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Debating the benefits of IP to life sciences – Cambridge University

In July 2023, I was honoured to be invited to the LMB-VBC Graduate Life Sciences symposium at the University of Cambridge, specifically to be a panellist on the Lab Grown Meat discussion. It was great to represent GovGrant and bring the commercial IP angle to the debate.

The Lab-Grown meat debate

The panel discussion focussed on lab-grown meat’s role in the future of the food industry. We considered to what extent conventional meat products can be replaced, as well as the potential benefits for dietary health and climate change. There was reference to the ethical implications of lab-grown meat production and I was happy to bring my thoughts on the way this technology could benefit from IP and its protections.

The panel also included Yennifer Cortés Araya (Higher Steaks), Christopher Kong (Better Nature Tempeh), and Ricardo Gouveia (3D Bio-Tissues Ltd).

The benefits of IP protection

It was refreshing to speak to successful start-ups in this space, there was a fundamental understanding of the importance of intellectual property and a keenness to leverage it. All my co-panellists either founded or work at companies that hold patents in the cultured meat and wider biomedical space so were able to bring that real life experience to the table.

I had lots of conversations with PhD students on the importance of IP and how it safeguards innovation and enables safe collaboration between companies. This highlights the interaction of science and IP, academic research, and commercial innovation.

There was a strong sense that IP will be a catalyst in bringing cultured meat to market.

I’d like to thank the University of Cambridge, the Laboratory for Molecular Biology, the LMB-VBC symposium team, and my co-panellists for the opportunity to engage in wonderful conversation about something I’m truly passionate about, IP.

To find out more about the state of play in the cultured meat market read my latest report or contact me to find out more about how IP rights can benefit your business.

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