How to inspire the next generation of alt protein scientists
With the vast growth in the consumption of animal protein in the 20th century came equally vast ecological problems, taking into account land use and emissions, the sector is a significant contributor to climate change.
Now that may have been foreseen by some. But what might not be fully appreciated, is the remarkable way in which the food industry has innovated to address the problem.
The alternative protein sector, with its lab grown-meat, plant-based products, and precision fermentation, has been one of the most vibrant and downright fascinating stories of the past few years.
But, the challenge remains huge and there are concerns we do not have enough scientists or alternative protein solutions to meet future demand and to address climate challenges.
So, how can the alternative protein sector be turbo charged?
Where are the gaps? Is it a lack of funding? Too little collaboration? And what about education? Is enough being done to bring through the next generation of scientists and researchers who will help the alternative protein market grow?
We hear a lot about new start-ups in this area, and there is no doubt there have been some huge successes in this area, but there is still more to do.
The question is: what is preventing the realisation of the alternative protein explosion that appears to be just beyond the horizon?
The Good Food Institute’s Alt Protein Project is a programme that finds and trains students at key research universities around the world and advocates for alternative protein research.
The idea is to increase awareness and collaboration between student groups, whilst also building a stream of talent for alternative protein companies to employ.
Could such a project be just the ticket to catapult alternative protein into the promised land?
Amy Huang, University Innovation Manager, Good Food Institute
Amy Huang oversees the Good Food Institute’s efforts to transform universities into engines for alternative protein research and education.
Amy leads GFI’s university-level engagement to catalyse alternative protein R&D and cultivate an inclusive workforce to power the future of food.
She led the establishment of GFI’s Alt Protein Project and continues to support students and faculty as they build research and training ecosystems to reimagine our protein supply.
Amy has a background in global health, education, effective altruism, and design thinking.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University and is thrilled to be devoting her career to accelerating alternative proteins in the service of human, animal, and planetary health.