About This Project
Cultivated meat could help secure global protein demand without animal slaughter and reduced environmental impacts. Yet, the field has potential for inequity that could be mitigated through managed collaboration. For cellular agriculture to meet these goals, the field should look at open innovation in software and biotech to create intellectual property pools, commons and licensing strategies that can support collaboration.
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What is the context of this research?
The advantages of cultured meat are sustainability (80% of agricultural land is used for growing livestock feed), animal welfare (99% of animals used for food are factory farmed), and public health (conventional meat is the most common food source for Salmonella, Listeria and antibiotic use). Asymmetrical distribution of benefits and harms from industrial technologies in the past have left political economists of agriculture “skeptical of technological solutions for food system challenges.” Venture capital and proprietary licensing strategies support hierarchical ownership models in the current cellular agriculture field.In contrast, flexible ownership models will help accelerate the field's growth, mitigate risks from secrecy, promote transparency, and support regulatory streamlining.
What is the significance of this project?
By conducting interviews with people in the cultivated meat space, (people familiar with the regulatory aspects, scientists, and start-up representatives) I am looking to discover what shared values can incentivize collaboration. As the cultivated meat space develops, how it does so can make a difference in climate mitigation and food security.
Fostering collaboration from previously competitive parties through creative Intellectual Property management has shown that there are many benefits; such as the development of standards, increased transparency, and acceleration of innovation. Collaboration is key for cultivated meat to make positive contributions to meeting increasing global protein demand while being better for the environment than factory farming.
What are the goals of the project?
This study will use thematic analysis to analyze interview data to answer the research question "what shared values will incentivize collaboration in the cultivated meat space?" The interviewees will be people in the cultivated meat space--people with regulatory experience, start-up representatives and researchers. The answers received will shed light on perspectives held on innovation approaches and what factors can enable collaboration.
Recommendations will be made based on interview findings in conjunction with research into innovation policy and previous field's development like software and biotechnology.
An article describing the data collection and recommendations will be published in an open access academic journal for use in the field.
This funding will support a researcher stipend that estimates 360 hours of work including conducting interviews and development of models for commons and licensing.
April 2022- Conduct research into existing models for collaboration through commons and licensing in other fields & industrial policy.
May-June 2022- Interview stakeholders in the field of cellular agriculture to articulate shared values. Stakeholders include researchers, representatives from start-ups, and regulatory agencies.
July 2022- Code and analyze data from interviews and create recommendations for creating collaborations in cellular agriculture
August 2022- Publish research openly.
Apr 30, 2022
Conduct background research into hybrid innovation models in software and biotech
May 02, 2022
Present research to date at NYU
May 25, 2022
May 31, 2022
Complete interviews with stakeholders in cultivated meat.
Aug 31, 2022
Publish research openly.
Meet the Team
I am a second-year MA student in Animal Studies at NYU and interested in the issues surrounding the use of animals for food production. For this reason I am drawn to cellular agriculture and specifically how cultivated technologies can lead to a more sustainable and ethical world for all species. I am interested in making this "moon-shot" goal a reality by increasing collaboration in the field. I believe the field has tremendous potential to lead a new way to innovate that is as progressive on the technology front as it is in distributive benefits.
I have previously worked as a research assistant on "Saving Animals, Saving Ourselves," (Oxford University Press) by Jeff Sebo, a book exploring climate change, pandemics and our treatment of animals. I am currently a fellow at Sentient Media where I hope to highlight stories about the effect of the anthropocene on animals.
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