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Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Foray Bioscience Raises $3M to Restore Forests With Plant Cell Culture Tech

Boston-based Foray Bioscience, a startup leveraging plant cell culture to restore forests and, thus, secure plant supply chains, has raised $3 million in seed funding led by the Australian VC ReGen Ventures. Other participants, including Engine Ventures, Susquehanna Sustainable Investments, Understorey, Superorganism, and additional investors, backed the biotech in this round, bringing its total to $3.875 million. With a background in plant-based materials research from MIT and Draper Laboratory, Dr. Ashley Beckwith (CEO) founded Foray Bioscience in 2022 to build biomanufacturing tools to protect and restore the natural ecosystem. Beckwith says that nearly 40% of assessed plant species face extinction and points out that more than 16 million acres of forest, an area larger than West Virginia, were lost worldwide only in 2022. With the new capital, the startup will expand its predictive …

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Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Kokomodo Creates Cultivated Cacao, Preserving Climate-Proof Supplies for the Future of Confectionery

Climate change poses a significant threat to the future supply of cacao (the unprocessed version of cocoa), with the majority of farmland predicted to become unfit for production by 2050. Recent severe weather events have negatively impacted cacao harvests in Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world’s biggest producers, causing significant shortages and high prices. But Kokomodo, a startup leveraging plant cell technology to “cultivate cocoa’s future” aims to ensure a stable, year-round cacao supply of sustainable premium cocoa. To do so, Kokomodo is developing a platform to produce cacao locally with cells and advanced bioreactors independently from land (deforestation), climate, and tropical regions. The startup, which operates a pilot-scale lab in Israel, not exactly a tropical country with cacao bean plantations, has already developed its first …

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Polopo CEO Maya Sapir Mir

Polopo CEO Maya Sapir Mir

Opinion

Op Ed: Maya Sapir-Mir, PhD, CEO and Co-Founder of PoLoPo, on Growing Animal Proteins from Potatoes

Maya Sapir-Mir is CEO and co-founder of PoLoPo, a molecular farming pioneer producing proteins directly in common crops, beginning with egg protein (ovalbumin) grown in potatoes. PoLoPo last year raised $2.3 million in pre-seed funding and recently unveiled its molecular farming platform, SuperAA, for producing key proteins ovalbumin and patatin. Maya has nearly ten years of experience in the biotech industry and agricultural R&D and holds a PhD in plant sciences from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She performed post-doctoral work at the Volcani Institute, Israel’s leading agricultural R&D facility, in protein identification, extraction, and characterization in plants and microorganisms. Here, she explains the importance of this emerging biotechnology; “Instead of inefficiently growing plants to feed animals crowded in factory farms, molecular farming gives us …

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Pluri develops cell-based coffee at industrial scale

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Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

PluriAgtech Introduces Cell-Based Coffee to Provide an Alternative to Traditional Production

Israeli biotechnology firm Pluri, formerly Pluristem, (Nasdaq, TASE: PLUR) has launched PluriAgtech, a subsidiary leveraging plant cell culture to grow sustainable coffee and break away from traditional farming methods.  As global warming continues to impact the coffee industry, shrinking viable land for cultivation and increasing demand leads to higher prices and less production.  According to the company, by 2050, land for coffee production will be reduced by half, and 30% must shift to higher altitudes since Arabica plants are temperature-sensitive. Moreover, the rising demand for coffee significantly impacts the environment, resulting in deforestation and increased water and pesticide use.  PluriAgtech claims it can produce high-quality “real” coffee at scale while reducing water usage by 98% and growing areas by 95%, thus preventing deforestation and making …

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Pigmentum cofounder

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Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Israel’s Pigmentum: Producing Casein in Plants for Next Gen Milk Alternatives

Israel-based Pigmentum, on a mission to “become the leaders in sustainable production of biomolecules for human well-being,” introduces the next generation of a method for creating plants, which will drastically optimize ways for producing plant-based functional casein for the new wave of animal-free dairy. Further to the well-hyped products of cellular agriculture, new developments in plant cell tech are appearing around the world. Pigmentum produces casein in plants, as opposed to in microorganisms or tissues, reports the startup to vegconomist. Tal Lutzky (CEO) and Amir Tiroler (CTO) met during agronomy studies at Robert H. Smith School of Agriculture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Rehovot campus and together they developed the concept of an inducible mechanism in transgenic plants. With the support of Prof. Alexander …

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Opinion

Op Ed: Erik Amundson, CEO and Co-Founder of Vevolution, on Plant Cell Culture Tech

Erik Amundson, CEO and co-founder of Vevolution, here discusses plant cell culture technology. $896 million was invested into cultivated solutions in 2022, with Upside Foods raising an industry-accelerating $400M round. Investors are now actively investing in not only center plate meat alternatives, but also in the auxiliary and plant cell culture market of gelatin, chocolate, coffee, and other products. Imagine a world without coffee By Erik Amundson I’m not a coffee snob by any means, but I drink it every day. The warm, energizing nourishment to kick off my anxiety-fueled morning as a co-founder is something I look forward to. Espresso, lattes, cold brew, I mean all of it is just such a huge part of our culture as a society. Now imagine a world …

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