More frameworks for academic-industry collaboration could help build talent pipelines, create research commercialization pathways, and drive alignment on research priorities.
Directories of contract manufacturers for plant-based production, fermentation, and animal cell culture
The alt protein industry would benefit from better open-access directories of co-manufacturers interested in producing alternative proteins, including more detail on their equipment and capabilities.
Investment platforms are needed for deal flow and coordinating hand-offs from pre-seed (angels and accelerators), seed/early-stage, and growth/later-stage investors and acquirers.
Dedicated brokers, consultants, directories, and other matching mechanisms could help connect alternative protein companies to engineering/design/construction firms with relevant experience and interest in the alternative protein sector.
An alternative protein data lake could contain anonymized data from processing runs across many manufacturers, informing processing improvements and aiding process failure troubleshooting.
Given the strong and persistent growth in alternative protein production, the industry has a pressing need for a trained workforce. Technical colleges should establish programs to help train the next generation of alternative protein workforces and build a talent pipeline for the industry.
Development of humanely-sourced and thoroughly documented and characterized cell lines from a variety of common food species—together with a mechanism for licensing and distributing these lines to researchers and companies—will remove a key barrier to entry into the field of cultivated meat. In addition, development of open-access, standardized protocols for performing cell isolation from a variety of source tissues and establishing robust cell lines will streamline the processes for those who do end up needing to perform their own isolation and cell line establishment.
There is a need for deeper fundamental research on the relationships between protein sequence, structure, functionality, and ultimately performance in plant-based food products. While several plant-based companies have claimed a competitive advantage from building databases of functional properties and applying machine learning to inform protein selection and formulation, these capabilities remain proprietary and the efforts duplicative. An open-access database could provide functional and characterization data using standardized methods to facilitate direct performance comparisons among proteins and train predictive algorithms.
Tailored resources in the form of events, courses, thought leadership, directories, consulting services, and training programs for alternative protein B2B sales people.