Thursday, June 20, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

The Bezos Earth Fund donates $30 million to lab-grown meat research

Published 6 June 2024
- By Editorial Staff
“Ultimately, it’s our communities and consumers that will be purchasing and consuming sustainable proteins”, says the director of the research center.

The Amazon founder’s organization, the Bezos Earth Fund, is donating more than $30 million to North Carolina State University to research “alternative protein sources” in a new center at the university. Among other things, the center will focus on plant-based protein sources and lab-grown meat.

The new Bezos Center for Sustainable Protein at the university will focus on plant-based protein alternatives, using precision fermentation to produce protein and growing meat from animal cells.

The Bezos Earth Fund was established in 2020 with a $10 billion grant from former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The idea of the fund is to give grants to those doing research on climate and nature. In March, the fund announced that it would focus on developing non-livestock protein alternatives.

For this grant, it first identified 40 universities around the world that could conduct this type of research. It then invited 14 of them to submit applications and undergo interviews, with North Carolina State University ultimately winning the grant.

– Ultimately, it’s our communities and consumers that will be purchasing and consuming sustainable proteins. The task ahead will be to make healthy and tasty products that are affordable and accessible, Bill Aimutis, co-director of the new center and executive director of the North Carolina Food Innovation Lab, told The News & Observer.

“Food has been ignored.”

The motivation for the large grant is that it’s seen as “an important step in addressing climate change” by developing technology around so-called sustainable protein production, with the idea of lowering food prices as well.

– For too long on the climate side, the assumption has been it’s only about energy…. Food and nature have been ignored. That is changing radically now, and we want to be part of that, says Andrew Steer, president and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund and former World Bank special envoy for climate change.

The goal is not to replace agriculture, but to provide alternatives.

– We need to come up with technologies that can supplement the current food technologies, says Rohan Shirwaiker, deputy director of the Bezos Center and professor of industrial engineering at N.C. State.

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