- Novel Farms has been awarded a $999,967 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
- The grant will support the scale-up of Novel Farms’ proprietary scaffolding platform to reduce the costs of cultivated meat production.
- The project addresses sustainability and public health challenges posed by conventional animal agriculture.
- The primary focus is lowering the cost of cell culture media to make cultivated meat a viable alternative to conventional meat.
- The funding will enable Novel Farms to expand its scientific team and transition from bench scale to bioreactor scale.
Novel Farms, a Berkeley-based food technology startup, has been awarded a two-year Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant of $999,967 by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The grant aims to support the company’s groundbreaking work in cultivated meat production, particularly the scale-up of their proprietary scaffolding platform.
Addressing Sustainability and Public Health
The project seeks to address the significant sustainability and public health challenges associated with conventional industrial animal agriculture. Novel Farms is focused on developing more efficient and economical ways to produce real meat directly from animal cells, commonly known as cultivated meat. The primary challenge in this industry is the high cost of cell culture media, which needs to be competitive with conventional meat production to make cultivated meat a viable alternative.
Lowering Media Costs
The company’ Phase II project is geared towards further reducing the cost of cell culture media. The company plans to eliminate costly components by refining their proprietary scaffolding technology. This funding will empower Novel Farms to expand its scientific team and transition its processes from bench scale to bioreactor scale, a crucial step towards establishing a scalable cultivated meat production system.
Comments from Novel Farms’ Leadership
Dr. Michelle Lu, Co-Founder and CSO of Novel Farms, stated, “During our Phase I efforts, we demonstrated the feasibility and capabilities of our innovative structuring platform, exemplified by the development of a marbled and structured cultivated pork prototype.” Dr. Nieves Martinez Marshall, CEO of Novel Farms, added, “We are proud to be rooted in fundamental research and are grateful for NSF’s recognition of the disruptive potential of our scaffolding platform.”