In looking for a launching point for New Harvest’s work in Europe, the Netherlands was an obvious choice given its historical connection with cellular agriculture, and cultured meat in particular. There was the first patent for cultured meat filed by Willem van Eelen, the first government funding for research into cultured meat, and the first prototype of a cultured meat hamburger which arguably launched the global race we see today.
What’s more, New Harvest was connected with two of these historical firsts and continued assisting developments in the Netherlands, supporting work by both Mark Post and Daan Luining who went on to found Mosa Meat and Meatable, respectively.
So you could say we were already in the Netherlands, we’re just making it official.
Since I joined New Harvest a year ago, I’ve been working to help set up our foundation while making new connections within the cell ag space. My background in molecular and stem cell biology – developed in Amsterdam – followed by heading Mosa Meat’s QA and regulatory efforts for two years, meant I already had some understanding of the Dutch cell ag ecosystem. But this last year has provided more insights and opportunities.
We have already joined Cellulaire Agricultuur Nederland, a multistakeholder community whose initial core members (before we joined) were successful in raising €60M in funding for cell ag from the Dutch government’s National Growth Fund. This was matched by private funding for a total of €85M towards the foundation’s plan, which CAN will implement over the coming years. It will take work to get more funding to reach the full scope and ambition of this plan. And beyond funding there will be important work to shape infrastructure development and coordinate activity across the community. The intended result is that by 2050, it will generate up to €2.0B of added earning power, while preventing the addition of ~ 1.83 megatons CO2-equivalents and ~19.7 kilotons of ammonia, per year.
And we’ve been active on the local level too, having supported Planet-b.io’s successful grant application to create the Protein Port consortium. This is a regional multi-stakeholder initiative – of which we are a part – funded by the province of South Holland, and focused on the broader alt-protein space.
We are excited to be a part of these large-scale community initiatives, as well as developing other large or smaller scale projects with academic, private sector, non-profit, and governmental organizations and agencies. In addition to working with well aligned non-profits Planet-b.io and GFI to build the technology, we look forward to helping those like RESPECTFarms who specifically deal with transitional aspects of its implementation.
Of course, the Netherlands is not the extent of our work in Europe. This technology, its supply chains, and regulatory policy affecting these will require work across borders. In addition to research funding, we are already coordinating with others across the continent – inside and outside the EU – including national cell ag associations outside the Netherlands, to make things happen.
With our other foundations, in the US and Canada, we hope to find ways to create funding and resource synergies across these regions, as well as help find opportunities for those seeking to expand from one location to another.
If you would like to help out, learn more, or explore opportunities with New Harvest, please contact us at email@example.com.