The University of Strathclyde has made a significant investment in a biotechnology spinout company which works on the sustainable production of protein.
The six-figure investment forms part of a financing round, worth a total of £6.16 million, in 3F BIO, which was spun out of Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences in 2016.
The company aims to tackle the combined issues of feeding a growing global population and the unsustainable impact of traditional protein farming.
The investment round will enable 3F BIO to begin commercialising its zero-waste process for creating sustainable protein from renewable resources.
Strathclyde has been joined in the investment by the Scottish Investment Bank, the EOS Technology Investment Syndicate, US-based venture capital fund Data Collective (DCVC), private investors and members of the 3F BIO management team.
Dr David McBeth, Director of Research & Knowledge Exchange Services at Strathclyde, said: “Strathclyde is committed to delivering economic and societal impact from its research and there are few more impactful areas than contributing to the long-term sustainability of food production.
“We seek practical solutions to urgent global challenges and our continued investment in 3F BIO will support the company in this shared goal. Innovation in manufacturing is one of Strathclyde’s strongest suits, and 3F BIO is a great exemplar of this in action.”
The funding provides strong support and validation for 3F BIO’s technology, which transforms cereal crops such as wheat or maize into high-quality protein, known as ABUNDA®, with three to 15 times better conversion efficiency than traditional protein sources, such as meat from farm animals.
Jim Laird, CEO of 3F BIO, said: “We are delighted by the continuing and increased support from investors.
“The scale of the protein market continues to grow at a pace that cannot be met solely by protein from livestock. We are excited by the opportunities that are created by the transformational resource efficiency in making ABUNDA® mycoprotein. This support from investors will let us accelerate development and commercial activities.”
This investment round will enable 3F BIO to progress its technology to industrial scale and expand its scope to compete in the global protein market, which is estimated at more than 350 million tonnes or more than $1 trillion per year.