Novameat, a Spanish startup that uses 3D printing technology to create whole-cuts of plant-based meat such as beef steak or pork fillets, has received €250,000 (~ $307,500 USD) from the government of Spain, according to an announcement sent to the Spoon. The funding comes via a Spanish government technology development organization called the NEOTEC Program of the Spanish Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI).
Novameat plans to use the funding to help to ramp up production of 3D printed meat through the integration of its microextrusion-technology into higher-output industrial printing machines. The company’s microextrusion technology, which intricately prints plant-based proteins at microscopic levels, was developed by Novameat CEO Giuseppe Scionti when he was a professor of bioengineering at the University of Catalunya.
The funding follows what was a fairly eventful 2020 for the company. In October, Scionti announced at the Smart Kitchen Summit that Novameat had developed a prototype to create hybrid products that combined 3D printed plant-based scaffolding with cultured meat cells. In May, the company announced it had developed a realistic plant-based pork product. Prior to that, the company announced it had developed a second generation of its plant-based steak.
As part of the news, Novameat also announced a collaboration with Disfrutar, a two-Michelin star restaurant that one list ranks as the 9th best restaurant in the world. The chefs behind Disfrutar are a part of the same culinary creative team from early molecular gastronomy pioneering restaurant El Bulli.
I asked Scionti what the collaboration with Disfrutar will look like.
“Disfrutar will have full-access to Novameat’s patented micro-extrusion technology through 3D printing.” said Scionti. “Disfrutar’s creativity lab now already has Novameat’s first 3D printer located outside Novameat’s Innovation Lab. The three chefs have been working 2 decades as El Bulli chefs and two of them (Oriol Castro and Eduard Xatruch) were part of the legendary creativity Lab of El Bulli, ElBullitaller. This group of chefs is the same that invented spherification technique of molecular gastronomy.”
Today’s funding follows a 2019 investment by New Crop Capital (sum undisclosed). Scionti told the Spoon that Novameat is planning to raise additional funding in 2021, which he expects to be a big year for the company.
“3D printing is a very fast technology to iterate and test new formulations and textures everyday, and it can be the enabler to unlock the future of personalized nutrition,” said Scionti. “2021 will be the most important year so far at Novameat as we’ll launch in restaurants, launch our scaffold as a service business model for cell-based industry, and what I care most, we’ll scale up with bigger machines to ensure we contribute to the future of planet’s health.”
If you want to see Novameat’s 3D meat printer in action you can watch the video of the printing demo at Smart Kitchen Summit below. You can also watch the company demo their scaffolding printing technology live at Food Tech Live next week (get your free ticket here).