UAE: Scientist behind Lab Burger to speak at GFIA

why-googles-sergey-brin-paid-330000-for-the-worlds-first-lab-grown-burgerAbu Dhabi, UAE, January 15, 2014: In the upcoming Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA), the world’s largest showcase of game-changing agricultural innovations and technology, the scientist behind the world’s first lab-grown burger, Dr Mark Post, is confirmed to address the world-leading innovators, investors and experts that will be in attendance.

Dr Mark Post is Professor of Vascular Physiology at Holland’s Maastricht University. He and his team grew the burger in their laboratory using over 20,000 muscle fibres from cow stem cells. The $350,000 project was funded by Google co-founder Sergey Brin and has the potential to revolutionise the meat industry.

“We are delighted to be able to confirm Dr Post’s participation in GFIA. His groundbreaking research may pave the way for a more humane, environmentally friendly future for the food industry. Those attending GFIA will benefit immensely from Dr Post’s dynamism and innovation,” said Mark Beaumont, GFIA Project Director.

The solutions-driven event is held under the Patronage of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nayhan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and will run from 3-5 February 2014 at Abu Dhabi’s National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC).

Dr Post and other world-leading experts in the fields of agricultural innovation and research will give their ‘Visions for an Agricultural Revolution.

These include Dr Frank Rijsberman, CEO of CGIAR Consortium, the world’s largest agricultural research partnership. CGIAR brings together 15 organizations engaged in research for a food secure future, and has recently announced that its funding has doubled in five years, from $500 million in 2008 to $1 billion in 2013, which officials say could lift 150 million people in Asia out of poverty by boosting rice production and provide 12 million African households with sustainable irrigation.

Andras Forgacs, CEO of Modern Meadow and the pioneer of 3D-printed meat and leather, is also confirmed as a GFIA Keynote Speaker. Modern Meadow has pioneered some of the technologies behind medical tissue engineering and invented a tissue engineering technique based on bio printing, the 3D assembly of tissues driven by computer controlled processes.

The GFIA programme will focus on new exciting innovations, with a dedicated Innovation Zone where some of the latest food production technologies have been assembled by GFIA’s Knowledge Partner, the University of Arizona. The Innovation Zone will demonstrate how food can be sustainably produced by integrating the latest technologies. Included in this area will be technologies relating to algae-based fuel production, aquaculture, solar energy, desalination and high tech agricultural lighting. Staff from the university will be on hand to discuss the exhibits.

There will also be an Incubator Zone, a sponsored and subsidised area that will showcase innovative ideas from over 30 entrepreneurs and start-ups from around the world. The companies involved are all looking for partners to support the development of their innovations and to meet investors, scientists and business partners to help them get their product to market. Amongst the many exhibited innovations will be an underground irrigation system, nano-tech micronutrients, funding & investment and sensor technology.

For further information and to register for GFIA, please visit the website at

About GFIA

Held February 3-5, 2014, under the Patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nayhan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs of the UAE, the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) will be the world’s largest showcase of innovations in sustainable agriculture.

With the key theme of ‘driving innovation for an agricultural revolution,’ GFIA will highlight the sustainable agriculture initiatives being planned and deployed around the world, facilitate knowledge transfer and demonstrate available investment opportunities. The GFIA agenda was designed by a steering committee of 20 international experts in the fields of academia, R&D, science, industry and investment.

The GFIA programme includes:

  • Exhibition and conference: keynote sessions, panel discussions, an African Ministerial debate and 150 presentations.
  • Incubator zone: a low-cost space for UAE and international entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas and prototypes.
  • Innovation Zone (curated by the University of Arizona): display of working models of some of the most inspiring innovations in agriculture today.
  • Technical tours to a range of sustainable agriculture projects in the UAE
  • GCC Farmer Focus: a dedicated programme to educate GCC farmers on the benefits of sustainable agriculture
  • NGO Zone: dedicated area for NGOs, development agencies and charitable foundations to meet and share ideas across sectors