Urban Cellular Agriculture: The Meaty Truth

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Cellular Agriculture comprises a range of biotech methods that produce real animal-based materials and products, such as meat, dairy and leather... without the animals. High-profile backers, ranging from Sergey Brin to Bill Gates, are now investing in a growing number of startups racing to bring “cell ag” products to market and, in the process, disrupt the global carbon and resource-intensive animal product industries. The implications of such a transition for climate, animal welfare and human health would be enormous in magnitude.

New York City, home to a burgeoning commercial life sciences and biotech sector and a handful of notable cell ag startups and support organizations, is well-positioned to emerge as a hub for this young industry. In this discussion, guests will enjoy a primer on cellular agriculture and a highly-speculative, multi-perspective brainstorm on what an NYC cellular agriculture sector might look like—and what it would take to make that vision a reality in the not-so-distant future.

Chris Neidl
Director of Business Development, Brooklyn SolarWorks

Chris Neidl is the current director of business development for Brooklyn SolarWorks. During his thirteen-year career in the renewable energy field, he has served as a renewable energy project manager, business consultant and policy advocate in New York City, South Asia and East Africa. Prior to joining Brooklyn SolarWorks, Chris served as the founding director of Here Comes Solar, a non-profit initiative of the local clean energy arts and education organization Solar One.

Isha Datar
Executive Director, New Harvest

Isha leads New Harvest's efforts to fund and conduct open, public, collaborative research that reinvents the way we make animal products —without animals. Isha sees cellular agriculture not only as the introduction of a new food technology, but as an opportunity to develop a more open food system. Isha co-founded Perfect Day, a company making milk proteins in cell culture, and Clara Foods, a company making egg proteins in cell culture. Isha has BS in Cell and Molecular Biology and a Masters in Biotechnology.

Elliott P. Montgomery
Assistant Professor of Strategic Design, Parsons School of Design

Co-Founder, The Extrapolation Factory Elliott P. Montgomery is a futures-researcher and strategic designer. He is an Assistant Professor of Strategic Design at Parsons School of Design and is co-founder of The Extrapolation Factory, a design-futures studio based in Brooklyn. He is a former design research resident at the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, Energy. He holds a Masters Degree in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art in London and a Bachelors in Industrial Design from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh PA.

Carlo Yuvienco, PhD
Assistant Vice President, Life Sciences, NYC Economic Development Corporation

Dr. Yuvienco is dedicated to the strategic efforts behind LifeSci NYC, the Mayor’s ten-year, $500 million commitment to the life sciences sector. He has managed a diverse portfolio of infrastructure, funding and entrepreneurial training programs on behalf of the organization, including the Applied R&D Facilities program, the Early-Stage Life Sciences Fund, NYC Entrepreneurship Lab, SBIR Impact NYC and Harlem Biospace.

Niya Gupta
Founder, Fork & Goode

Niya Gupta, Founder of Fork & Goode, is developing delicious meat products using cellular agriculture. Niya uses innovative business models to address issues in food sustainability. She was the CEO of Comcrop, a vertical farming startup in Singapore and has spent more than 10 years in the food and agriculture businesses, including at McKinsey and Syngenta. She holds an MBA and MPAID from Harvard and an Economics BA from Yale.


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