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Bezos Center for Sustainable Protein established at NC State

Bezos Center for Sustainable Protein established at NC State

North Carolina State University on Friday announced the foundation of the Bezos Center for Sustainable Protein at North Carolina State University, a center of excellence and bio-manufacturing hub.

Established through a $30 million award from the Bezos Earth Fund, the center will unite academia, industry, chefs and policymakers to develop and commercialize alt-proteins, including cultivated, fermentation-enabled and plant-based products.

Meanwhile, cultivated meat maker Believer Meats on Friday announced it will partner with the newly established Center for Sustainable protein, which will form part of an international network of alternative protein centers supported through the Bezos Earth Fund’s Future of Food program.

“Innovation alone cannot solve our global nutrition needs in the future. We need to ensure that innovation reaches the market,” Andy Jarvis, director of the Future of Food at The Bezos Earth Fund, said in a statement e-mailed to Alt-Meat. “With NC State and their industry partners like Believer Meats, we see a path to take great products from discovery to commercialization.”

The investment strengthens North Carolina’s position as an emerging leader for the alternative protein industry, anchored by Believer Meats’ commercial-scale production facility in Wilson, N.C., scheduled to open this year.

Grant funding will also help prepare the workforce for jobs in advanced food technology through university and community college partnerships, while industry partnerships will support food production and processing, including small companies and start-ups.

"This is a significant opportunity for North Carolina to not only be a state with a thriving animal-sourced foods sector, but also one where it is a powerhouse in complementary proteins, building new industry and driving economic growth for the state," said Bill Aimutis, co-director of the new center. "With the center, we are looking to develop solutions that will provide greater diversity of choices for consumers that are both tasty and sustainable."