Can we make exact vegan replicas of chicken breasts and fish fillets? This global competition is betting $ 15 million on it
Based in California XPRIZE, a not-for-profit organization known for its global competitive models to solve the world’s leading challenges, recently announced the launch of XPRIZE feed the next billion, a global competition with a total purse of $ 15 million. The global four-year competition aims to inspire teams around the world to create vegan alternatives to chicken breasts or fish fillets that surpass their animal counterparts. The winning team will receive a grand prize of $ 7 million.
Food security by 2050
XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion was developed in response to nonprofits Roadmap for the future of the food impact, an in-depth analysis of challenges to the global food system that identified 12 key breakthroughs that could help create a more sustainable and food-safe world by 2050.
With an estimated population of 9.7 billion people within the next 30 years, the demand for protein-rich products is growing. XPRIZE aims to help provide, find and develop alternative sources of protein to counter the increasing demand in animal husbandry that only accelerate deforestation, loss of biodiversity, climate change, strain global water supplies and worsen the inhumane treatment of animals would. “Billions of people want high-quality protein as a food source, but the earth is unable to provide it with traditional livestock,” said XPRIZE founder Peter H. Diamandis, MD. “A much more sustainable and scalable methodology is required. XPRIZE Feed The Next Billion aims to produce poultry and fish that are affordable, sustainable, more nutritious and less expensive than the mechanisms currently in place. We believe hundreds of entrepreneurs will be focused on making breakthroughs in this critical and important area to feed the world. “
Working with Abu Dhabi-based transformative technology company ASPIRE and The Tim Robbins FoundationXPRIZE Feed the Next Billion, a nonprofit committed to improving the social well-being of communities in need, will take place in three rounds over four years. Now that registration is open, teams must register by April 28, 2021 and pay the associated entry fee of USD 1,500 to participate. Teams participating by February 17, 2021 will be charged a reduced registration fee of $ 1,000.
During the first round of the competition, which will take place shortly after the registration deadline in April 2021, the judges will select up to 30 teams to reach the semifinals. The selected teams will split $ 500,000 evenly to offset the costs often associated with early solution development.
In the third quarter of 2022, judges will select 10 teams from the original 30 teams that will be awarded a total of $ 2.5 million to advance to the finals. After the third and final round, the winners will be announced in early 2024.
The main prize
XPrize Feed the Next Billion awards the winning team a grand prize of $ 7 million. To win, teams must come up with several consistent 4-ounce cuts of vegan alternatives to raw chicken breast fillets or fish fillets. Proposed alternatives must replicate or exceed their animal counterparts in terms of structure, versatility, nutritional profile, taste and texture, accessibility, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare.
Second and third place teams will take home $ 2 million and $ 1 million, respectively. A $ 2 million bonus award will be given to the team developing a growth medium free of animal ingredients at the lowest cost of production.
Whole pieces of meat without animals
In recent years, global developments have accelerated the innovation of meat alternatives. In 2019, the new company Atlas Food Co. developed a method of making three-dimensional, whole, plant-based cuts of meat using mycelium (a rapidly growing fungal root system). In November of that year, Colorado-based startup Emergy Foods launched Meati Foods, a brand that uses mycelium to make whole pieces of steak. Earlier this year, Meati Foods quiety introduced its first products at the SALT Bistro in Boulder, CO.