40Research opportunities
44Commercial whitespaces
39Ecosystem support needs
Key: Icon cultivated Cultivated Icon fermentation Fermentation Icon plant based Plant-Based
Opportunity Production platform Solution category Value chain segment Technology sector Maturity level
Systematic investigation of growth factor needs and effects

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…

Icon cultivated Cultivated Icon fermentation Fermentation Research R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Cell culture media Target molecule selection
Growth factors from conditioned 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.

Icon cultivated Cultivated Icon fermentation Fermentation Commercial Research R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Cell culture media Target molecule selection 1 – Inception
Producing animal-like fats through microbial fermentation

Microbial fermentation may be able to help us produce lipids that are identical or similar to animal fats—especially saturated fats, which are exceedingly rare in the plant kingdom.

Icon fermentation Fermentation Commercial Research R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Host strain development Target molecule selection 1 – Inception
Biological processing methods for isolating protein ingredients

Developing and commercializing biological processing methods for isolating and functionalizing protein ingredients

Icon fermentation Fermentation Icon plant based Plant-Based Commercial Research R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Bioprocess design Feedstocks Ingredient optimization Target molecule selection
Biosynthetic pathway discovery for fermentation-produced molecules

Microbial biosynthetic pathways can be mined computationally to identify candidate pathways for manufacturing high-value ingredients via fermentation.

Icon fermentation Fermentation Commercial Research End Products R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Host strain development Target molecule selection
Fat production & encapsulation within oleaginous yeast

Oleaginous yeast with durable cell walls may be able to serve as natural methods of fat encapsulation to protect fats through manufacturing, storage, and preparation.

Icon fermentation Fermentation Research R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Host strain development Target molecule selection

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!

Swinging lit lightbulb graphic representing gfi's innovation priorities

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

Advancing solutions for alternative proteins executive summary icon

Executive summary

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

Advancing solutions for alternative proteins full report icon

Full report

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

Advancing solutions for alternative proteins future wheels analysis icon

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.

Advancing solutions for alternative proteins future-proofing report icon

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.