Isha Datar

Developing openly accessible cell cultures


“Cultured meat could be even more efficient than stated because the calculation for methane to CO2 conversion is radically conservative. Mitigating methane in the near term is so much more effective than mitigating CO2!”

The Big Idea


Food insecurity is one of the greatest challenges of our time. If we are to feed the human population sustainably, affordably and nutritiously, we have to rethink the food supply chain. Isha Datar is doing just that, exploring cellular agriculture as a new facet of farming animal products.

Isha’s work with New Harvest is at the intersection of ethical and practical issues, enabling broader cellular agriculture research with a menu of openly accessible cell cultures. These cell cultures are the research tools with which we can build foods of the future.

Why We Funded


There are many more questions than answers about the viability and desirability of this approach. It speaks directly to both how we produce and apportion food, and what we fundamentally believe about food. Cellular agriculture is in its infancy and is only one path among many that could ensure food security. It will require long term investment and exploration to establish it as a viable alternative, or not, to current meat production processes.

We believe Isha’s work will make a valuable contribution to opening up possibilities. Her open approach brings a level of accessibility and transparency to this work that has not been seen before.

Isha’s work focuses on:

  • Funding and conducting open, public, collaborative research in cellular agriculture
  • Building a community of collaborators from science, academia, regulatory authorities, funders and industry
  • Educating stakeholders and the general public to understand cellular agriculture and why it is necessary

Funding Breakdown


People
Marketing
Software
Travel
Infrastructure
Training
Office space
Legal

2016

Fellow contribution: $2,526.92
Our contribution: $90,269.20
Total funds: $92,796.12

2017

Fellow contribution: $7,628.51
Our contribution: $182,785.11
Total funds: $190,413.62

2018

Fellow contribution: $11,712.26
Our contribution: $171,122.56
Total funds: $182,834.82
Total funding to date:
$466,044.56

Flash Grants