The UK Is Not Only Talking About Supporting Alternative Food Sources, It Is Actually Funding Them

Innovate UK and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have created a strategic partnership to support innovations designed to drive transformation across the food industry to meet the demands of a growing population while promoting health and sustainability.

They are not simply talking a good game, but are playing one and have already backing 32 innovative projects that produce foods in a more environmentally friendly way, investing £15.6 million in 32 projects as part of the novel low-emission food production systems competition (a full list of the project which are to receive funding is available here).

A few of the projects are developing alternative proteins that contribute to a more sustainable and diversified food system. Many of the funded projects focus on enhancing production processes for cultivated meats to generate future products that are not only high in nutrients but also cost-effective. Some of the projects also hope to unlock the growth potential of the UK insect farming industry, offering a sustainable approach to help decarbonise livestock production.

To further bolster the alternative proteins sector in the UK, BBSRC and Innovate UK have also launched a new funding opportunity to establish an Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC), which aims to provide vital support for research and innovation in the field of alternative proteins – in total there is £18,750,000 of funding available.

The investment will serve as a driving force in fostering collaboration within the community to address a range of research and innovation challenges. From fundamental discovery research and pre-competitive opportunities to proof-of-concept and commercially-focused activities, the IKC will play a pivotal role in advancing the landscape of alternative proteins in the UK.