Israeli startups in the alternative protein sector raised a sizable $623 million in 2021, a 450 percent increase from $114 in 2020, with $507 million specifically going to cultivated protein and $91 million going to plant-based protein, according to the sustainable food system non-profit A Good Food Institute (GFI) Israel in a report that came out last month.

The cultivated meat industry itself accounted for 36 percent of total investments in the sector last year Names like Future Meat, the company that raised $347 million – the largest funding round ever for a clean meat firm – and Aleph Farms, the lab-grown meat firm that sent its creations to space with Israel’s second-ever astronaut as part of Israel’s Rakia mission, topped the list and have been highly regarded in the field over the years, along with companies like 3D-printed alt-steak firm Redefine Meat, cultivated chicken meat firm SuperMeat, and cultured meat company MeaTech.

An Israeli consortium made up of 14 companies, including some top cultivated meat companies, and 10 academic labs, has received an $18 million from the Israel Innovation Authority for a three-year duration. The establishment of the consortium was led by Good Food Institute Israel (GFI) grantee, Gaya Savion, who is responsible for initiating and coordinating the project, and Tnuva Group, the largest Israeli food manufacturer, who also heads the consortium.

The consortium aims to develop more efficient, cost-competitive production methods and pilot scale-up opportunities that are aligned with the food industry of cultivated meat. It is part of the Israeli Innovation Authority’s Magnet Consortiums Program which advances pre-competitive generic R&D

Consortium members will also include cultured meat companies Aleph Farms and Super Meat as well as companies like Tnuva, plant-based protein expression platform BioBetter, and Seevix, as well as academic institutions like the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University.

Along with the progressive development in R&D of cultivated meat technologies, Israel saw the rise of a regulatory pilot program for public distribution of cultivated meat, conducted in collaboration between Israel’s National food service (Ministry of Health) and the Israel Innovation Authority.