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Cultivate is a multi-voiced forum intended to support informed dialogue about the emergent field of cellular agriculture from UK perspectives. It was established in summer 2016 by a small interdisciplinary group of UK professionals working in the area. The group initially came together during a dialogue exercise with government that involved multiple visits to 10 Downing Street to discuss cultured meat (aka cell-based meat, clean meat, in vitro meat). Through these meetings the group decided to formalise their activities under the title Cultivate and expand their remit to contribute to events, maintain an online presence, and provide a focal point for UK cellular agriculture activity.

Our next event will be Thursday 12th May 2022, a full day in-person event in Birmingham, at The Exchange, Centenary Square.


The venue, The Exchange, is in Centenary Square, opposite Birmingham's library

Full address: The Exchange, 3 Centenary Square, Birmingham, B1 2DR

We are pleased to announce the schedule for Cultivate 2022:

8.00 Building opens access to foyer cafe


9.15 Registration (second floor)


9.45 Welcome and Introduction: Neil Stephens


10.00 Panel 1: Seren Kell (GFI Europe), Tom MacMillan (Royal Agricultural University), Elliot Teperman (FAIRR Initiative), Chair: Alex Sexton


11.00 Poster presentations: Allison Esperanza (Uni Bath), Katie Edwards (Aston Uni), Vanessa Benjamin (Uni Newcastle), Ben Dagès (Aston Uni: microcarriers), Tom Davies (Uni Bath) Chair: Neil Stephens


11.15 Break


11.45 Presentations 1: Chair: Marianne Ellis

- Catherine Elton (Qkine Ltd) Enhanced growth factors for cellular agriculture

- Emily J. A. Telford (Bio-tissues Ltd) Cells and The City-mix™: Testing Serum Free Media Supplements on C2C12 Myoblasts

- Mariela de Amstalden (University of Birmingham) The Legal and Regulatory Ecosystem for Cultured Meat - Latest Developments from Selected Jurisdictions

- Ana Silva-Almeida (Roslin Technologies Limited) Development of ovine induced pluripotent stem cells for cultivated lamb production


12.45 Lunch vegan buffet in the registration room


14.00 Panel 2: Ivan Wall (Quest Meat/University of Birmingham), Marianne Ellis (Cellular Agriculture Ltd/University of Bath), James Rutley (HigherSteaks)  Josh Milburn (University of Loughborough) Chair: Neil Stephens


15.00 Break


15.30 Presentations 2: Chair: Illtud Dunsford

- Elena Silverstein (Roslin Technologies Limited) Consumer Prototypes of Cultivated Meat from Porcine iPS cells

- Neil Stephens (University of Birmingham) Why the ‘consumer acceptance’ model is an inadequate framework to understand the socio-politics of cultured meat

- Marta Ahijado (Rssl) Improving efficiency in product innovation

- Matthew Walsh & Lucy Sharples (Potter Clarkson LLP) Being ‘IP ready’ to commercialise your research


16.30 Close and thank you

Panellist bios:

Ivan Wall Co-Founder and CEO of Quest Meat, a cultured meat start-up based in Birmingham. Ivan was previously a Professor of Regenerative Medicine, Cell & Gene Therapy Bioprocessing at Aston University.


Tom MacMillan Elizabeth Creak Chair in Rural Policy and Strategy at the Royal Agricultural University. He is a founding Director of the Centre for Effective Innovation in Agriculture, an expert advisor to the Food, Farming & Countryside Commission and was one of the team who supported Henry Dimbleby to develop the National Food Strategy.

Seren Kell Science and Technology Manager at GFI Europe, collaborating with scientists, academics and innovators to support advances in the science of sustainable protein.

Josh Milburn lecturer in Political Philosophy at Loughborough University. He has been writing on the ethics of cultured meat since 2016, and hosts the ‘Knowing Animals’ podcast.

James Rutley is Head of Bioprocess at Higher Steaks, a UK cultured meat company based at the  Cambridge Science Park who have worked on cultured bacon and pork belly.


Marianne Ellis Director of Research & Development & Co-Founder at Cellular Agriculture Ltd, Head of Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath, and a Co-Founder of Cultivate.


Elliot Teperman Analyst for Outreach and Research at the FAIRR Initiative, a collaborative investor network that raises awareness of the environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities of intensive livestock production.


The posters that are on display are:

-Caitlin Connolly (Roslin Technologies) Cell Culture Media Optimisation Using A Design Of Experiments Approach

-Allison Esperanza (University of Bath) Development of serum-free media and myoblasts compatible with protein optimization in bioreactors

-Ben Dagès (Aston University) Novel Microcarriers for the Scalable Production of Cultivated Meats

-Katie Edwards (Aston University) What influences acceptance of cultivated meat? Evaluating the impact of different primes about cultivated meat on willingness to try, purchase and anticipated liking

-Katie Noble (University of York) Clean, Green, Cultured Meat Machine: Understanding the Environmental Sustainability of Cultured Meat and its Emergence as a Post-Anthropocene Ecomodern Food Source

-Lily Westerhoff (University of Bath) An Investigation into the Feasibility and Desirability of Continuous Processes for Cultured Meat Production

-Tom Davies (University of Bath) Reducing the Environmental Impact of Culture Media in a Cultured Meat Bioreactor: A Study of Metabolite Uptake to Inform Serum-Free Media Design

-Vanessa Benjamin (Newcastle University) Laying the groundwork for molluscan cellular agriculture

Due to UK visa regulations, anyone travelling to this event from outside of the UK will need to complete the University of Birmingham's mandatory visa assessment process as soon as possible. When you register for this event, you will be able to request visa assistance from a member of our team. 


Cellular Agriculture is a term referring to a collection of technologies seeking to produce consumables that are traditionally produced in livestock-based agriculture systems through other means such as fermentation or tissue engineering, with key examples including meat, milk, leather and egg. The definition of cellular agriculture remains mobile as new technologies emerge and new viewpoints on the technologies arise, and Cultivate acknowledge and examine this variability.


Cultivate is important because it forms a UK space for professionals and interested parties in cellular agriculture to come together and discuss the technologies and their impact. Cellular agriculture promises much in terms of environmental, animal ethics, health and economic benefit, but it is vital that these issues are examined critically to assess likely outcomes in the environment and society.



In 2018 the Cultivate founders published a peer-reviewed open access academic paper reviewing cellular agriculture with a specific focus on cultured meat. The paper is an expanded and revised update of a policy document that Cultivate members provided to the UK government. It is available here: Bringing cultured meat to market: Technical, socio-political, and regulatory challenges in cellular agriculture.

A second paper was published in 2020 and is available here: Cellular agriculture in the UK: a review.

Cultivate runs a public LinkedIn group. UK cellular agriculture stakeholders are welcome to request to join.


12th May 2022: Cultivate 2022. The Exchange, Birmingham

13th July 2021: Cultivate Summer Panel Session. Via Zoom.

17th December 2020: Cultivate 2020. Via Zoom.

26th November 2019: Cultivate 2019. Oxford Martin School, Oxford University
15th November 2018: Cultivate 2018. 83 Pall Mall, London 

7th December 2017: Cultivate 2017. 83 Pall Mall, London

6th December 2016: Cultivate 2016. Chapel Arts Centre, Bath

To keep updated on future events, please subscribe to our email list below.


Illtud Dunsford: Illtud is a Farmer, Agri-Food Consultant and the CEO of the UK's first cultured meat company; Cellular Agriculture Ltd.

Prof Marianne Ellis: Marianne is a Biochemical Engineer at the University of Bath, where she carries out research and teaching in tissue engineering bioprocess design

Abigail Glencross. On a journey. Will be back soon.

Dr Alexandra Sexton: Alexandra is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow in Geography at the University of Sheffield. Her current research is exploring the implications of cellular and plant-based agriculture for landscapes and livelihoods in the UK.
Dr Neil Stephens: Neil is a sociologist and Senior Lecture in Technology and Society at the University of Birmingham. He has studied the socio-cultural aspects of cultured meat since 2008.

We regularly publish and speak about our work in this space

To be kept up to date on events and new publications, please subscribe to our email list through the form below.


Cultivate is an independent volunteer led activity, running as a low cost operation. We acknowledge the support of University of Bath in supporting our annual meetings in 2016, 2017 and 2018, the Oxford Martin School in 2019, and the University of Birmingham and the Wellcome Trust in 2022. Individual founders have also provided low level funds to cover basic running costs.

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