Israel Innovation Authority invests NIS 50M to build fermentation labs for alternative protein production
The Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) has announced plans to invest up to NIS 50 million towards building a new fermentation facility to help more local foodtech companies develop new alternative protein foods.
Fermentation R&D specialists YD Labs have been selected to lead the construction of the space, which will provide firms with fermentation capacity ranging from 10 to 20,000 litres.
The centre is located along Israel’s Mediterranean coast in Caesarea, a former ancient Roman city which today boasts an array of well-preserved ruins.
Once the building is complete, companies will have access to specialist equipment, allowing them to conduct fermentation at pilot and demo scales. They will also be able to make use of separation and purification technologies (essential in the fermentation process), carry out economic feasibility tests, and produce small-scale batches of products for potential customers. Sector experts will also be on hand to advise on building regulatory dossiers.
While the facility’s main goal is to support local foodtech companies working with fermentation, international groups will also be allowed to use the services, according to the Israel Innovation Authority.
“We are pleased to confirm the selection of YDLabs and look forward to seeing the Israeli ecosystem benefit from infrastructure and services provided for scaling production to enable economic feasibility assessment, regulatory preparedness, and more,” said Dror Bin, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority.
“Israel has identified the foodtech field as one of the areas to prioritize. Currently, due to the lack of infrastructure and workforce, many ventures turn to service providers abroad, which leads to early knowledge leakage and advancements in regulatory frameworks tailored for other countries. With this initiative, we aim to change that as soon as possible.”
The IIA says these new labs will help more foodtech firms scale from development to production stage in the fermentation sector and boost Israel’s position in the field.
Cellular agriculture has seen much growth in Israel of late, with animal-free dairy protein producer Remilk receiving regulatory approval for the sale of products made with its fermented ingredient in the country earlier this year.