TissenBioFarm, a Korean food technology startup developing cultivated whole-cut steak, signed a memorandum of understanding with major stakeholders in the public and private sectors on the 7th of February 2023. The MOU was led by South Korea’s North Gyeongsang Province (Gyeongsangbuk-do) and joined by 28 entities from city governments (Pohang-si, Gyeongsan-si, Gumi-si, Uiseong-gun), universities (POSTECH, Yeungnam University), research & technology institutions (Korea Food Research Institute, Gyeongbuk Technopark, Pohang Technopark), and private corporations.
The MOU is a significant advancement for the cultivated meat industry in South Korea. The provincial government officially announced that it will form a cellular agriculture cluster with the city of Pohang, Gyeongsan, and Gumi, and the county of Uiseong. The plan was initiated to respond to global climate and food crises and take the lead in future technologies.
The cluster will be built around the southern parts of South Korea for cell agriculture research, production, and safety assessments. A regulation-free zone will be formed in Uiseong for cultivated meat companies to conduct proof of concept of their cultivated meat products. The county of Uiseong is building an industrial complex with clean rooms and GMP facilities to attract corporate production plants. The city of Gyeongsan, in collaboration with Yeungnum University, plans to build an international cell culture research center for basic research on culture media, equipment, and systems. The city of Pohang will create a test bed where R&D, prototyping, and production certification can be undertaken for the commercialization of cultivated meat and artificial organs. Pohang has an excellent biotechnology infrastructure with POSTECH having world-class 3D bioprinting technologies, Pohang Technopark, and the Pohang Accelerator Laboratory. The city of Gumi has the plan to develop a strategic base for future food industrialization by building a branch of the Korea Food Research Institute. Based on the expertise and technologies of the government research institute, the city will support food safety and quality standardization of cell-based foods.
TissenBioFarm started from POSTECH’s world-class lab developing medical artificial organs. With this background, it has closely worked with POSTECH, North Gyeongsang Province, the city of Pohang, and the country of Uiseong to make the region a global center for the cellular agriculture industry. The CEO Wonil Han said “We are working on groundbreaking technologies to overcome key challenges in the cultivated meat field. Once it is done, South Korea will be a global game changer in the field.”
TissenBioFarm is a food technology company that creates sustainable future foods with great technologies. With leadership from POSTECH and the University of Oxford, their vision is to create a safer future for people, the planet, and animals. They make real meat without raising and killing animals—cultured meat—which is better for us and the earth. They have developed the world’s first technology to mass-produce whole-cut meat with real texture and marbling. They plan to introduce high-quality, nutritious cultured meat that looks and tastes great at reasonable prices.