Dutch government confirms €60M investment into cellular agriculture
First activities in cellular agriculture education, research and upscaling facilities will now start. With an additional €25 million in co-financing, the total program’s budget has been extended to €85 million.
THE HAGUE, The Netherlands (October 21, 2022). The Dutch government has today confirmed that it will allocate €60 million to support an ecosystem around cellular agriculture, the technology to produce animal products such as meat and milk proteins directly from animal and microbial cells. It is the world's largest ever national government grant for cellular agriculture. This government grant was reserved under conditions from the National Growth Fund in April of this year. The implementation of the plan will start under the coordination of the Cellular Agriculture Netherlands Foundation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.
In addition to the €60 million grant from the National Growth Fund, an additional €25 million in co-financing is expected, bringing the total size of the budget to €85 million. It is estimated that this will achieve an incremental €1.25 - €2.0 billion in growth in Dutch earning capacity by 2050, while simultaneously generating significant global climate, environmental and health benefits. For example, preventing ~1.8 Mton CO2-eq. emissions and 15-20 kton ammonia per year in 2050.
The activities aim to give the Dutch cellular agriculture (CA) ecosystem a significant boost over the next eight years, among other things by developing fundamental and applied CA knowledge, making scale-up facilities available to CA companies and sufficiently qualified CA personnel. to train. This makes the Netherlands more attractive as a location for companies in the CA sector.
“We are very pleased that we can now start with the first activities to stimulate and consolidate cellular agriculture in the Netherlands.” said Ira van Eelen, on behalf of the Cellular Agriculture Netherlands Foundation. “With this we can guarantee that the Netherlands remains the ideal place for cellular agriculture to thrive. We have a rich history in cellular agriculture and are a global leader in biotechnology, alternative proteins and food innovation. Supported by this visionary leadership that the Dutch government is showing again today, we will expand our team in the coming months and roll out the first activities around public research, scaling up and education.”
The Cellular Agriculture Netherlands Foundation is the center of a fast-growing community of now 34 organizations (educational and knowledge institutions, NGOs, startups, industry), which all have the common goal of building a healthy CA sector. The foundation will set up an executive program office and establish contact with potential partners that are relevant to the implementation of the programs.
The Netherlands has a strong history when it comes to innovation in food production. The confirmation of this public investment in cellular agriculture is an example of the commitment of the Dutch government to build a food system that is healthy and sustainable. Combined with reforms in traditional agriculture, cellular agriculture could provide an additional option to meet the growing demand for protein worldwide.
While individual startups in cellular agriculture have successfully attracted private investment in recent years, this Growth Fund funding is explicitly intended to support the public part of the ecosystem. It is expected that this impulse will further strengthen the position of the Netherlands in the field of cellular agriculture worldwide and that the Netherlands will attract more companies, more financing and more cooperation in the field of cellular agriculture in the coming years.
This announcement does not change the process individual companies must go through to receive approval to sell their products, the European Novel Foods pathway.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL GROWTH FUND
With the National Growth Fund, the government will allocate € 20 billion over the next five years for project investments in three areas with the most potential for structural and sustainable economic growth. For more information, see www.nationaalgroeifonds.nl/english
ABOUT CELLULAR AGRICULTURE NETHERLANDS
The Cellular Agriculture Netherlands Foundation is building a Dutch community of organizations that aim to build a healthy, sustainable sector around cellular agriculture, inside and outside the Netherlands. Participants include universities, startups, impact/sustainability organizations, value chain partners and biotech accelerators, including Blue Horizon, BPF, Catalyze, CE Delft, CellAg.org, CellRev, CoE Groen EC Food, DSM, Educated Choices Program, Foodvalley, FrieslandCampina, Geneus Biotech, Getinge / Applikon, Givaudan, HAS green academy, Hogeschool InHolland, HollandBio, Innovation Quarter, KindEarth.Tech, LenioBio, LIOF, Meatable, Mosa Meat, New Harvest, NoPalm Ingredients, NouBio, Nutreco, Orange Light Ventures, Planet B.io, ProVeg NL, Rabobank, RESPECTfarms, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, SDG NL, The Protein Brewery, Those Vegan Cowboys, TU Delft, Unilever, Universiteit Maastricht, Upstream and Wageningen University & Research.
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Dutch government approves €60M investment in cellular agriculture
THE HAGUE, The Netherlands (April 14th 2022). The Dutch government announced today it will be earmarking € 60 million ($ 65.4 million), to support the formation of an ecosystem around cellular agriculture, which is the technology to produce animal products like milk and meat directly from cells. 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.
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.
The Growth Fund Committee said about cellular agriculture today “Although the products are not yet on the shelves, the science is promising and the first companies are already active. The committee is pleased with the potential and the parties involved”.
The proposal for funding was made by a newly created consortium of 12 organisations (academia, NGOs, startups, industry) called Cellular Agriculture Netherlands. The group is currently shaping the executive teams and governance structure to start executing the proposed growth plan, under conditions as outlined by the committee. The funds are expected to become available towards the end of 2022. The team will also reach out to potential partners in the Netherlands for execution of the programs.
“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.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL GROWTH FUND
With the National Growth Fund the Dutch government will earmark € 20 billion over the next five years for project investments in three fields which have the highest potential for structural and durable economic growth. For more information, see https://www.nationaalgroeifonds.nl/english
ABOUT CELLULAR AGRICULTURE NETHERLANDS
Cellular Agriculture Netherlands is a consortium of Dutch universities, startups, NGOs, and value chain partners including BPF, CE Delft, DSM, KindEarth.Tech, Meatable, Mosa Meat, Nutreco, Planet B.io, RESPECTfarms, SDG NL, Those Vegan Cowboys, TU Delft, Unilever and WUR. They have received support from over 40 organisations like regional development boards, educational institutions, supermarkets and food producers (ranging from individual farmers, to global multinationals), all dedicated to creating a viable, sustainable cellular agriculture sector inside and outside of the Netherlands. For more information, visit en.cellulaireagricultuur.nl or follow the LinkedIn page.