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The Bezos Center for Sustainable Protein opened today at North Carolina (NC) State University in the US.


The Bezos Earth Fund has pledged $30 million to NC State over the next five years, to lead the new centre, creating a biomanufacturing hub for dietary proteins that are environmentally friendly, healthy, tasty and affordable.


This is part of the Earth Fund’s commitment of $100 million to establish a network of open-access research and development centres focused on sustainable protein alternatives.


The centre will engage partners from academia and industry to research, create and commercialise new technologies, provide training for the emerging industry workforce and gauge consumers’ protein preferences.


The grant funding will support research on three types of sustainable proteins: cell-based meat; plant-based products; and precision fermentation technology.


NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson said: “As a land-grant university in a state with significant animal agriculture, NC State is uniquely positioned to help shape the future of sustainable food production. We’re thankful for the support from the Bezos Earth Fund that will help drive economic and workforce development in this critical area of sustainable protein production.”


Andrew Steer, president and CEO of the Earth Fund, commented: “Food production is the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, so it’s critical we find ways to feed a growing population without degrading the planet. Sustainable protein has tremendous potential but more research is needed to reduce the price and boost the flavour and texture to ensure nutritious, affordable products are available. It's about choice.”


Andy Jarvis, the Earth Fund’s director of future of food, added: “Feeding a growing world requires producing tasty proteins that won’t further degrade nature. These centres will advance open-source, sustainable protein R&D to benefit consumer choice while protecting our planet.”


The grant funding will help prepare the workforce in North Carolina for jobs in advanced food technology through various university and community college partnerships, while industry partnerships will support food production and processing, including small companies and start-ups.


NC State will work with academic partners NC A&T State University, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Duke University and Forsyth Tech Community College on the research, workforce development and community engagement efforts. More than 20 industry partners will also be part of the centre, which will facilitate technology transfer and student internships and mentorships.


Bill Aimutis, co-principal investigator on the grant and co-director of the new centre, concluded: “This is a significant opportunity for North Carolina to not only be a state with a thriving animal-sourced foods sector, but also one where it is a powerhouse in complementary proteins, building new industry and driving economic growth for the state.”


#BezosEarthFund #US

Bezos Earth Fund opens centre for sustainable proteins at NC State University

Phoebe Fraser

3 June 2024

Bezos Earth Fund opens centre for sustainable proteins at NC State University

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