Alternative seafood startups edge closer to $15 million price tag


Called Feed the Next Billion, XPRIZE announced that the two cellular aquaculture startups were among 28 semi-finalist teams in the $15 million competition. Another Fish, Umami Meats* and Cell Ag Tech, which also produce cell-based fish, are other seafood-related companies making a difference. They are joined by SeaSpire, Revo Foods and Kuleana, all of which produce plant-based seafood alternatives.

Launched in December 2020, the competition aims to reinvent the way humanity will feed future generations by incentivizing the production of structured chicken breast or fish fillet alternatives that replicate or surpass conventional chicken and fish in terms of access, environmental sustainability, animal welfare, nutrition and health, as well as taste and texture.

Selected by the competition judging panel, the 28 semi-finalist teams represent 14 countries and were chosen based on their technical submissions.

Over the next year, the semi-finalists will work closely with the contest ecosystem and sponsors, including ASPIRE and the Tony Robbins Foundation, as they begin to develop the first version of their products. Up to 10 teams will then be chosen, based on the merit of their technical solution prototypes, towards the end of 2022 and will share a $2.5 million milestone prize. Finalist teams will participate in a final round of solution development before final judging, which will award one team a grand prize of $7 million, second and third prizes of $2 and $1 million respectively, and a bonus prize of $2 million. Winning teams will be required to create at least 25 115-gram structured chicken breast or fish fillet analog cuts that replicate the sensory properties, versatility and nutritional profile of conventional chicken or fish.

“Over the past few years, as our global population continues to grow and the demand for meat products increases, it has become clear that our current global food chain cannot keep up,” said Caroline Kolta, XPRIZE Feed Program Manager. the Next Billion. “We know we need more nutritious, environmentally friendly and sustainable alternatives to conventional animal products, and that widespread adoption will require bringing additional innovations to market. I am thrilled with the international cohort of semi-finalists selected to embark on this journey of innovation and exploration to shape the future of food, starting with chicken and fish.

The XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion judging panel is made up of a diverse international group of technology industry experts working at the highest levels of academia and research. The eight judges include:

  • Amy C Rowat, associate professor of integrative biology and physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles
  • Brian Jacobson, Deputy Director of Pilot Plant Operations, University of Illinois, Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL)
  • Dan Blaustein-Rejto, director of food and agriculture at the Breakthrough Institute
  • Dr. Kantha Shelke, Founder and Director of Corvus Blue LLC
  • Dr. Keith Cox, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Seafood Analytics, Assistant Professor of Marine Fisheries at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS)
  • Dr Laura Domigan, Biomaterials Scientist, University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Dr. Marcos Sanchez-Plata, Associate Professor, Global Food Security – Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech University
  • Olivia Ogilvie, Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cellular Agriculture with Special Emphasis on Cultured Meat – The University of Auckland

XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion emerged from the Future of Food Impact Roadmap, an in-depth analysis by XPRIZE of global food system challenges, which found alternative protein at scale to be an area of critical impact requiring significant technological advances, lower prices and significant changes in consumer preferences. The competition was then launched with the support of partners including ASPIRE, part of the Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC) Abu Dhabi, the technology program management pillar of the Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC ) of Abu Dhabi, which shapes research and development for transformative technological results. and defines the R&D strategy of Abu Dhabi, the Tony Robbins Foundation, the Good Food Institute, the Food and Agriculture Foundation, District 3, New Harvest and Proveg International. Through the development of alternatives to chicken and fish, teams participating in the award will strive to ensure that as the world becomes wealthier, the availability of sustainable food can meet future demand for food products. that will allow the next billion to live active and healthy lives. lives.

*Umami Meats is part of Hatch’s investment portfolio, but The Fish Site retains editorial independence.

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