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
Guidelines for cultivated meat starter cell selection

Improving our understanding of the relative advantages and disadvantages of different cell types for cultivated meat would enable companies to make these decisions more effectively with less duplicative effort.

Icon cultivated Cultivated Research R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Cell line development 1 – Inception
Plants as a recombinant protein expression platform for functional food ingredients

Crop plants used as recombinant protein production hosts could offer benefits of minimal processing, cheaper equipment, and fewer downstream purification costs.

Icon fermentation Fermentation Icon plant based Plant-Based Commercial Research Production R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Crop development Ingredient optimization 2 – Early adoption
Forging product development partnerships among ingredient suppliers and manufacturers

Opportunities exist to coordinate product development partnerships between ingredient suppliers, strategic partners, and product manufacturers to directly engage more holistically on product formulation.

Icon cultivated Cultivated Icon fermentation Fermentation Icon plant based Plant-Based Commercial Ecosystem End Products Production Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Cell culture media Crop development Feedstocks Ingredient optimization Scaffolding 1 – Inception
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
Expand capacity for demonstration-scale and mid-scale co-manufacturing

Companies entering the alt protein space often struggle to secure line time at demonstration-scale and mid-scale commercial production facilities. Greater availability of mid-scale contract capacity would reduce capital outlays and…

Icon cultivated Cultivated Icon fermentation Fermentation Icon plant based Plant-Based Commercial Ecosystem Production R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Bioprocess design End product formulation & manufacturing
Infrastructure and equipment leasing fund

Infrastructure leasing for production and processing facilities as well as capital equipment would enable alternative protein companies to rapidly expand capacity without large upfront capital investments. Having leasing funds and…

Icon cultivated Cultivated Icon fermentation Fermentation Icon plant based Plant-Based Commercial Investment Production Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs
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
Establishment of cell line repositories and standardized isolation protocols

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…

Icon cultivated Cultivated Commercial Research R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Cell line development
Plant-based ingredient analytical and characterization service

Plant protein ingredient characterization tools or as a service.

Icon plant based Plant-Based Commercial Research R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Bioprocess design Ingredient optimization

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.