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The Good Food Institute offers grants for plant-based and clean meat research

Thinkstock/AlexRaths lab-grown meat
Program designed to jump-start research in revolutionizing our food system and addressing climate change, antibiotic resistance and more.

The Good Food Institute has launched a $3 million competitive research grant program to encourage universities and others to pursue plant-based and clean meat research.

Scientists from around the world and from any sector who are working to advance knowledge within the fields of plant-based and clean meat are eligible to apply for the grants.

Plant-based and clean meat are attracting investments from the biggest names in tech and venture capital: Bill Gates of IBM and Sergey Brin of Alphabet; and venture-capital firms DFJ, Kleiner Perkins and Google Ventures. Even global meat giants Tyson, Cargill and Maple Leaf have backed plant-based and clean meat startups.

Despite the potential of meat alternatives to revolutionize the food system and resolve some of the world’s biggest problems, The Good Food Institute estimates that less than 0.3 percent of the world’s universities are currently engaged in plant-based meat or clean meat research.

To jump-start this research, the Good Food Institute has identified the universities with the greatest potential to advance these important research fields of plant-based and clean meat. These 24 global universities have been identified for their relevant technical expertise, research capabilities and private-sector partnerships. “While most of these schools are not yet working in these fields, their potential to become leaders in plant-based and clean meat research is impressive,” said GFI Scientific Foundations liaison Erin Rees Clayton. “We would be thrilled to work with them to realize their potential to do cutting-edge science that will ultimately improve global health, food security, and environmental stewardship.”

The top U.S. universities researching plant-based meats are Cornell; Pennsylvania State; Texas A&M; University of California, Davis; University of Minnesota; and University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Worldwide, McGill University in Canada, Peking University in China, Technical University of Munich in Germany, University of Queensland in Australia, University of Tokyo in Japan, and Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands round out the dozen.

The top universities researching clean meat in the United States are Harvard, Purdue, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Wisconsin–Madison. Across the world are KU Leuven, Belgium; Kyoto University, Japan; Lund University, Sweden; National University of Singapore; Seoul National University, South Korea; Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Israel; University of Leeds, United Kingdom; and University of Melbourne, Australia.

Universities already have had a major impact in the meat-alternative space. USDA-funded research at the University of Missouri was key for the plant-based meat company Beyond Meat. Dr. Mark Post’s research at Maastricht University led to the first clean meat burger in 2013, followed by the formation of the clean meat company Mosa Meats.

For more information about the competitive grants program, click here. Proposals must be submitted by Nov. 21. Award recipients will be announced by January.

Source: The Good Food Institute

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