in a reduction of 92% of carbon footprint if renewable energy is used in the production process, 95% of land use and 78% of water requirements, compared to conventional beef production (source: Delft, CE Delft (February 2021): LCA of cultivated meat. Future projections for different scenarios).

The Netherlands was the first to make progress in Europe with cultivated meat. In April 2022, the Dutch government awarded €60 million to support the creation of a national cellular-agriculture ecosystem as part of the country’s National Growth Fund.

The first regulatory submission for cultivated meat in Europe was made to the Swiss authorities by Aleph Farms in July this year. Singapore was the first country globally to approve cultivated meat, in 2020.

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