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SBIR Phase I: A low-cost, bacterial production platform for the manufacturing of high purity recombinant proteins and growth factors

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2233507
Agency Tracking Number: 2233507
Amount: $275,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: BT
Solicitation Number: NSF 22-551
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-06-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-05-31
Small Business Information
1800 Sherman Ave Suite 504
Evanston, IL 60201
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Julie Liang
 (510) 318-1568
Business Contact
 Julie Liang
Phone: (510) 318-1568
Research Institution

The broader/commercial impact of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project is to introduce a cost-effective way to produce recombinant proteins and growth factors for the cultivated meat industry. Cultivating animal cells to create animal tissues, including muscle and fat, allows manufacturers to create real animal meat as an alternative to animal-farmed meat. Producing meat in this method may provide a healthier, safer, and more ethical source of real animal meat. This manufacturing process avoids industrial animal farming and consequently uses significantly less land and water. It also avoids the greenhouse gases emitted by industrial animal farming and may emit far fewer greenhouse gases. Cultivated meat could result in a healthier public as well since its controlled production will likely result in fewer foodborne illnesses and avoid the cramped conditions of industrial animal farms that can breed new illnesses. The ability to grow meat in nearly any location increases the nation’s food supply chain resilience and reduces dependence on foreign food imports. Finally, by reducing the amount of industrial animal farms, cultivated meat reduces the need for animal slaughter._x000D_
The proposed project will demonstrate the ability of the innovation to solve several challenges in the current production of recombinant proteins and growth factors in traditional protein manufacturing platforms that prevent manufacturing at lower costs and with high purity. Cultivated meat has the potential to disrupt the greater than$1 trillion meat industry, but the ability to source high purity, cheap proteins limits the commercial adoption of cultivated meat products. The innovation could produce proteins at cheaper costs than existing platforms because it bypasses expensive and time-consuming operational manufacturing steps while still achieving high purity. The critical technical objectives of this project include: 1) the establishment and comparison of a production benchmark for recombinant growth factor production against the current industry standards, 2) the optimization of the growth conditions necessary for the protein production platform to achieve improved yields, and 3) the creation of a manufacturing platform optimization toolkit to increase the quality and amount of usable protein produced. The knowledge gained at the completion of this project may provide valuable insights into the ability and conditions to promote high production levels of proteins and growth factors while providing data illustrating the improvement when compared against current industry standards._x000D_
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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