Despite booming commercial interest in plant-based and cultivated meat, the industries lack the open-access data required to become a viable part of the global food system. The Good Food Institute’s Competitive Research Grant Program is changing that, with $7 million awarded to 35 open-access research initiatives since the program’s inception in 2019.
Funded thanks to gifts from visionary donors, the program supports open-access research that advances the science of plant-based and cultivated meat — technologies poised to revolutionize the food system and address the many issues associated with conventional meat production, from food scarcity and climate change to zoonotic disease and antibiotic resistance.
Dr. Bar-Nur is an Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. His research project with the GFI directly converts fibroblasts into induced myogenic progenitor cells as an alternative to conventional methods of growing muscle progenitors, and assesses the capacity of the induced myogenic progenitors to generate muscle fibers by small molecules and serum withdrawal. The project devises new methods of producing animal muscle cell lines and will reduce costs of cultivated meat production via long-term propagation of cell lines.
GFI Executive Director Bruce Friedrich commented: “Plant-based meat and cultivated meat have the potential to transform the global food system, but this requires the industries to overcome significant technical hurdles that remain on the path to price parity, scaleup, and commercialization. Building a robust foundation of open-access data will enable the entire sector to advance more efficiently and bring plant-based and cultivated meat to the masses.”