Prestigious grant for research on toolkit to make living material

Seven broad research consortia will receive a total of 35 million euros from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) to conduct research on technological innovations that provide answers to societal challenges. Lorenzo Moroni, professor of Biofabrication for Regenerative Medicine at Maastricht University, leads one of the seven consortia. The FAB4FUTURE project centres on research into a 'toolbox' for the scalable production of living material, from stem cell tissue for medical purposes to cultured meat. Maastricht University spin-offs Mosa Meat and ReGEN Biomedical are also part of the FAB4FUTURE consortium, which was awarded over 3 million euros from the Perspectief programme.


Toolkit

Realistic, lab-made tissues are essential to feed and keep healthy a growing and ageing world population without harming the planet. However, current production methods are still too slow and expensive, and do not always deliver the desired properties. FAB4FUTURE combines artificial intelligence with knowledge and methods from medicine and food production in a ‘toolbox’ for the scalable and configurable production of living materials. The researchers are demonstrating their methods in three-dimensional heart models for cardiovascular disease research and in cultured meat with the same taste, texture and nutritional value as real meat.
 

Perspectief

Perspectief is a programme of NWO, funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. The programme challenges researchers to establish broad, cross-disciplinary consortia with industry, civil society organisations and governments to conduct research focused on societal challenges and key technologies. Together, they work on technological innovations with societal impact and the creation of economic opportunities for the Netherlands. In doing so, the projects contribute to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy’s mission-driven Top Sectors and Innovation policy. 
 

‘Creating economic opportunities’

Micky Adriaansens, Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy: ‘Dutch knowledge is a source of national pride. Yet the pressing societal challenges of our time, including the need to strengthen our economic position in the world, require us to use this expertise more effectively. The development of new technologies is vital for the success of our start-ups, SMEs and large companies. This will not happen without targeted innovation, which is why this programme actively ensures collaboration between entrepreneurs, civil society organisations, scientists and governments.’

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