An Israeli foodtech startup that makes milk and other dairy products from mushrooms has partnered with one of America’s biggest biotech companies, Ginkgo Bioworks, to scale-up and produce affordable animal-free non-whey dairy products.

Haifa-based ImaginDairy has bioengineered milk protein to create a wide range of dairy products using mushrooms but no cows. Through a process called precision fermentation, ImaginDairy recreates these milk proteins in the lab and can use them to generate any kind of dairy product.

The partnership aims to improve cost-effective production of non-whey dairy proteins. Ginkgo will utilize its AI capabilities to create biological systems that reduce the cost of production, which ImaginDairy will then use to improve the production process.

This collaboration was partly funded by a grant from the Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD) which promotes cooperation between US and Israeli companies in a range of ecosystems.

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ImaginDairy Co-founder and CEO Eyal Afergan and Senior Scientist Ariella Lavy-Alperovitch are both Technion alumni.