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UK Government Announces $15 Million of Funding for Cell-Based Agriculture

Published on
Apr 14, 2023
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The Cellular Agriculture Manufacturing Hub (CARMA) has secured funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). This £12m ($15.1m) investment will span seven years and will be led by the University of Bath. The UK government's Food Strategy, which was released last year, allocated £120m for cell-based research. CARMA's objective is to create cell-based proteins and to develop and implement practical, scalable manufacturing technologies, systems, process feedstocks, and skills. The UKRI explains that the hub aims to have a positive impact and to produce benefits at regional, national, and international levels.

The primary focus of the hub will be to find ways to produce cell-based meat on a large scale. According to the UKRI, this approach could result in a reduction of up to 95% in carbon emissions and land use when compared to traditional food production. The UK's Minister of State for Science, Research and Innovation, George Freeman, believes that with a growing global population, traditional agriculture alone will not be enough to sustainably double world food production while using half the energy and water on the same land area by 2050. The development of new processes to produce key food groups, such as proteins, sustainably and cost-effectively, is critical to addressing this issue. CARMA is a significant step in the right direction and has been praised by The Good Food Institute (GFI), a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable food. Linus Pardoe, the UK policy manager at the Good Food Institute Europe, sees this as a "seismic move" in the UK's sustainable protein industry development and commends the government for investing in innovative ways to produce meat.

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