Spanish dairy company launches incubator to cultivate cultured milk

25 May 2021

Calidad Pascual launched Mylkcubator through its innovation and investment arm, Pascual Innoventures. Mylkcubator is the world’s first global incubation program for cellular agriculture technologies in the dairy industry aimed at producing dairy alternatives, according to the company.

During its inaugural six-month incubation program, Mylkcubator will welcome 10 startups that are working with applied solutions in novel growth media, cell-growth techniques, and improvement of cell lines. The program is supported by the investment network Eatable Adventures as well as Pascual’s technology partner CNTA.

Spanish dairy company launches incubator to cultivate cultured milk

Selected startups will gain access to both in-person or virtual mentors as well as be given access to Pascual’s R&D facilities to develop and test their products. Applicants must work in the cell-based space, but those who concurrently work with fermentation-based solutions are invited to apply as well.

In the realm of alternative protein, cell-based milks remain a small sector as compared to other plant-based pursuits such as meat analogs. However, there are a few notable companies working in the space, including Singapore-based TurtleTree Labs that is working on replicating both cow’s milk and human breast milk, Israel-based BioMilk that is a publicly traded cell-based dairy food tech firm, and then there is UK-based Moolec Science that is working toward developing dairy products using a hybridized technology of plant-based and cell-based solutions.

While cell-based dairy segment remains small, Calidad Pascual believes that incubating companies committed to growing the space is the answer for a declining dairy industry that has struggled for the past several years. “The entrepreneurial and innovative spirit is in our genes, it comes from the nonconformist attitude instilled in us by my grandfather,” said the company’s director of innovation Gabriel Torres Pascual in a statement. “That same attitude is what makes us look and anticipate the future by betting on a project like Mylkcubator.”

Participating startups have not yet been selected. The application process is open now, and those who are selected will have the opportunity to prototype, test and scale their products, in addition to meeting with mentors and potential investors.

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