BERKELEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Novel Farms, Inc., a food technology startup based in Berkeley, California, has been awarded the highly competitive Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The $999,967 two-year grant is a testament to Novel Farms' groundbreaking work in the field of cultivated meat production and will provide critical funding to support the scale-up of their proprietary scaffolding platform. This innovative platform leverages a novel microbial fermentation approach and tissue engineering techniques to significantly reduce the costs associated with cultivated meat.
At the core of this project lies the ambition to address the profound sustainability and public health challenges posed by conventional industrial animal agriculture. By developing more efficient and economical ways to produce real meat directly from animal cells i.e., cultivated meat, Novel Farms aims to disrupt the current damaging meat production paradigm. The primary challenge faced by the cultivated meat industry is the cost of cell culture media, which must be competitive with conventional meat production to establish cultivated meat as a viable alternative. To confront this challenge head-on, Novel Farms' Phase II project is geared towards further lowering media costs by eliminating costly components through the continued refinement of their proprietary scaffolding technology. This crucial funding injection will empower the company to expand its scientific team and transition its processes from bench scale to bioreactor scale—a pivotal step towards establishing an efficient and scalable cultivated meat production system.
Dr. Michelle Lu, Co-Founder and CSO of Novel Farms, commented, "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. This progress, coupled with our unwavering commitment to scientific rigor, has laid a solid foundation that has garnered recognition through this competitive award."
"We are proud to be rooted in fundamental research and are grateful for NSF's recognition of the disruptive potential of our scaffolding platform," said Dr. Nieves Martinez Marshall, CEO of Novel Farms.
About Novel Farms. Novel Farms is on a mission to redefine the future of food with a dedicated focus on crafting whole cuts of cultivated meat. Their vision encompasses both culinary excellence and sustainability, aiming to cater to the diverse palates of meat enthusiasts while also meeting the expectations of environmentally-conscious consumers.
About America’s Seed Fund. America’s Seed Fund powered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $2 million in non-dilutive funds to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. For more information, visit seedfund.nsf.gov.