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Ivy Farm and Synbio Powerlabs sign agreement to scale and produce cultivated meat in Finland

May 16, 2024

Synbio Powerlabs and UK cultivated meat company, Ivy Farm Technologies, have announced a new, groundbreaking scaleup and manufacturing partnership aimed at pioneering the use of mammalian cells in large food-grade fermenters at Synbio’s new cutting-edge hub.  

With the support of a €2.99 million grant from the Finnish government, Synbio Powerlabs is transforming a large food-grade facility close to the capital of Helsinki into a cutting-edge multi-purpose haven for food innovation, positioning Finland as a centre of excellence for alt-proteins.  

The new facility, which will go live in early 2025, has been designed to help scale the production capabilities of startups operating in innovative industries such as precision fermentation, biomass fermentation and cultivated meat. The facility has pilot-scale equipment and production scales at 10,000 liters and 27,000 liters and will boast six 250,000-liter manufacturing vessels, which, once opened, will make it the largest facility of its kind in the world.

As part of this exclusive partnership, Ivy Farm will be the first to demonstrate the scalability of mammalian cells in food-grade vessels at this level of output. For Ivy Farm, this partnership offers a strategic advantage, mitigating CapEx costs and risks associated with scaling up production by gaining access to Synbio Powerlabs' expertise and existing facilities. This next phase of the partnership will focus on tech transfer and scaling up to 10,000-liter fermenters, with plans to push the envelope on production scales and efficiencies over the coming years.

The new partnership was publicly announced at Iceland Innovation Week on Thursday, where Ivy Farm co-hosted the first-ever tasting of cultivated beef in the Nordics with ORF Genetics, a producer of recombinant animal growth factors derived from barley seeds. The event was attended by Icelandic government officials as well as other food innovators and tech leaders, where Ivy Farm’s cultivated premium Angus beef was showcased with an exclusive tasting for a selected few, cooked by leading chef Ólafur Örn Ólafsson from Brút Restaurant.

The Nordic region represents a promising region for cultivated meat, where forward-thinking consumers and regulators are seeking to streamline regulatory approvals to boost national food security and unlock the economic potential of cultivated meat. These regions, much like other innovative and food insecure regions such as the Middle East, are high net-importers of meat but have an abundance of renewable energy and tech expertise to take advantage of the high tech cultivated meat opportunity.

"The partnership with Synbio Powerlabs represents a significant milestone for Ivy Farm and our ambitions to scale cultivated meat," commented Richard Dillon, CEO at Ivy Farm Technologies. "By leveraging Synbio Powerlabs' expertise and cutting-edge facilities, we are de-risking our scaleup journey with a CapEx-light approach. Ivy Farm is committed to partnering with fermentation experts and licensing our technology in order to accelerate the transition to cultivated meat globally.  

Alejandro Antalich, Chairman of Synbio Powerlabs, added, “Through this partnership with Ivy Farm Technologies, we aim to pioneer a new frontier in high-quality food manufacturing by harnessing the potential of mammalian cells within large fermenters, offering sustainable solutions that meet the growing demands of a rapidly expanding population. By converging our cutting-edge technology and innovative thinking, we are not only revolutionizing the way meat is produced but also paving the way for a more efficient, scalable, and environmentally friendly approach to mass-scale food production.  

“With the support of Clingate Oy and the Finnish government, we are proud to lead the charge in transforming our vision into reality, positioning ourselves as a global leader in food innovation. Together with Ivy Farm Technologies, we are committed to pushing the boundaries of what is possible and shaping the future of food.”

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