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2023: The Year in Review

Five key takeaways from New Harvest’s work in 2023: outliving hype cycles, building infrastructure, and more…

Published November 27, 2023 | Updated December 7, 2023 | Isha Datar,

Did you get a chance to catch out Year in Review? If not – I have good news! Here’s a recording of the call on YouTube.

Not much of a video-watcher? Well we’ve got you covered.

Here are five key takeaways from the call:

1. The New New Harvest Strategy is well underway: Following the radical fundraise that took place in July 2022, New Harvest crafted a new approach; to lessen dependence on philanthropy from individuals (who are dependent on market forces to give) and steer towards more well-established foundations and government funding opportunities.

The strategy is well underway. We incorporated in the US, Canada, and Netherlands and began tackling three different regions for government support. We should be seeing results soon.

In the meanwhile support from individuals like you provides the lifeblood of this organization. We’re feeling confident in our run way thanks to you. THANK YOU!!!

2. Our long-term vision has yielded solid results: We know that science can not be rushed, and so our focus on empowering emerging technical leaders was always going to be long-term. But after funding 60 grantees, we are seeing the outcomes through individual stories of multiplicative impact. Grantee’s labs are winning government grants, grantees are founding companies, and they’re taking leadership positions in academia and industry.

People, not projects, are the source of ongoing change and sustained impact.

3. We need to outlive hype cycles: We must acknowledge that there is a lot of bad news out there about the state of the cellular agriculture industry. And not all of it is unexpected; this is incredibly hard science, with many, many pre-competitive gaps.

So while we’re seeing headlines about major problems and issues in industry:

We’re also seeing more dollars entering the pre-competitive space, which will do wonders for the field as a whole. This is good news: but we have to keep progress moving forward in the face of (inevitable) industry challenges. The hype won’t last forever!

4. Collaboration is key: To make the most of the funding in the space, we should be emphasizing collaboration. True progress in cellular agriculture is an ecosystem effort, and thus collaboration, especially between the public and private sectors, will be key in advancing the science while also advancing the conversation with regulators and policymakers.

New Harvest shared some incredible collaborative projects we completed and others underway to tackle big topics in the field.

5. We need new infrastructure: Many of the challenges we’re seeing in cellular agriculture today is due to the fact that our current systems for tech development are just not appropriate for cellular agriculture.

We need to design new ways to advance mission-driven science like cellular agriculture.

New Harvest shared some infrastructure projects we completed and others which are underway to tackle some of the big systemic challenges in cellular agriculture.

6. A demand for more thought leadership: During the Q&A, one community member shared that they felt New Harvest, with the conference cancelled in 2023, felt quieter, with less of a focus on thought leadership.

We’re taking that feedback on. We can do better to amplify the thought leadership that we’re sharing and spreading at the conferences that we have been invited to; and maybe we need to think deeply about other ways to get our voice out there.

Those are my takeaways, but don’t take my word for it! Have a watch of the video and let me know if you have any questions or comments about New Harvest’s work.

All the best,

Isha Datar
Executive Director
New Harvest |

P.S. Don’t forget about our gift match! All donations are being doubled. Donate today!

About the Authors
Isha Datar