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07/13/2021

XPRIZE Narrows Field In $15M 'Feed the Next Billion' Competition

Meet the companies planning to disrupt the world of protein
Mike Troy
Editorial Director, Grocery Group
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XPRIZE Narrows Field In $15M 'Feed the Next Billion' Competition
A prize of $15 million is up for grabs as teams competing in the XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion competition strive to develop chicken and fish alternatives.

Food retailers eager for insight into what’s next in the world of protein should keep their eyes on the XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion competition, in which judges have narrowed the field of teams in the $15 million competition to 28.

The competition was launched in December 2020 to reinvent how humanity will feed future generations by incentivizing the production of structured chicken breast or fish fillet alternatives that replicate or outperform conventional chicken and fish in access, environmental sustainability, animal welfare, and nutrition and health, as well as in taste and texture.

“Over the past several years, as our global population continues to grow and the demand for meat products increases, it has become clear that our current global food chain cannot keep up,” said Caroline Kolta, XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion program lead. “We know we need more nutritious, environmentally friendly and sustainable alternatives to conventional animal-based products, and that wide-scale adoption will require additional innovation continuously being brought to market.”

The 28 semifinalist teams from 14 countries were selected by the competition’s panel of judges, based on their technical submissions. Over the next year, the semifinalists will work closely with the competition’s ecosystem and sponsors, which include ASPIRE and The Tony Robbins Foundation, as they begin to develop the first iteration of their products. Toward the end of next year, the 28 teams will be narrowed to up to 10 teams who will split an award of $2.5 million based on the merit of their prototypes.

At that point, finalist teams will enter one last round of solution development before final judging, which will award one grand prize of $7 million; second- and third- place prizes of $2 million and $1 million respectively; and a bonus prize of $2 million. The winning teams will need to create at least 25 cuts of 115-gram or 4-ounce structured chicken breast or fish fillet analogs that replicate the sensory properties, versatility and nutritional profile of conventional chicken or fish.

 The following teams were chose to advance in the competition:

  • Air Protein, United States
  • Another Fish, Canada
  • Atlast Food Co., United States
  • BlueNalu, United States
  • Boston Meats, United States
  • Brew51, India
  • Cell Ag Tech, Canada
  • CellX, China 
  • DiverseFarm-Structured Meat, Japan
  • Enough - No Limits, United Kingdom
  • GOOD Meat, United States
  • IntegriCulture, Japan
  • Kernel Mycofoods, Argentina
  • Kuleana, United States
  • MeatOurFuture, South Africa 
  • Meati Foods, United States
  • MyoWorks, India
  • Novel Farms, United States
  • ProFillet, Canada
  • Revo Foods, Austria
  • SeaSpire, New Zealand
  • TFTAK, Estonia
  • The Better Meat Co., United States
  • The PlantEat, South Korea
  • Umami Meats, Singapore
  • Umiami, France
  • Whiteboard Foods, Canada 
  • Wildtype, United States

The team were chosen by the following panel of judges:

  • Amy C. Rowat, associate professor of integrative biology and physiology, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Brian Jacobson, assistant director of pilot plant operations, University of Illinois, Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL)
  • Dan Blaustein-Rejto, director of food and agriculture, The Breakthrough Institute
  • Kantha Shelke, Ph.D., founder and principal, Corvus Blue LLC
  • Dr. Keith Cox, co-founder and chief scientific officer, Seafood Analytics, assistant professor of marine fisheries, The University of Alaska Southeast (UAS)
  • Dr. Laura Domigan, biomaterials scientist, University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Dr. Marcos Sanchez-Plata, associate professor, global food security - animal and food sciences, Texas Tech University
  • Olivia Ogilvie, postdoctoral fellow in cellular agriculture with a specific focus on cultured meat, University of Auckland, New Zealand

The XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion contents originated from the Future of Food Impact Roadmap, an analysis by XPRIZE of global food system challenges, which found alternative proteins at scale to be a critical impact area requiring significant technological advances, decreased price points and notable shifts in consumers’ preferences. The competition was then launched with the support of partners including ASPIRE, a part of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC); the technology program management pillar of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), which shapes research and development for transformative technology outcomes and defines Abu Dhabi’s R&D strategy; The Tony Robbins FoundationThe Good Food InstituteFoundation for Food and Agriculture,; District 3New Harvest; and Proveg International.