40Research opportunities
44Commercial whitespaces
39Ecosystem support needs
Key: Cultivated icon Cultivated Fermentation icon Fermentation Plant-based icon Plant-Based
Opportunity Production platform Solution category Value chain segment Technology sector Maturity level
Build alternative protein sessions into scientific conferences

Elevating the visibility and credibility of the field at scientific conferences will expand the technical talent pipeline and amplify collaboration and funding efforts.

Cultivated icon Cultivated Fermentation icon Fermentation Plant-based icon Plant-Based Ecosystem R&D 2 – Early adoption
Building interdisciplinary university research centers of excellence

Interdisciplinary research is essential for tackling many of the complex problems facing today’s world. Though the number of research projects advancing alternative protein science has increased in recent years, this…

Cultivated icon Cultivated Fermentation icon Fermentation Plant-based icon Plant-Based Ecosystem R&D Workforce 2 – Early adoption
Building alternative protein programs and majors at universities

To ensure a strong talent pipeline, there is a need to launch robust university programming, ranging from certificate programs to short multi-course modules, centered around alternative protein. Full majors would…

Cultivated icon Cultivated Fermentation icon Fermentation Plant-based icon Plant-Based Ecosystem R&D Workforce
Increasing the number, quality, and diversity of alternative protein-relevant university courses

There is a significant and urgent need to launch and support university and online courses in order to build and extend the talent pipeline of students going into the alternative…

Cultivated icon Cultivated Fermentation icon Fermentation Plant-based icon Plant-Based Ecosystem R&D Workforce
Production process innovations for fiber formation and improved plant protein texturization

Fibers from techniques like electrospinning, jet spinning, or blow spinning may be able to impart a desirable texture to a given product.

Plant-based icon Plant-Based Commercial Research End Products Production R&D End product formulation & manufacturing 2 – Early adoption
Coordination among investors with alternative protein industry-specific expertise

Investors specializing in alternative proteins should be leveraged to educate the broader investment community through coalitions, syndicated deals, and co-investments with industry-agnostic investors, and spearhead efforts to facilitate later-stage funding…

Cultivated icon Cultivated Fermentation icon Fermentation Plant-based icon Plant-Based Commercial Ecosystem Investment 2 – Early adoption
Establishing student groups at key universities

Universities are epicenters for creative problem-solving and cutting-edge research advancements, and they can serve as engines for interdisciplinary innovation. However, this potential is not being tapped fully by the alternative…

Cultivated icon Cultivated Fermentation icon Fermentation Plant-based icon Plant-Based Ecosystem Demand Generation R&D Workforce
Guaranteed offtake contracts for products and ingredients

Guaranteed offtake agreements, where buyers commit to purchase a volume of product, can help secure loans for infrastructure and other high-cost projects.

Cultivated icon Cultivated Fermentation icon Fermentation Plant-based icon Plant-Based Commercial Ecosystem End Products Investment Production End product formulation & manufacturing 1 – Inception
Open-access product formulation specification sheets

Open-access product formulation specifications could provide clear metrics and objectives for product developers on attributes like taste, price, nutrition, and ingredient ratios.

Fermentation icon Fermentation Plant-based icon Plant-Based Ecosystem End Products R&D End product formulation & manufacturing Ingredient optimization 2 – Early adoption
Expanding private label plant-based offerings

Brands, dedicated private labelers, and co-manufacturers can take advantage of the private labeling opportunity, and would benefit from developing a wide range of products to fit every category and access…

Fermentation icon Fermentation Plant-based icon Plant-Based Commercial Business Services Distribution Channels End Products Production End product formulation & manufacturing 2 – Early adoption

Get involved

If you’d like to fund a research project, work on any of these solutions, share information about related efforts that are already underway, or elevate new ideas for advancing the alternative protein industry, we’d love to hear from you!

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Explore key innovation priorities

Review commercial whitespaces, research gaps, technological needs, and investment priorities at each stage of the alternative protein value chain.

How we built this

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Executive summary

Get an overview of GFI’s Solutions initiative and a summary of key resources.

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Full report

Delve into the full report on the motivation, methodology, rationale, and key findings and recommendations of the Solutions initiative.

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Futures wheels analysis

Explore our framework for uncovering second-order or third-order consequences and implications of hypothetical future scenarios to support better decision-making in the present.

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Future-proofing

Discover key findings from GFI’s premortem analysis of potential threats to the widespread adoption of alternative proteins, including strategies to avoid or mitigate the most pressing risks.