Nonprofit organisation Cellular Agriculture Australia (CAA) has created a tool called Pathways into Cell Ag, with the aim of helping students and career-switchers break into cellular agriculture research.
Cellular agriculture is the process of developing animal products (such as meat, dairy, and leather) directly from cells, eliminating the need to farm animals. There are many challenges in this emerging field, and more highly trained scientists and technicians are urgently needed.
Pathways hopes to match students and job-seekers with roles in cellular agriculture. By using the tool, they will be able to explore current research challenges, see what interests them most, and find out what qualifications they need to work in the field.
Users can search either by qualification or by problems that need solving, filtering by disciplines such as Biology, Chemistry, or Computing and finding Australian universities where they can get the qualifications they need.
Research challenges listed on the site include creating 3D edible scaffolds for whole-cut meat production and developing affordable cell culture media — something companies such as SingCell and Future Fields are already working on.
“I’m often asked by students what they need to study to get into cellular agriculture. They want to know what sorts of roles are out there, and what skills and knowledge will qualify them to be employed and to succeed in those roles,’ says Dr. Bianca Le, Executive Director and Founder of CAA. “On the other end of the spectrum, professionals in other STEM industries reach out to us to learn how they can apply their existing expertise to forge a new career pathway into cellular agriculture. The Pathways tool is designed to provide guidance for both of these talent markets.”