Czech biotech Mewery has been awarded a grant of around €200,000 by the Czech government through the CzechInvest Technological Incubator.
Mewery makes cell-based pork using growth factors made from microalgae, and claims that it is the first European foodtech to do so.
Mewery will use the non-dilutive funds to carry out research that will improve the efficiency of its platform and technology as it prepares for the scale-up phase.
Mewery said that it will look into cell characterisation, exploring the metabolites involved in cell growth and analysing gene expression patterns (transcriptomics) to gain insights into cellular processes and interactions.
The foodtech said it will also use the funding to collect the necesasry data to obtain safety approval from authorities in the future, including data on the nutritional composition of the biomass and the production process’s components.
Roman Lauš, founder and CEO of Mewery, said: “The CzechInvest’s investment is a significant endorsement of Mewery’s innovative approach to cultivated meat. This knowledge will be essential for designing a near-future scalable production process that is efficient, cost-effective, and meets the highest quality standards.”
Mewery’s growth media stimulates mammalian cell growth, allowing it to eliminate foetal bovine serum from its platform, which reduces production costs by 70%, leading to lower prices for its cell-based pork.
As a proof of concept of its growth media, Mewery developed a pork and microalgae prototype. Last year, it unveiled the “first-ever” cultivated burger made with pork and microalgae cells using its bio-hybrid culture system.
Lauš added: “We are grateful to CzechInvest for their support. With their backing, we are confident that Mewery can make significant contributions to the cultivated meat industry and provide consumers with a sustainable, ethical, and healthier alternative to conventional pork and beyond.”