The world’s largest cultivated meat consortium received final approval from the Israeli Innovation Authority and will be granted government funding of $18 million, for its entire duration period of three years. The consortium consists of 14 companies, including some of the leading cultivated meat companies in the world, as well as 10 academic labs. The establishment of the consortium was led, initiated, and coordinated by the Good Food Institute Israel (GFI) grantee, Gaya Savion, and the Tnuva Group, Israel’s largest food manufacturer.

The global race for meat substitutes

The consortium aims to develop more efficient, cost-competitive production methods and pilot scale-up opportunities that are aligned with the food industry of cultivated meat. It’s part of the Israeli Innovation Authority’s Magnet Consortiums Program which advances pre-competitive generic R&D. Israel has seen progressive development in the R&D of cultivated meat technologies coupled with a rise of a regulatory pilot program for public distribution of cultivated meat, so this consortium comes at a fitting time. Moreover, since the global meat market is estimated at an annual $1.4 trillion, Mckinsey & Company estimated the cultivated meat market will reach $20 billion by 2030. Over 36% of all global investment in cultured meat companies went to Israeli companies, with 6 new cultured meat companies founded in 2021 alone, so, this new consortium will enable Israel to continue to be a top leader in alternative proteins R&D and cultured meat.

As Alla Voldman-Rantzer, Director of Strategic Alliances at GFI Israel stated, “The synchronization between the innovation in food technologies and regulation is crucial in ensuring that we provide these technologies with a clear path to market and capitalize on the advantages that these technologies bring. Now, more than ever, governments need to find ways to ensure national food security. Alternative protein technologies, and cultivated meat, in particular, are essential components in that regard, just as they are essential in bringing forth a sustainable and just protein supply”. Shai Cohen, Chief Innovation Officer at Tnuva Group and Chairperson of the Consortium continued, saying, “This is an unprecedented governmental commitment on a global scale, in a cellular agriculture consortium and more particularly cultivated meat which will enable Israel to maintain its leadership in one of the most significant areas in Foodtech. Collaboration between leading cultivated meat companies, leading food manufacturers who bring the expertise of implementing these technologies at scale and researchers in academia, is essential to create a breakthrough in this field and to make the products accessible to the general public.”