Dutch government confirms €60M investment into cellular agriculture

First activities in cellular agriculture education, research and upscaling facilities will now start. With an additional €25 million in co-financing, the total program's budget has been extended to €85 million.


THE HAGUE, The Netherlands (October 21, 2022). The Dutch government has today confirmed that it will allocate €60 million to support an ecosystem around cellular agriculture, the technology to produce animal products such as meat and milk proteins directly from animal and microbial cells. It is the world's largest ever national government grant for cellular agriculture. This government grant was reserved under conditions from the National Growth Fund in April of this year. The implementation of the plan will start under the coordination of the Cellular Agriculture Netherlands Foundation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.

In addition to the €60 million grant from the National Growth Fund, an additional €25 million in co-financing is expected, bringing the total size of the budget to €85 million. It is estimated that this will achieve an incremental €1.25 - €2.0 billion in growth in Dutch earning capacity by 2050, while simultaneously generating significant global climate, environmental and health benefits. For example, preventing ~1.8 Mton CO2-eq. emissions and 15-20 kton ammonia per year in 2050.

The activities aim to give the Dutch cellular agriculture (CA) ecosystem a significant boost over the next eight years, among other things by developing fundamental and applied CA knowledge, making scale-up facilities available to CA companies and sufficiently qualified CA personnel. to train. This makes the Netherlands more attractive as a location for companies in the CA sector.

“We are very pleased that we can now start with the first activities to stimulate and consolidate cellular agriculture in the Netherlands.” said Ira van Eelen, on behalf of the Cellular Agriculture Netherlands Foundation. “With this we can guarantee that the Netherlands remains the ideal place for cellular agriculture to thrive. We have a rich history in cellular agriculture and are a global leader in biotechnology, alternative proteins and food innovation. Supported by this visionary leadership that the Dutch government is showing again today, we will expand our team in the coming months and roll out the first activities around public research, scaling up and education.”

The Cellular Agriculture Netherlands Foundation is the center of a fast-growing community of now 34 organizations (educational and knowledge institutions, NGOs, startups, industry), which all have the common goal of building a healthy CA sector. The foundation will set up an executive program office and establish contact with potential partners that are relevant to the implementation of the programs.

The Netherlands has a strong history when it comes to innovation in food production. The confirmation of this public investment in cellular agriculture is an example of the commitment of the Dutch government to build a food system that is healthy and sustainable. Combined with reforms in traditional agriculture, cellular agriculture could provide an additional option to meet the growing demand for protein worldwide.

While individual startups in cellular agriculture have successfully attracted private investment in recent years, this Growth Fund funding is explicitly intended to support the public part of the ecosystem. It is expected that this impulse will further strengthen the position of the Netherlands in the field of cellular agriculture worldwide and that the Netherlands will attract more companies, more financing and more cooperation in the field of cellular agriculture in the coming years.

This announcement does not change the process individual companies must go through to receive approval to sell their products, the European Novel Foods pathway.



With the National Growth Fund, the government will allocate € 20 billion over the next five years for project investments in three areas with the most potential for structural and sustainable economic growth. For more information, see www.nationaalgroeifonds.nl/english 



The Cellular Agriculture Netherlands Foundation is building a Dutch community of organizations that aim to build a healthy, sustainable sector around cellular agriculture, inside and outside the Netherlands. Participants include universities, startups, impact/sustainability organizations, value chain partners and biotech accelerators, including Blue Horizon, BPF, Catalyze, CE Delft, CellAg.org, CellRev, CoE Groen EC Food, DSM, Educated Choices Program, Foodvalley, FrieslandCampina, Geneus Biotech, Getinge / Applikon, Givaudan, HAS green academy, Hogeschool InHolland, HollandBio, Innovation Quarter, KindEarth.Tech, LenioBio, LIOF, Meatable, Mosa Meat, New Harvest, NoPalm Ingredients, NouBio, Nutreco, Orange Light Ventures, Planet B.ioProVeg NL, Rabobank, RESPECTfarms, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, SDG NL, The Protein Brewery, Those Vegan Cowboys, TU Delft, Unilever, Universiteit Maastricht, Upstream and Wageningen University & Research.


For more information, visit www.cellulareagricultuur.nl/english or follow the LinkedIn page.