Isha Datar

Developing openly accessible cell cultures


So, what's the big idea?

Food insecurity is one of the greatest challenges of our time. If we are to feed the human population sustainably, affordably and nutritiously, we have to rethink the food supply chain. Isha Datar is doing just that, exploring cellular agriculture as a new facet of farming animal products. Isha’s work with New Harvest is at the intersection of ethical and practical issues, enabling broader cellular agriculture research with a menu of openly accessible cell cultures. These cell cultures are the research tools with which we can build foods of the future.

There are many more questions than answers about the viability and desirability of this approach. It speaks directly to both how we produce and apportion food, and what we fundamentally believe about food. Cellular agriculture is in its infancy and is only one path among many that could ensure food security. It will require long term investment and exploration to establish it as a viable alternative, or not, to current meat production processes. We believe Isha’s work will make a valuable contribution to opening up possibilities. Her open approach brings a level of accessibility and transparency to this work that has not been seen before.

Isha Datar's flash grant nominations

Twice a year we award a number of small grants to a collection of social change agents, no strings attached, in support of their work. We call these Flash Grants and recipients are selected based on nominations from our Fellows. Each award is worth $5,000.

Spend breakdown

At the heart of our co-investment fellowship model is the principle that Fellows continue to invest in their own ideas. The Foundation amplifies the Fellow’s investment by matching it at least tenfold, along with covering the cost of their time for the year.

The figures you see here do not reflect each Fellow’s fellowship year funding, but rather the funds unlocked within our financial year, as the fellowship years start either March or September and Fellows are not required to spend the available funds proportionately throughout the year.

2016

Fellow contribution: $2,526.92
Our contribution: $90,269.20
Total funds: $92,796.12

2017

Fellow contribution: $3,325.37
Our contribution: $98,253.75
Total funds: $101,579.12
People
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Total funding to date:
$194,375.24