Tackling methane

Roslin gets £1m to turn animal cells into meat


Programme aims to replace animal rearing

Roslin Technologies has received a £1 million grant to develop its world-leading technology for cultivated meat which is grown directly from animal cells without the need to raise animals.

The grant is part of a UK government drive to make food production more sustainable and follows plans announced a the COP26 summit in Glasgow to lower emissions of greenhouse gas methane.

Animal rearing is a significant contributor to methane released into the atmosphere and the increased use of cultivated meat could help reduce emissions. 

Support comes from UK Research and Innovation under the Transforming Food Production programme, with investment led by the British Innovation Fund.

Demand for protein alternatives to meat has grown considerably recently, in part due to concerns about the environmental impact of traditional farming and as people try to reduce their red meat intake. Cultivated meat as a result is getting significant attention, attracting more than $1 billion in investments in recent years.

Roslin Technologies is using its advanced cell technology to work with partners around the world to enable cultivated meat to reach consumer markets faster.

While the technology is developing rapidly in this area, production costs are still high and not optimised for large scale production. Roslin Technologies’ cells have been shown to replicate indefinitely and without the deterioration that other cell types demonstrate, thereby making them very suitable for large scale, and more efficient production. 

Roslin Technologies plans to use this investment as a springboard for its series A investment round which will help fund the next wave of innovation in cells for the industry.

Commenting on the news, programme coordinator and Roslin Technologies’ Chief Scientific Officer Prof Jacqui Matthews said “Roslin Tech is at the stage of turning its ground-breaking stem cell innovations into a commercially exploitable proposition for the global cultivated meat sector.

“We are delighted that UK government has recognised us as a British world leader in this area and support us in our vision to make cultivated meat affordable and available around the world.”

Roslin Technologies CEO Ernst van Orsouw said: “There’s something to be said for being at the right place at the right time in business – our novel cell technology is the way the world can help overcome some of the most important challenges it faces, particularly in relation to sustainability and climate change.

“We are engaging with cultivated meat producers globally to drive adoption.”

UKRI Challenge director for transforming food production Katrina Hayter said: “To gain funding in a project like this you have to have the knowledge and the potential to turn it into a realistic and successful business proposition.

“We believe developing cultivated meat is one of the most significant advances that we can make, as a country and as a planet, to tackle the scourge of food shortages and climate change. We are delighted to be working with Roslin Technologies on this project.”

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