Catalonia invests €7m in alt-protein research
The Catalan government has invested €7 million in a research centre to help companies develop sustainable ways of making meat.
The funding – which represents one of the largest investments ever made in alt-proteins across Spain – will run for four years and will help companies scale up the production of sustainable plant-based and fermentation-made foods.
The Center for Innovation in Alternative Proteins (CiPA), based across various sites throughout the region, has been funded by the Department of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda of the Generalitat of Catalonia and the Institute of Agri-Food Research and Technology (IRTA).
CiPA will carry out research into how the production process of alt-proteins can be used to reduce food waste, by transforming agricultural surplus and byproducts into nutritious food, with the potential to provide new revenue sources for farmers.
As well as carrying out research, CiPA will help build essential infrastructure including research facilities and pilot plants, enabling startups to expand by providing them with the expertise and specialist equipment needed to develop, test and improve their products.
According to the Good Food Institute (GFI), Spain is the fourth largest retail market for plant-based foods across Europe – with sales increasing by 9% between 2020 and 2022 to €447.4 million – driving green growth and creating new jobs.
The GFI has welcomed the investment. Alex Holst, the GFI’s senior policy manager said: “This landmark announcement is a major step towards turning Catalonia into one of Spain’s leading hubs for sustainable plant-based and fermentation-made foods. The region is already home to pioneering alternative protein companies, but this investment will help develop a vibrant Catalan sector capable of producing delicious, affordable foods for the growing alternative protein market, generating highly skilled jobs and export opportunities.”