In the interest of helping combat pressing global challenges that include climate change, human health, and nutrition, the Technion recently announced the establishment of the Sustainable Protein Research Center (SPRC). It will function as a world-class multidisciplinary center for fundamental and applied research in the fields of alternative proteins, commercialization and entrepreneurship, and support of industry.
The SPRC will be the first of its kind in the world. It will connect dozens of researchers from more than 10 different academic departments at the Technion along with other universities and companies to address the challenges of sustainability and human health which are strongly linked to the growing global population and the consumption of meat and other animal products.
Animal agriculture contributes to declining biodiversity, increased pollution, worsening global warming, concerns in animal welfare, and the overuse of antibiotics, the last of which creates antibiotic resistant bacteria – a potential major cause of human mortality. The SPRC will work to provide alternatives to animal-based foods to help mitigate these issues.
The Center has a five-year budget of $20 million that will aid the Technion in recruiting new faculty members and young researchers, and facilitate the construction of a building to house the Carasso FoodTech Innovation Center. It will also fund collaborative seed-research and train graduate and post-doctoral students in related fields.
The Center will also include joint efforts with the Good Food Institute Israel, an international nonprofit committed to building a sustainable and healthy food system. The director of the Center will be Professor Yoav Livney, and Professor Avi Shpigelman will be the deputy director Both are from the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering. The SPRC will be managed by David Shem Tov of the Technion Research and Development Foundation, Ltd.
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