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  • Writer's picturePhoebe Fraser

Innovate UK awards £500k to three UK cell-based meat companies

Innovate UK has awarded around £500,000 in grant funding to three cell-based meat companies based in the North-East of England.

The funding was awarded to the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), MarraBio and Aelius Biotech, who will work together to develop low-emission food production systems at a lower cost than is currently possible.

The project is set to use engineered protein materials produced by MarraBio – these could replace more expensive materials that are currently being used in larger-scale productions of cell-based meat at a significantly reduced cost.

MarraBio’s technology works to engineer protein building blocks to contain the biological messages that cells need to grow, divide and behave properly. These blocks then assemble into long, strong chains that provide a good material for the cells to grow on – they can then be grown on an industrial scale to be used for food production.

Brendan Fish, biologics director at CPI, said: “We are delighted to be working with MarraBio and Aelius Biotech on this exciting project. It’s another step towards establishing the North-East as the UK’s hub for greener food production systems."

Daniel Peters, CEO at MarraBio, commented: “We are very excited to be working with CPI and Aelius Biotech on this project to help improve our ability to manufacture these materials at high quality and low cost, with the aim of accelerating cultivated meat development. It’s great to be able to establish this new collaboration in the North-East and to play a role in helping to reduce the carbon emissions associated with food production.”

The project will take place at the recently established Novel Food Innovation Centre in Wilton, Redcar, UK, with an expected completion date of December 2024.


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