Breakout Labs, eccentric billionaire Peter Thiel’s biotech foundation, announced an eyebrow-raising investment in a start-up that makes 3D printed meat (yes, really).
Modern Meadow, based in Columbia, Missouri, will receive the $350,000 grant to continue developing new meat and leather production technologies. The company engineers tissues to create leather and edible meat, in a process that eliminates many of the negative environment effects associated with traditional livestock practices, according to a report by CNET.
“Modern Meadow is combining regenerative medicine with 3D printing to imagine an economic and compassionate solution to the global problem,” said Lindy Fishburne, executive director of Breakout Labs, said in a statement to the press.
The biotech start-up uses bioprinting technology that has “been applied to build three-dimensional tissues and organ structures of specific architecture and functionality for purposes of regenerative medicine” according to a summary of the company’s work submitted to the Department of Agriculture. In Laymen’s: the technology uses animal stem cells to create what could be an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional meat.
The additional two grants were awarded to Bell Biosystems and Entopsis.