Icelandic Biotech Firm Receives Large European Grant

Vala Hafstað

The Icelandic biotechnology company ORF Genetics has been awarded a EUR 2.5 million grant from the Grant Management Services of the European Commission, Morgunblaðið reports. More than 2,000 companies applied for the grant, which was given to less than 3 percent of applicants.

According to a press release from the European Commission, the grant is intended for the research, development and marketing of animal-like growth factors to produce cell cultured meat, sometimes called ‘clean meat’ or ‘lab grown meat.’ The product will be marketed under the MESOkine brand - a sub-brand of ORF Genetics.

Targeting a new market for cell cultured meat, ORF Genetics will develop and produce a portfolio of animal-like growth factors. Growth factors are proteins that control the regeneration and differentiation of all cells in humans and animals, and they are critical for many health-related products.

ORF Genetics was the first company in the world to produce a portfolio of human-like growth factors in plants. The site of production is a high-tech eco-friendly greenhouse in Iceland that uses green geothermal energy.

“About 200 million animals are slaughtered daily in the world for food production, but no animal needs to be slaughtered for cell cultured meat production,”states Liv Bergþórsdóttir, CEO of ORF Genetics. “This is a revolutionary technique that will change the world’s food production for good and has been called the next big food tech trend.”

“Receiving this grant is a great honor,” she tells Morgunblaðið.

ORF Genetics’ BIOEFFECT skin care products have received numerous international awards for efficacy and quality and are now sold in 28 countries. More than 70 people work at the company and its subsidiaries.

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