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Catalonia Invests €7 Million in Alternative Protein Research Center


The Center for Innovation in Alternative Proteins Aims to Revolutionize the Food Industry and Meet Climate Goals

The Catalan Government has announced a €7 million investment in a new research center aimed at helping companies develop sustainable alternatives to meat production. Named the Center for Innovation in Alternative Proteins (CiPA), the facility will be spread across various locations in the region and is funded by the Department of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda of the Generalitat of Catalonia and the Institute of Agri-Food Research and Technology (IRTA).


A Hub for Sustainable Food Production

CiPA will focus on helping businesses scale up the production of foods like plant-based meat and fermentation-based products. Fermentation uses organisms such as yeast to produce animal proteins and other ingredients, offering the flavor and texture of meat, dairy, and eggs without the need for animal farming.


Tackling Food Waste and Creating Revenue Streams

In addition to its primary focus, CiPA will also research how these alternative protein processes can be used to reduce food waste. By transforming agricultural surplus and byproducts into nutritious food, the center could potentially open up new revenue streams for farmers.


A Booming Market and Climate Goals

Spain is Europe's fourth-largest retail market for plant-based foods, with sales increasing by 9% between 2020 and 2022 to €447.4 million. The investment in CiPA aligns with Spain's green growth strategy and job creation. It also helps the country meet its climate targets, as plant-based meat can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, land use, and water consumption compared to conventional meat production.


Infrastructure and Expertise

The €7 million funding, set to run for four years, is one of the largest investments in alternative proteins in Spain. CiPA will not only focus on research but will also build essential infrastructure, including research facilities and pilot plants. This will enable startups to expand by providing them with the necessary expertise and specialized equipment to develop, test, and improve their products.


Industry Reactions

The Good Food Institute Europe, an organization working to advance alternative proteins, welcomed the investment. Alex Holst, Senior Policy Manager at the Good Food Institute Europe, said, “This landmark announcement is a major step towards turning Catalonia into one of Spain’s leading hubs for sustainable plant-based and fermentation-made foods.”


Conclusion

Catalonia's €7 million investment in CiPA is a significant step towards revolutionizing the food industry. By focusing on sustainable meat alternatives and reducing food waste, the center aims to make a substantial impact on both the economy and the environment. With this initiative, Catalonia is positioning itself as a leader in the growing alternative protein market, promising a future that is both delicious and sustainable.

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