Alternative Proteins Innovation Center at Bengaluru

APIC and GFI India unite to expand smart protein landscape

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L to R: Pranesh Sridharan, Chief Innovation Officer, APIC; Aiyanna Belliappa, GFI India; Sneha Singh, GFI India; Harini Shanmuga, GFI India; Divya Saravana, GFI India; Aakashraj Bhople, GFI India

The Alternative Proteins Innovation Center (APIC), an integrated facility focused on alternative protein ingredient and product development, was launched in collaboration with the Good Food Institute India, the central expert organisation, thought leader, and convening body in the Indian alternative protein or smart protein sector. This partnership aims to accelerate research and development, innovation, technology transfer, and commercialization of smart protein technology in India.

The Alternative Proteins Innovation Center (APIC) has been established as a centre of excellence that provides research and manufacturing services for the development of alternative proteins and ingredients. Currently, the centre also includes facilities for creating finished plant-based products, such as plant-based milk. Located near Bengaluru and equipped with in-house R&D experts, APIC offers an optimal environment for transforming concepts into commercial products. It is the first facility to offer comprehensive services in the alternative protein industry, encompassing everything from lab-scale to pilot-scale development. 

The launch event was marked by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between GFI India and APIC. Through this partnership, GFI India and APIC aim to foster a collaborative environment that encourages the research, development, and scale-up of alternative protein technologies and products. The MoU outlines specific areas of collaboration, including joint research projects, knowledge sharing, and capacity building programs like workshops and events. By combining their expertise and resources, GFI India and APIC seek to unlock new opportunities and propel advancements in the smart protein sector towards a sustainable and secure future of food in India. 

During the MoU signing, Sneha Singh, acting managing director, GFI India, said, “We are excited about this collaboration with APIC, which marks a significant milestone in our efforts to drive innovation and growth in the smart protein sector. This strategic partnership represents a convergence of shared values, expertise, and an unwavering commitment to revolutionising the future of food. Here at GFI India, we firmly believe that this synergy will not only accelerate scientific knowledge building and sharing but also pave the way for innovative solutions that can be readily commercialised, benefiting entrepreneurs, startups, and ultimately, consumers.”

The collaboration between GFI India and APIC will focus on undertaking exploratory research projects that address specific challenges faced by startups and entrepreneurs in the smart protein sector. The two organizations will organize workshops and information dissemination events, disseminate open-access knowledge materials, and conduct training programs aimed at enhancing the skills, knowledge, and capabilities of stakeholders within the smart protein sector.  

Speaking at the event, Pranesh Sridharan, chief innovation officer, APIC, said, “Together with GFI India, we envisaged the establishment of a one stop solution for those entering the smart protein sector, and I’m thrilled to be standing here today at the launch of APIC as a centre of excellence. We have an impressive team of experts with the knowhow of plant protein extraction, isolation, application development in plant based, fermented, and cultivated proteins, and a combined industry experience of over 125 years. We look forward to curating and developing sector-building programs that can address current gaps in infrastructure access and knowledge transfer in smart protein processing and R&D.”

The launch event included a panel discussion on innovation and investment pathways in smart protein that saw participation from esteemed speakers including Jinesh Shah, Founder, AltX Ventures, Gurmeet Singh, head of Center at the Transdisciplinary University, Stéphanie Joseph, director Global Growth – Alternative Proteins, Pall Corporation Narayanan Suresh, chief operating officer at Association of Biotechnology-Led Enterprises (ABLE), and Abhay Rangan, co-founder of Nourish You India. The insightful session was hosted by Amy Aela, co-founder of Meat Less Meet More. 

Meat Less Meet More, a luxury plant-based networking company that was present at the launch, has joined hands with APIC to build awareness and dialogue on sustainability through podcasts, panel discussions, and other digital channels. APIC and AltX Ventures, India’s pioneering climate-tech venture house, announced their intention to sign an MoU to support alternative protein startups.

Expressing his enthusiasm for this upcoming partnership, Jinesh Shah, Founder of AltX Ventures, said, “As a part of our climate-tech ecosystem building efforts, AltX Ventures is proud to partner with APIC to support smart protein and foodtech startups in areas such as R&D, fundraising, strategy, partnerships, global reach, and more. We believe such collaborations are vital for India to secure a substantial role in the global future of the food economy.”

With an increasing global population, there is an ever-growing demand for protein, with the plant based meat industry alone expected to fulfil a minimum of 25 million metric tonnes in annual global market demand for plant-based meat by 2030. This accelerating demand for protein will require innovation and scale. The Alternative Proteins Innovation Center together with partners like GFI India, is enabling the availability of technology, infrastructure, and ecosystem support to make India’s leadership in the smart protein industry a reality.

The Good Food Institute India (GFI India) is the central expert organisation, thought leader, and convening body in the Indian alternative protein or smart protein sector. As part of an international network of organisations with partners in the U.S., Brazil, Europe, Israel, and Asia Pacific, GFI India is on a mission to build a secure, sustainable, and just global food future. 

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