40Research opportunities
44Commercial whitespaces
39Ecosystem support needs
Key: Cultivated icon Cultivated Fermentation icon Fermentation Plant-based icon Plant-Based
Opportunity Production platform Value chain segment Technology sector End product focus Relevant actor
Semi-continuous bioprocess for whole cut cultivated meat using simultaneous perfusion and stretch

Stretching of engineered muscle constructs has been previously demonstrated to induce alignment and maturation of muscle fibers, which is desirable for whole cut cultivated meat. Stretch stimuli could also be…

Cultivated icon Cultivated Production R&D Bioprocess design Scaffolding Terrestrial-specific Academics Industry Startups
Incorporating omega-3s into cultivated seafood

Cultivated seafood will need to be supplemented with long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids to be nutritionally equivalent or superior to conventional seafood. However, how these compounds can best be incorporated…

Cultivated icon Cultivated Production R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Bioprocess design Cell culture media Cell line development End product formulation & manufacturing Scaffolding Seafood Academics Industry Startups
Repurposing and retrofitting facilities for use in alternative protein manufacturing

The manufacturing capacity for rapid and cost-effective scale-up of alternative protein production is a current constraint on the growth of the industry. Repurposing and retrofitting stranded or underutilized assets such…

Cultivated icon Cultivated Fermentation icon Fermentation Plant-based icon Plant-Based Business Services Production Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Bioprocess design End product formulation & manufacturing Seafood-relevant Species-agnostic Academics Donors GFI Industry NGO’s Policymakers Startups
Cultivated meat makerspaces to promote public engagement

Both the cultivated meat industry and interested members of the general public would benefit from the creation of makerspaces focused on cultivated meat. These would be publicly available spaces where…

Cultivated icon Cultivated R&D Workforce Bioprocess design Cell culture media Cell line development Scaffolding Species-agnostic Academics Donors GFI Industry NGO’s Startups
Improving affordability, nutrition, and organoleptic properties of cultivated meat through co-cultures with support cells

Skeletal muscle is composed of approximately 90% muscle fibers, along with adipose, connective, nervous, and vascular tissue (Listrat et al. 2016). Cultivated meat research focuses primarily on muscle fibers and…

Cultivated icon Cultivated Production R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Bioprocess design Cell culture media Cell line development Seafood-relevant Academics Industry Startups
B2B bioreactor technology company

Alternative protein companies would benefit from the availability of off-the-shelf or customizable bioreactors for cultivated meat and fermentation-derived products. This need could be filled by increased investment in and support…

Cultivated icon Cultivated Fermentation icon Fermentation R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Bioprocess design Species-agnostic Industry Startups
Metabolic modeling for cultivated meat

Academic researchers or consortia consisting of several cultivated meat companies should undertake research aimed at understanding metabolic pathways and fluxes within cultivated meat-relevant cell types. The outputs of this research…

Cultivated icon Cultivated R&D Bioprocess design Cell culture media Cell line development Seafood-relevant Academics Industry Investors Startups
Affordable animal-free omega-3 ingredients for alternative seafood and other alternative protein applications

In order to appeal to health-conscious consumers, alternative seafood products should contain similar omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA and EPA, content to conventional seafood. Animal-free omega-3 ingredients can be expensive…

Fermentation icon Fermentation Plant-based icon Plant-Based Investment Production R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Bioprocess design Crop development Host strain development Ingredient optimization Target molecule selection Seafood Industry Investors Startups
Novel methods for long-chain omega-3 fatty acid production

As the alternative seafood industry scales up, a low-cost and abundant source of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids will become necessary. Several means of producing these compounds have been investigated…

Fermentation icon Fermentation R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Bioprocess design Host strain development Ingredient optimization Target molecule selection Seafood Academics Industry Startups
Preventing oxidation of omega-3 fatty acids before and after addition to alternative seafood products

Deeper fundamental knowledge of the causes and prevention of oxidation of omega-3 fatty acids before, during, and after addition to alternative seafood products is needed to improve their nutritional and…

Cultivated icon Cultivated Fermentation icon Fermentation Plant-based icon Plant-Based End Products Investment Production R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Bioprocess design Crop development End product formulation & manufacturing Host strain development Ingredient optimization Target molecule selection Seafood Academics Industry Investors Startups

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

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Full report

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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.