MAIN STAGE BREAKOUT SESSIONS ROUNDTABLES START-UP EXHIBITION

Monday June 17

10:00am
Networking Brunch: World Café

To kickstart the Future Food Tech Alternative Proteins 2024, join international trailblazers in our dedicated World Café Networking Brunch session in the breakout room. Connect with our industry leaders on the designated roundtables and explore innovative technologies, emerging trends and investment opportunities that are taking the alt proteins sector by storm across the world. 

Hosts:
Albert Tseng, Co-founder, DAO FOODS, CHINA
Fei Luo
, Co-Founder and CEO, LIVEN PROTEINS, CHINA
Dr. Ritwik Dahake, Co-Founder, RESOLVE DIAGNOSTICS, INDIA

10:50am
Welcome Address

Speaker:
Juliana Stratton, Lieutenant Governor, STATE OF ILLINOIS

11:00am
Navigating Global Protein Diversification: Accelerating Next-Generation, Nutrient-Dense Protein Innovation
  • How can the diversification of protein consumption contribute to a more resilient, equitable and sustainable global food system amid a growing population?
  • With the climate crisis and recent global events accelerating food security concerns, how can the production of high quality and healthy new proteins?
  • How does protein diversification support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal to eliminate global hunger by 2030, and how can alternative proteins be positioned to transform the food system?
  • How can novel proteins, such as microbial and cell-based proteins meet the dietary protein requirements of a growing population and mitigate increasing malnutrition and health risks?
  • How can multi-stakeholder partnerships be fostered within the sector to develop solutions at scale? Where is the potential for cross-border, multi-agency collaboration?

Moderator:
Udi Lazimy, Founder and Principal, LAZIMY REGENERATIVE IMPACT PARTNERS

Speakers:
Sanah Baig, Deputy Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics, USDA
Julie Willems
, Head of Diet & Health, UNILEVER
Tim Polkowski
, International Director, PROVEG INTERNATIONAL

11:45am
An Address from the USDA

Speaker:
Sanah Baig
, Deputy Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics, USDA

11:55am
Future-Proofing the Alt Proteins Sector: What has Gone Wrong and What Lies Ahead?
  • Amid a challenging macroeconomic climate, with evaporated investments and slumped sales across the sector, what lessons can be learnt to further build resiliency?
  • As the industry matures and a robust pipeline of new entrants join the market, what new strategies and approaches are required for future success?
  • How can early-stage innovators remain commercially competitive and attract new dilutive and non-dilutive revenue sources, as investors seek to diversify their portfolio?

Chair:
Nick Cooney, Managing Partner, LEVER VC

Speakers:
Heather Mills, Owner, VBITES
Didier Toubia,
Co-Founder & CEO, ALEPH FARMS

12:40pm
Networking Lunch Break

Hosted by:

1:40pm
Expediting Cultivated Meat Commercialization: Safeguarding a Clear Regulatory Path for Market Success
  • Looking ahead, what regulatory developments can be anticipated in the cultivated meat industry beyond 2024, and how might these impact the future landscape?
  • In the context of commercialization, what partnerships and collaborations between government agencies, industry stakeholders, and research institutions have proven instrumental in advancing cultivated meat technologies?
  • How can governments create inclusive regulatory sandboxes to enable companies to safely test novel food in a regulated environment, instilling confidence in consumer safety?
  • How can cultivated meat and seafood companies work bilaterally with governmental bodies to craft approachable yet robust policies to accelerate the commercialization of new proteins?
  • What is the role of Intergovernmental Organizations to assist countries to have a science-based structured approach to assure food safety aspects of cultivated meat?

Moderator:
Ann Begley, Partner, WILEY

Speakers:
Stiffy Hice, Regulatory Review Scientist & Microbiology Reviewer, FDA
Masami Takeuchi,
Food Safety Officer, FAO
Nicolas Morin-Forest
, Co-Founder & CEO, GOURMEY
Virginia Rangos,
Co-Founder and CEO, CLEVER CARNIVORE

1:40pm – 2:25pm Breakout Session Hosted by VTT: Facilitating the Food System Transition View session>>

2:25pm
Hybrid and Blended: Challenges and Opportunities in Optimizing Blend Ratios
  • With regards to scalability, to what extent can hybrid and blended meat mitigate the current bottlenecks that face cultivated products?
  • What are the best blend ratios that will resonate with the consumer? Is a 70% meat and 30% plant-based blend still ideal for flavor and production?
  • Where are the opportunities to reduce the premium of hybrid meat to appeal to the budget conscious consumer?
  • Are there specific nutritional challenges associated with optimizing blend ratios of meat or dairy products, and how can companies address these challenges to meet the dietary needs of diverse consumer demographics?

Moderator:
Jennifer Bartashus, Senior Equity Research Analyst, Consumer Staples & Retail, BLOOMBERG INTELLIGENCE

Speakers:
Dina Fernandez, Global Science & Tech Director, Alternative Proteins, ADM
Andrew Arentowicz,
CEO, Co- Founder, 50/50 FOODS
George Zheleznyi
, Co-Founder and CEO, CULTIMATE FOODS

2:40pm – 3:25pm Breakout Session Hosted by Biosafe: Assembling and Submitting Dossiers for Successful Product Approvals View session>>

2:55pm
Transforming Seafood: Overcoming Global Challenges to Mitigate a Fragile Supply Chain Through Tech and Innovation
  •  What is the role of plant based and cultivated seafood in boosting the Blue Economy and building resilient seafood supply chains?
  • How can alternative seafood manufacturers ensure the consistent delivery of high-nutrient products to meet the growing demand for sustainable and nutritious protein sources?
  • What are some of the advances in nutritional feeding strategies that can result in healthier products in the future?
  • Considering the current and future challenges to our global seafood ecosystem, how can food technologies such as cultivated seafood provide a superior value proposition to both consumers and customers? How can the alt seafood sector utilize market feedback to further strengthen their product offering?

Moderator:
Deniz Ataman, Deputy Editor, FOOD NAVIGATOR-USA

Speaker:
Lou Cooperhouse, Founder, President & CEO, BLUENALU
Mihir Pershad
, CEO, UMAMI BIOWORKS

3:25pm
Networking Coffee Break

Hosted by:

3:55pm
From Idea to Impact: Expanding Route-to-Market Capabilities
  • What are the key aspects of attracting long-term strategic partnerships, in order to scale and meet the growing demand for delicious, nutrient-rich new proteins?
  • As the commercial landscape shifts towards specialization and B2B models, what is the importance of joint ventures and acquisitions to strengthen alternative protein production in ingredients, consumables, and infrastructure?
  • What are some successful case studies or pilots that have resulted in facilities or innovation centers to accelerate the commercialization of new proteins?
  • In order to secure successful partnerships, what do potential partners from corporates to research institutions need to see from alt-protein companies when it comes to business models?

Moderator:
Floor Buitelaar, Managing Partner, BRIGHT GREEN PARTNERS

Speakers:
Jim Laird, CEO, ENOUGH
David Behringer, CEO, PILOT LITE USA
Sarah Frick, Managing Director, Plant-Based Meat Alternatives, CARGILL
Hashem Alkaabi,
Head of Operations and Corporate Services, HUB71

4:00pm – 4:45pm Breakout Session Hosted by Stantec: Soaring from a Pilot Plant to a Scale-Up Facility View session>>

4:40pm
Boosting Investor Confidence: Adapting Innovative Financing Models to Overcome the Trough of Disillusionment
  • As the alternative protein sector continues to evolve, what trends in financing models are emerging, and how can companies stay ahead of the curve to attract and retain investor confidence?
  • What do alternative protein companies need to demonstrate in order to boost investor confidence regarding their value proposition and potential for long-term growth?
  • What cost effective financing strategies should maturing innovators in the alt-protein space adopt to mitigate tougher fundraising environments?
  • As investors continue to diversify their alt proteins portfolio, how can plant-based food companies attract and secure new investment?
  • What are investors prioritizing when evaluating the potential of alternative protein companies and assessing unit economics?

Moderator:
Steve Molino, Principal, CLEAR CURRENT CAPITAL

Speakers:
Shayna Harris, Managing Partner, SUPPLY CHANGE CAPITAL
Ashley Hartman,
Managing Partner, BLUESTEIN VENTURES
Nadav Berger
, Founding General Partner, PEAKBRIDGE
Rosie Wardle
, Co-Founder & Partner, SYNTHESIS CAPITAL

5:25pm
Networking Happy Hour

Tuesday June 18

9:00am
Consumer Deep Dive: Championing Strategies for Increased Acceptance and Adoption
  • What alternative protein products do consumers want to see on the shelves? How can the sector create trustworthy products that can compete with established incumbent food brands?
  • In what ways can the widespread adoption of alt proteins be positioned as an instrumental factor in achieving Net Zero commitments?
  • How can the sector improve strategies to increase awareness and education of the benefits of alternative proteins? How can transparent storytelling, marketing and consistent nomenclature be improved to influence dietary and behavioral change?
  • To what extent do alternative protein companies specializing in plant based and cultivated proteins need to consider assessment tools such as the Food Technology Neophobia Scale to better understand barriers to adoption?
  • How can the sector leverage consumer segmentation, predictive analytics, and big data to anticipate consumer preferences and needs to optimize pricing strategies and facilitate personalized recommendations to improve the customer experience?

Moderator:
Elizabeth Crawford, Senior Editor, FOODNAVIGATOR-USA

Speakers:
Sonia Huppert, Global Innovation Marketing Lead, Re-Imagine Proteins, IFF
Kate Toews, Associate Partner, MCKINSEY & COMPANY
Suzi Gerber,
Principal Investigator, Consumer Behavior and ESG Investing, TUFTS UNIVERSITY
Stephan van Sint Fiet,
CEO, VIVICI

9:45am
Elevating Sensory Experiences: Prioritizing Formulations to Exceed Taste and Texture Expectation
  • What next gen ingredients are being engineered to provide a clean label alternative to ingredients such as methylcellulose, that improve all important taste and texture, but also maintain functionality and nutrient integrity for the health-conscious consumer?
  • How can innovation of fats and lipids work to unlock the next generation of tasty alt-proteins, and what barriers need to be overcome for widespread implementation?
  • How do innovators across the sector combat research blind spots in sensory science and what models and methodologies can accelerate sensory innovation?
  • What recent advancements in fiber spinning techniques can improve the textural properties of alternative proteins?
  • How can data driven insights be leveraged to inform better plant-based food formulations and support new product development?

Moderator:
Stacy Pyett, Program Manager Proteins for Life, WAGENINGEN UNIVERSITY & RESEARCH

Speakers:
Sunil Chandran, Chief Science Officer, IMPOSSIBLE FOODS
Scott Hine, Chief Production Officer, EVERY
Isabelle Routier
, Head of Global Customer Technical Service Food & Protein, ROQUETTE
Christine Lewington
, CEO, PIP INTERNATIONAL
Tammy Lin Bratton
, Director of Protein Ingredients Applications, BUNGE

10:35am
Networking Coffee Break
11:05am
Start-Up Showcase

Hear from the hottest innovators in the future food-tech space, pitching their solutions to a panel of judges – followed by Q&A to delve deeper into their products, strategies, and visions for the future!

Judges:
Nate Crosser, Principal, BLUE HORIZON
Nathan Cooper
, Managing Partner, BARREL VENTURES

Start-ups:
Kate Sullivan, Founder, UNCRACKED
Mike Kobida
, Co-Founder & CEO, CALADAN BIO
Andrew Sayles
, Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer, LIVESTOCK LABS
Rouzbeh R. Taghizadeh,
CSO, HATCHLESS

11:00am – 11:45am Breakout Session Hosted by FoodNavigator-USA: Moving Beyond Taste, Texture Mimicry View session>>

11:35am
Strengthening Alternative Dairy: Elevating Nutritional and Functional Value
  • With increased consumer focus on health & wellness and clean label preferences, how do alt-dairy products fare when considering nutritional profiles? What nutritional elements need to be elevated to meet demand and expectations?
  • What innovations are closing nutritional gaps in the alt-dairy space? How are companies working to ensure products meet dietary needs of children to seniors?
  • How are innovators working to enhance nutritional profiles through fortification and the use of functional ingredients, without sacrificing all important taste and texture?
  • How do nutritional gaps vary across all alt-dairy options, and how should approaches differ when working to fortify and elevate nutritional value?

Moderator:
Lynn Dornblaser, Director, Innovation & Insight, MINTEL

Speakers:
Miriam Ueberall, Chief Research & Innovation Officer, UPFIELD
Takoua Debeche, Chief R&D Officer, DANONE NORTH AMERICA
Eyal Afergan,
Co-Founder & CEO, IMAGINDAIRY

12:05pm
Networking Lunch Break
1:05pm
Expanding Manufacturing Capacities: Strategies to Reduce Lead Times and CapEx Requirements
  • How are alt protein innovators adopting CapEx-friendly strategies when building infrastructure that also improve lead time, operational efficiency, and environmental footprint?
  • What are the key benefits of retrofitting existing facilities as compared to greenfield development for plant-based meat production and what are the broader trade-offs?
  • How can co-located facilities benefit multiple organizations by reducing the time and cost associated with scaling up new technologies and products?
  • For enhanced circularity and cost reduction, how does the positioning of biomanufacturing facilities enable the usage of co-products and waste in production?
  • What is the best way to finance steel in the ground, and what types of long-term funding can innovators access to provide a successful launchpad and how can unit economics be leveraged?

Moderator:
Nicole Bateman, President, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION OF DECATUR AND MACON COUNTY

Speakers:
Laura Yee, Senior Director of Process Engineering, UPSIDE FOODS
Sebastian Bohn, Director, Alternative Proteins, CRB
Tony Delgado
, Vice President, MERRICK & COMPANY
Manoj Kumar,
Chief Technical Officer & Vice President Plant Proteins Business, LOUIS DREYFUS COMPANY

1:00pm – 1:45pm Breakout Session Hosted by ADIO: Building a Global, Sustainable Hub for Novel Food to Ensure Food and Water Security  View session>>

1:50pm
Accelerating Scale-Up in Precision Fermentation: Advancing Protein & Lipid Production & Yield
  • As the demand for alternative proteins and sustainable lipids grows, what specific challenges need to be addressed to scale fermentation production effectively?
  • What processes and technologies are being explored to overcome challenges related to scaling up fermentation for industrial production?
  • What specific strains and microbial platforms have shown exceptional promise in protein and lipid production? How are strains selected and engineered for optimal results?
  • How are AI and ML being utilized to optimize fermentation production, reduce cost and increase yield?

Moderator:
Nicki Heverling Briggs, Founder & Principal, HERE/THERE

Speakers:
Brian Jacobson, Associate Director of Strategic Operations, INTEGRATED BIOPROCESSING RESEARCH LABORATORY (IBRL)
Elizabeth Teigland, Head of New Food Fermentation, TETRA PAK U.S. & CANADA
Stephan van Sint Fiet
, CEO, VIVICI
Daniel Eicholtz
, Managing Partner – Principal Process Engineer, LAPORTE CONSULTANTS

2:20pm
Networking Roundtable Discussions

Delegates break into small groups to discuss the most critical issues facing the food-tech industry. Each table is hosted by an industry expert, and delegates can choose the topic most relevant to their business.

  • Creative Financing: Powering Innovation Beyond Venture Capital
    Host: Laine Clark, Senior Corporate Engagement Manager, Innovation, GFI 
  • Roadmap Revolution: Fuelling Growth through Coordination and Unity
    Host: Indy Kaur, Founder, PLANT FUTURES
  • Future Bites: Navigating Claims in the Age of Sustainability, Healthy Eating, and State/Federal Initiatives
    Host: Amaru J. Sanchez, Attorney, WILEY REIN LLP
  • Ensuring an Equitable Transition Towards a Protein-Diverse Future
    Host: Melanie Levine, Manager, Agriculture and Food, WORLD BUSINESS COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
  • Concept to Commercialization: Developing a Successful Mechanism to Scale Emerging Technologies
    Host: John Ellersick, President, NEXT RUNG TECHNOLOGY
  • Winning the Formula for Plant-Based: Can Collaboration & Innovation Expedite Consumer Acceptance?
    Host: Romain Joly, Global Head of Proteins Business Line, ROQUETTE
  • From Visionary Strategy to Practical Matters: Succeeding in Production Application Trials for Alternative Proteins
    Host: Vaida Urbonaite, Senior R&D Plant Protein Expert, UPFIELD
  • Cultivating Cultural Excitement: Championing Youth Engagement for Food System Transformation
    Host: Eric Sirvinskas, Community Engagement Manager, PLANT FUTURES INITIATIVE
  • Leveraging Precision Measurement in Alternative Protein Production: A Focus on Raman Spectroscopy
    Host: Janam Pandya, Field Application Scientist – Spectroscopy, Analytical Instruments Group, THERMO FISHER SCIENTIFIC
  • Navigating Funding Options for Alternative Protein Scale-Up and Commercialization
    Host: Roy Johnson, Business Strategist, BLACK AND VEATCH
3:05pm
Networking Coffee Break
3:35pm
Leveraging AI in Alternative Proteins: Optimizing Product Development with Data-Driven Insights
  • How can AI and ML be utilized in a multi-faceted, data-driven approach to strengthen new product development across the alt proteins sector?
  • In what ways can the sector accelerate trails in AI model development to address ‘pain points’ in technologies such as extrusion to further enhance the texture of plant-based meat products?
  • Where are the successful examples of AI being leveraged in protein engineering and design to analyze complex protein structures and predict functionality and optimize the extrusion process?

Moderator:
Matt Hotze, Director of Science & Technology, GFI

Speakers:
Gerrit Feuerriegel, Managing Partner, SHYFT CONSULTING
Panos Kostopulos
, Founder & CEO, PROXY FOODS

3:55pm
De-Risking the Scale Up Roadmap and Improving Access to Sustainable Growth Capital
  • What is the role of big-ticket investors to provide sustainable finance solutions that support innovation and growth for the alt proteins sector?
  • How can the sector improve access to smart blended finance models, encompassing non dilutive funding such as debt and equity finance, low-interest government-backed loans and patient capital that can support a new phase of large-scale commercialization of new proteins.
  • How can investors support food companies within their portfolio to de-risk their scale up roadmap and adopt innovative financial instruments to preserve capital?
  • In a sector that relies heavily on purpose driven investing, in what way can brands focus on a path to profitability through that ensure a reasonable exit environment for later stage investors?

Moderator:
Jo Raven, Director of Thematic Research & Corporate Innovation, FAIRR INITIATIVE

Speakers:
Suhas Narayanaswamy, Principal, LEWIS & CLARK AGRIFOOD
Mark Langley
, Managing Partner, UNOVIS ASSET MANAGEMENT
Molly Hammond,
Acting State Director, USDA
Bill Aimutis
, Chief Operating Officer, BEZOS CENTER FOR SUSTAINABLE PROTEIN

4:40pm
Close of Summit