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Nice to Meat event in The Hague

september 23, 2018

Captivated by cultured meat and other Limburg food innovations

There was one thing everyone could agree on: cultured meat is going to play a very important role in the future food supply situation. This was just one of the conclusions reached during the event “Nice to meat: food innovations from Limburg” held this week in The Hague. The meeting offered plenty of topics for discussion on the challenges facing the food production sector. This is no easy task; by 2050, the global population will reach around nine billion. This also means that this same world will be facing the enormous challenge of not only being able to produce enough food, but at the same time ensuring that this food is high quality and produced sustainably.

The Province of Limburg, Maastricht University and Brightlands were all present at this meeting held at the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague. Scheduled for September 26, the timing of the event was no accident. Later that same day, the Lower House of Parliament held a round-table meeting to discuss all the aspects of cultured meat. It was against this backdrop that “Limburg” presented its story on cultured meat and how this very promising development all started at Brightlands. The guests were also treated to presentations on several innovations in nutrition which also bear the “Brightlands - Limburg” mark.

Challenges

Administrators, politicians, experts and journalists were shown (and even given the chance to taste) how Brightlands contributes to meeting the future challenges in the food sector. A bite of cricket pizza and edible roses as a garnish were the harbingers of what the future will bring.

At least as important were the stories behind the Brightlands innovations. Peter Verstrate, CEO of Mosa Meat, was repeatedly asked how the development of cultured meat at the Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus started, and how Mosa Meat views the future of cultured meat. It’s a story about opportunities. This story was appropriately illustrated in the form of the “Meat the Future” exposition that was transported from the Cube Design Museum in Kerkrade to The Hague just for the occasion.

Saskia Goetgeluk of the Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo also struck a similar note about innovation. The campus in Venlo is the pre-eminent location where food innovation is the focus in numerous areas. Companies based at the campus were also in attendance to provide information on the latest developments in food innovation. For the average SME in the agrarian sector, this future is closer than people might think.

Innovation

Deputy Joost van den Akker (Economic Affairs/Knowledge Infrastructure) talked about why the Province of Limburg attaches so much importance to innovation, and why Brightlands plays such an important role in this.

Many of the guests attending Nice to Meat saw one another again in the afternoon at the round-table meeting on cultured meat held at the Lower House of Parliament. This was a development that Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University began in part under the auspices of the Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus. It was also a development that we will undoubtedly hear a lot more about (and perhaps even taste) in the years to come.

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