Open-access research into growth factors required for proliferation, maintenance, and differentiation of cell types relevant to cultivated meat will support both academic and industry research efforts. This research could include screening of species-specific growth factors under a variety of conditions and in a variety of cell types to characterize cross-species compatibility, which informs commercial efforts to scale production of the most widely used growth factors. Research should also seek to define optimal concentrations of individual growth factors and cocktails for achieving various cell states or behaviors, as well as understanding interactions between growth factors.
Cell culture media
Rather than relying on recombinant growth factors, cultivated meat companies could use conditioned media from animal cells producing high levels of these molecules.
A number of cellular processes occurring after slaughter are known to affect the quality and sensory properties of conventional meat. Cultivated meat will offer unprecedented control over these parameters and therefore over the quality of the final product, but it is critical to understand exactly how post-harvest processes for cultivated meat can or should differ from post-slaughter processes in conventional meat. This research can enable subsequent innovations in bioprocess design, media formulation, cell line development, or harvesting techniques to confer consistently high levels of meat quality from cultivated meat processes.
Many alternative protein companies use similar inputs, but individually lack the purchasing power to negotiate favorable contract terms. A pooled procurement/group purchasing mechanism for ingredients, inputs (growth factors, media, etc.), and feedstocks would help reduce costs and increase industry leverage.
Animal cell metabolism within cultivators can produce useful co-product side streams that provide monetary value to the manufacturer while creating a novel source of inputs for other industries. Potential side streams should be identified and analyzed for their utility and economic viability, in addition to developing methods for efficient side stream capture.
The availability of more open-access formulations will provide a foundation to enable both academic researchers and startup companies to develop their own customized formulations with far less effort and cost.
Because cultivated meat replicates the fundamental biology of the source animal, animal-level data may be informative for predicting cellular behavior in culture.
Connecting the buyers and sellers of the ingredients, inputs, and services needed to produce alternative proteins.