• News
  • People
  • Long Read
  • Opinion
  • Weekend Wrap

Breaking News

Finnish-UK collaboration gets to meat of the matter for future food

Wagyu beef meatballs are among Ivy Farm's prototypes for cultivated meat products. 

Ivy Farm Technologies

Finland’s Synbio Powerlabs and Oxford-based Ivy Farm Technologies have joined forces to start producing cultivated meat in Finland, at what will be the world’s largest cultivated meat and precision fermentation facility.

The collaboration will take place at Synbio Powerlabs's new food innovation hub in Lappeenranta. Supported by an almost three-million-euro grant from the Finnish Government, the company is transforming a large food-grade facility into a hub for food innovation. The facility, expected to launch in early 2025, will accommodate various startups, including those in the precision fermentation, biomass fermentation and cultivated meat segments.

The plant is already equipped with pilot-scale equipment and has production capacities of 10 000 litres and 27 000 litres. It will be expanded to feature six 250 000-litre manufacturing vessels, making it the largest of its kind globally.

Oxford University spinout Ivy Farm will be the first to leverage the facility, demonstrating the scalability of mammalian cells in food-grade vessels. The partnership will initially focus on tech transfer and scaling to 10 000-litre fermenters, but there are plans to push production scales and efficiencies further in the coming years. 

Richard Dillion, CEO of Ivy Farm Technologies, calls the partnership a significant milestone. It allows the company to minimise capital expenditure and associated risks while scaling up production.

Synbio Powerlab's new facility, which will focus on alternative proteins, is scheduled to open in early 2025. 


Food innovation for thought

The collaboration was announced at Iceland Innovation Week, where Ivy Farm showcased its cultivated premium Angus beef. Cultivated meat is meat produced by directly cultivating animal cells. 

“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,” commented Alejandro Antalich, chairperson of Synbio Powerlabs.

The company believes the Nordic region is poised to become a significant market for cultivated meat, with supportive regulators and consumers keen to enhance food security and economic potential.

Finnish food innovations have made several headlines lately, including with the world’s first coffee developed with the help of artificial intelligence. Additionally, Onego Bio recently raised 36.5 million euros in funding for its animal-free egg protein, and Japan Airlines selected BioMush’s umami sauce-based yuzu dressing, made of ingredients sourced from food industry side streams, for its vegetarian menu.

By: Eeva Haaramo