14th April 2022

Dutch government agrees to invest €60M in cellular agriculture

We are happy to share that the Dutch government announced it will allocate € 60 million ($ 65.4 million), to support the formation of an ecosystem around cellular agriculture. It represents the largest public funding into the cellular agriculture field ever, globally. The funding is awarded under conditions by the National Growth Fund, which aims to create structural economic growth by investing in the public domain to support innovative economic sectors.

We are proud to be part of the consortium that submitted the cellular agriculture growth plan, Cellular Agriculture Netherlands. Together with this group of Dutch entrepreneurs, scientists, academics and food pioneers we are developing a more sustainable food system that makes sure people can eat the food they love, without harming people, the planet or animals.

This financial impulse represents a first step towards funding a larger growth plan proposing to invest € 252 – € 382 mln in cellular agriculture, specifically stimulating cellular agriculture education, academic research, publicly accessible scale-up facilities, societal integration (including farmers and consumers) and innovation. The broader growth plan is projected to generate an incremental €10 – €14 billion in Dutch GDP growth per year by 2050, with significant global climate, environmental and health benefits. For example avoiding ~12 Mton CO2-eq. emissions and 100-130 kton ammonia per year in 2050.

“We are very excited for the visionary leadership the Dutch government is demonstrating today again,” said Ira van Eelen, on behalf of the Dutch Cellular Agriculture Foundation. “The Netherlands is the ideal place for cellular agriculture to flourish. It has a rich history in laying the global foundations of cellular agriculture. It is a global powerhouse in alternative protein and food innovation. It has a global frontrunner position in biotechnology and agriculture. It is the 2nd biggest exporter of traditional agricultural products in the world. And let’s not forget, it was the first country to publicly fund cultivated meat research and present the first proof of concept hamburger to the world. This is a great way to grow sustainably whilst our growth is currently under pressure.”

The Netherlands has a strong history of innovating food production. This public investment in cellular agriculture is a demonstration of the Dutch government’s commitment to building an agricultural ecosystem that is healthy and sustainable. In combination with reforms to traditional farming, cellular agriculture can be an additional tool to satisfy the world’s growing appetite for protein.

While individual cellular agriculture companies have been successful in attracting private funding, the Growth Fund financing is explicitly aiming to support the public part of the ecosystem. The expectation is that this impulse will attract more companies, more funding, and more collaboration across the cellular agriculture field in and with The Netherlands over the next few years. This announcement is not changing the process individual companies have to follow to obtain regulatory approval to sell their products, which is the European Novel Foods procedure.

“Cultured meat is a fast-growing industry and it’s important to invest and support education and research across all areas from universities to research labs as well as informing the wider population about this dynamic industry. This is an exciting next step in the development of the cellular agriculture ecosystem, supporting this innovative new industry like so many other emerging industries before it, and one that will be beneficial to us all,” concludes Daan Luining CTO & co-founder of Meatable.



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