UK government invests £12m in sustainable proteins
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has funded the Cellular Agriculture Manufacturing Hub (CARMA) led by the University of Bath.
The EPSRC is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences and is part of UK Research and Innovation, the national funding agency investing in science and research in the UK.
The hub, which will run for seven years, will investigate how to manufacture cultivated meat at scale. Researchers will also look into developing foods such as sustainable palm oil through precision fermentation.
According to international food sustainability nonprofit, the Good Food Institute Europe (GFI), a peer-reviewed study recently found that cultivated meat can cut the climate impact of meat by up to 92%, reduce air pollution by up to 94% and use up to 90% less land.
In addition to helping tackle climate change, the GFI says that these foods can protect public health as they do not require the use of antibiotics.
The GFI states that CARMA is the largest single investment the UK government has made to date in sustainable proteins, and follows the government’s promise to support these foods as part of £120 million of research and development earmarked in last year’s Government Food Strategy.
Experts from the University of Birmingham, the University of Aberystwyth, University College London and the Royal Agricultural University will partner with the University of Bath, while UK-based cultivated meat companies including Hoxton Farms and Quest Meat will also be part of the hub.
Linus Pardoe, UK policy manager at the GFI, said: “Today’s announcement is a seismic move in the development of a UK sustainable protein industry and I want to praise the government for investing in the extraordinary potential of these new ways of making meat”.
He continued: “This landmark investment is a strong indication that the UK government recognises the importance of cellular agriculture and the need to invest in the R&D necessary to help British companies scale production, bringing down costs and making this food available to everyone”.