SINGAPORE – Singapore-based startup Umami Bioworks has embarked on new collaborations with two Indian organizations to enhance its research and development (R&D) and scale-up efforts for cultivated seafood. 

Umami Bioworks is teaming up with the Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology in Chennai. 

This partnership will see the establishment of an R&D facility on the university’s campus. 

Recently, researchers at the institute developed prototypes of cultivated seafood using cells from milkfish, grouper, red snapper, and tilapia.

The institute’s director, Sheela Rani, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, noting that Umami Bioworks will aid in developing more cultures and driving commercial-scale production.

Mihir Pershad, founder and CEO of Umami Bioworks, highlighted India’s experienced talent pool in biomanufacturing and steel production as a critical factor in choosing to collaborate with Indian entities. 

He emphasized the strategic benefits of India’s proximity to Singapore.

The company has also merged with Shiok Meats to hit commercial scale production requirements.. 

A few days ago in Bengaluru, Umami Bioworks also announced partnered with the IKP Knowledge Park’s newly launched Centre for Smart Protein and Sustainable Material Innovation. 

This collaboration aims to accelerate the R&D and scalability of cultivated seafood. 

The IKP Centre, established in May through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Good Food Institute (GFI) India, offers startups access to cutting-edge equipment and expert mentorship in technical, intellectual property, regulatory, marketing, and business strategy domains.

Pershad also mentioned that the IKP provides essential infrastructure for their R&D team, including meeting and lab space, and facilitates connections with supply chain partners crucial for delivering a complete production solution.

As part of the incubation collaboration with IKP’s alternative protein centre, Umami Bioworks’ India-based team will focus on engineering and validating plug-and-play manufacturing hardware, ensuring smooth tech transfer from their demonstration line to customer sites.

With US$2.4 million raised to date, Umami Bioworks is preparing to submit regulatory dossiers in several countries this year. 

The merger with Shiok Meats is expected to bring cultivated unagi (eel) and white fish (grouper) to the market through hybrid applications.

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