Manufacturing & Technology

Report Finds Boston Could Become One of the Leading Centers for Food Technology

According to a study by the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, food tech companies are increasingly choosing to locate in the greater Boston area. The report also finds that 70 foodtech companies raised more than $8 billion in capital between 2019 and 2022.

The Food and Nutrition Innovation Institute (FNII) report, titled Boston Foodtech 2023, highlights Boston as a leader in this growing field, with 138 food tech companies, 14 organizations and more than 13,000 employees. The region is positioned to attract and retain top talent because the number of STEM graduates in Massachusetts is greater than any other state. 

World-class cluster

“This world-class cluster is seeded by Boston’s strong ecosystems in related industries, especially biotech, robotics, software, and data science. At the foundation of these ecosystems, Boston’s research universities produce highly trained talent and breakthrough intellectual property that lead to new ventures and a labor pool that is always replenishing,” states the report.

Boston is home not only to a young, educated population, but also to a large number of US companies operating directly in the food technology space.  The city’s research universities regularly produce breakthroughs in science and technology, leading to a variety of new products and methods in food production, according to the authors.

Motif PorkWorks Plant-based Pork Meatballs
©Motif FoodWorks

Food technology companies in the Boston region include Ginkgo Bioworks; Ginkgo spinoff Ayana Bio; and Motif Foodworks. Additionally, Chilean startup The LiveGreen Co. announced last year its relocation to Boston where it will develop the AI capacities of Charaka, its proprietary intelligence platform.

Speaking with Elysabeth Alfano at the Future Food-Tech event, Ginkgo’s Director of Marketing Sushmita Venkatraman, said: “There’s a lot of creativity around R&D and biology that one can really geek out on and build new solutions and some of the benefits are biodegradability and performance.

“You can meet the performance of existing products and you can also enhance the performance of products using very specific techniques and so I think it’s really important for the world to sort of step back and realize that biology is a powerful ally in the fight against climate change and that we need to move away from petrochemical processes. We need to move away from the traditional methods of farming, and we need to leverage what we really have which is reproducible, as well as degradable safety for the planet.”

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