We are working closely with a broad range of partners across different sectors – including academia, start-ups, non-profits and large corporations – as part of our commitment to accelerating the clean meat industry.
“We already offer reagents and equipment needed for the upstream process for growing cells – for example, cell culture media, growth factors, monitoring tools and bioreactors,” says Thomas Herget, our Head Innovation Hub Silicon Valley. “And we serve the stem cell industry with cell lines, differentiation- and analytical tools.”
Cell culture media are a blend of 50 to 100 speciality ingredients – sugars, salts, pH buffers, amino acids, micronutrients and growth factor proteins – each of which needs to be sourced, analysed, sterilized and then optimized for each individual cell type.
“Cell culture media is the major cost driver for clean meat products and attributes 50% to 80% of all costs presently,” says Herget. “For start-up companies, it is a very difficult process to develop their own cell culture media for their specific cells or cell lines. There is a lot of know-how in research and production needed.”
For clean meat production, these recipes will also need to be free from any animal-derived materials – and one of our innovation projects aims to design and commercialize suitable animal-origin free formulations.
We are also interested in helping to find solutions to other technical challenges – including growing cells at scale using industrial perfusion bioreactors and the use of cutting-edge technologies – such as edible scaffolds and 3D printing – that hold the potential to develop the next generation of structured products.