Newsletter #2

Hi everyone, Alex here with the second Cellular Agriculture UK newsletter!

Our launch event took place a week ago, and it was a huge success! Read below to find out more.

We have 2 events coming up this month! First, we’re hosting a talk and Q&A session with Mike Selden, CEO of Finless Foods, and their newly appointed Director of Food Science, Mariliis Holm, at Imperial College London!

And second, we’re having our first social ‘Clean Meat and Greet’ (get it?) at a lovely vegan pub with shockingly cheap burgers and vegan Mac ‘N’ Cheese!!!

What’s been happening

Our launch event took place on Tuesday the 26th of February, and it was a huge success!

We were thrilled to see ~55 attendees representing industry R&D leaders, investors, lawyers, excited students and vegetarian & vegan activists, all gathered in one place to discuss the field of Cellular Agriculture.

After some networking and snacks, we moved on to the presentation portion of the night. Our very own Seren Kell introduced the problem of animal agriculture and the exciting solution offered by cellular agriculture.

Iltud Dunsford spoke about his journey as a Welsh farmer, establishing an award-winning artisan meat company, travelling the world on a farming scholarship, discovering the potential of cell-based meat and founding the UK’s first cellular agriculture company, ‘Cellular Agriculture Ltd’.

Chris Bryant, Director of Social Sciences at the Cellular Agriculture Society (CAS), spoke about research into consumer acceptance of cellular agriculture products, including discussions on the best nomenclature (“clean meat” vs “cell-based” etc.), the best benefits to focus on when explaining the field to consumers (environment vs ethics vs health) and consumer opinion of cell-based meat around the world.

Finally, Richard Parr gave a talk in which he announced his very recent appointment as the Managing Director for Europe at the Good Food Institute! He touched upon GFI’s mission, then took suggestions from the audience on how best to help the field grow in this part of the world.

After the talks, we stuck around to continue networking, moving to a nearby bar and letting the discussions continue over some beers.

Overall, it was a thrillingly well-attended and insightful evening. It was fantastic seeing lots of new faces and hearing people in passionate conversations about the future of the field. We hope with each conference and casual meet-up to increase the cohesion of the community in the UK and provide a fertile mixing ground for ideas and collaboration.

What’s coming up

With our launch event behind us, we’re now preparing for our two March events!

On Monday 11th March, we will be hosting an evening event with Mike Selden, CEO of Finless Foods, along with Mariliis Holm, Finless Foods’ Director of Food Science. There will be a talk followed by a Q&A session.

This is the first talk in the UK by a cellular agriculture company making seafood, so get your ticket ASAP to learn about the unique challenges of growing cold-blooded animal cells!

The venue & time are currently TBC, but ticket holders will receive an email when this is finalised, and we will also post on our website, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Also, our first social meet-up, the ‘Clean Meat & Greet’, is coming up! Please note the change of date - the event will now be held on Tuesday 26th March. This will be a more relaxed event at a vegan pub in Islington, which promises a great night of discussions but also £7 vegan burgers and vegan Mac ‘n’ Cheese! I have no doubt this will be our most popular event; vegan Mac ‘n’ Cheese!!

What we’ve been working on

Since the first newsletter, which came out on the 12th of February, we’ve been working hard arranging our upcoming events!

In addition, Seren gave another talk to a group of interested students, this time at the University of Cambridge. An important part of our goal is to spread awareness of the field, and targeting bright young minds is an ideal place to start.

Opportunities

Our friends at Higher Steaks, a UK clean meat company, are hiring! They are looking to hire and/or collaborate with Bioprocess Engineers, Biomaterial Scientists, and people of similar backgrounds. You can find more information here.

Additionally, at our launch event, Richard Parr (newly-appointed Managing Director for Europe at the Good Food Institute) was very interested in hearing the audience’s suggestions for how GFI could best support the Cellular Agriculture movement in Europe. If you have any suggestions for key issues that GFI should prioritise in Europe, or key activities it should undertake, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with him at richardp@gfi.org. Many thanks!

UK News

In the news this month, we saw an early UK skirmish in the international war over regulation and labelling of animal-free foods.

After the opening of the country’s first all-vegan cheese shop, the lobby group ‘Dairy UK’ wrote to the owners, asking the startup to stop using the word "cheese" to describe dairy-free products it sells.

There will no doubt be far more news stories like this in the coming months!

Shout-Outs

I’d like to give a big shout out and thank you to our friends at the ‘Cultured Meat and Future Foods Podcast’, who were kind enough to give our launch event a mention in one of their recent episodes.

For a field as small as Cellular Agriculture, it’s fantastic that this podcast exists. It contains a huge number of high-quality interviews with a variety of big names in the field, such as Isha Datar, Paul Shapiro, Mike Selden, Ahmed Kahn, Benjamina Bollag & Stephanie Wallis… the list goes on and on!

Also, Ahmed Khan of CellAgri is writing an eBook on the field of cellular agriculture; I’ve read the draft version and it’s really great! It contains all the essentials of what you need to know; information on the science behind clean meat (described in a really clear way). a look at the process of moving from lab to market, common misconceptions, and obstacles that the field will need to overcome.

It’s a seriously fantastic resource; keep an eye on cell.ag (or sign up for their newsletter) to get your copy when it’s released.

Signing out

So that was February, a very exciting month! And March promises to be even better; we have an event where there will be vegan Mac ‘N’ Cheese!!

If you have any feedback, questions or items you’d like us to include in future newsletters, please don’t hesitate to get in touch; you can send in an email via the “Contact Us” page of our website, or message me directly on LinkedIn.

Newsletter #1 (February 2019)

Welcome to the first Cellular Agriculture UK newsletter! This monthly email will summarise what has been going on in the field in the UK, what we’ve been up to, which events are on the horizon, and any opportunities in the field.

Our launch event is only 2 weeks away (Tuesday 26th February), and we hope to see you all there! For more information, click here, and read below.

What’s been happening

The 4th International Scientific Conference on Cultured Meat took place in October in Maastricht, and our Co-Founder Rachael attended; here’s what she had to say about it:

“Professor Mark Post, creator of the world’s first cultured burger, put together a fantastic programme for the 4th International Scientific Conference on Cultured Meat, featuring experts from a wide range of fields – adipose tissue engineering, serum-free cell culture, bioreactor design, tissue formation, biomaterials, cell selection, life cycle assessment, social science and the emerging regulatory landscape.

A particular highlight was Hanna Tuomisto’s presentation on uncertainties in calculations of the environmental impacts of cultured meat production, which sparked an interesting dialogue about different ways of presenting the data for publication. The speakers offered something for everyone, from students looking to apply their skills to this new venture, to seasoned academics, entrepreneurs, industry professionals, investors and even politicians!

The well-catered networking sessions provided valuable opportunities to meet delegates from across Europe, Asia and North America, and to view the excellent posters on display. Overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable and immensely informative event. The next conference will take place on 6-8th October 2019 in Maastricht, The Netherlands – we hope to see you there!”

Co-Founder Seren gave a talk and Q&A session at Imperial College London on the exciting potential of clean meat. This marked our first public outreach talk about clean meat, with another planned in Cambridge later this month, and more to follow in the future!

What’s coming up

Our launch event is happening this month!

The evening will feature international speakers, an introduction to Cellular Agriculture UK, and a chance to connect with other attendees. Tickets are free, and the event will be held in Shoreditch. Speakers include Iltud Dunsford, CEO and Co-founder, Cellular Agriculture Ltd, Chris Bryant, Social Science Division Director, Cellular Agriculture Society, and members of Cellular Agriculture UK.

And looking past our launch event, on Wednesday the 13th of March we will be having our first Clean Meat and Greet at The Blacksmith & the Toffeemaker, a vegan pub in Islington. This will be a more relaxed and public event where people working in or interested in cell ag can socialise over a beer and some vegan burgers (the menu can be found here - wow!). We plan on arranging these casual meetings every 2 months.

Check out our events page for a handy calendar containing dates for upcoming events in the cell ag space!

What we’ve been working on

We all met for the first time to discuss setting up Cellular Agriculture UK in September of last year, and we’ve been very busy since then!

Since September, we’ve been working hard on: making our website, securing funding for events, networking with a variety of people and organisations in the field, hunting for the perfect venue for our launch event, acquiring even more perfect speakers for the event, procrastinating writing the newsletter by learning to code, setting up a Facebook page, and building up the resources section of our website.

Opportunities

Have a cellular agriculture company idea? Sign up for the EU funded SETsquared Entrepreneur Programme for Tech Start-ups! The 2-day programme is being held on 28th February & 1st March in Guildford, Surrey, with free places allocated based on the strength of the business case put forward in the application.

This programme, designed by SETsquared, is fully-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (no cost to the Entrepreneur). The 2-day workshop helps the Entrepreneur to develop an Executive Summary, a Pitch Deck, a Business Model and a basic Financial Plan.

For more information, click here.

Signing out

Thanks for reading! We look forward to seeing you at our launch event.

If you have any feedback, questions or things you’d like to be included in future newsletters, please don’t hesitate to get in touch; you can send in an email via the “Contact Us” page of our website, or message me directly on LinkedIn.

Have a great February!

Alexander Large, Co-Founder, Cellular Agriculture UK