Abu Dhabi’s new food and water cluster AGWA (AgriFood Growth & Water Abundance) has partnered with Israeli food technology company Believer Meats, to develop cultivated meat capabilities.

Under the collaboration, Believer Meats will open its regional headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

The Israeli company will use the Emirate’s strategic location and resources to enhance its growth in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region.

AGWA will leverage technological advancements to address shifting dietary patterns and support global food security for a reliable and resilient supply chain.

Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) director general Badr Al-Olama said: “When Abu Dhabi established AGWA, it sought to attract the greatest innovators in food and water.

“Our partnership with Believer Meats is a firm example of this objective coming to life.

“A base of operations in Abu Dhabi would enable Believer Meats to bring the very best innovations and products in cultivated meats to the entire region with speed and safety, radically changing the dependency on imported food to the region.”

Believer Meats is focused on developing the world’s most efficient and scalable cell-cultivation production technology to make safe, healthy, and delicious cultivated meat products.

The company is currently building a large-scale cultivated meat production facility in North Carolina, after closing a series B funding round in 2021.

The factory will feature advanced innovation centre and tasting kitchen and is set to be operational by the end of 2024.

Believer Meats said that the strategic collaboration with AGWA is in line with its goal of providing a scalable, replicable model to enter and grow in additional markets.

AGWA and Believer Meats will also look at establishing a Believer Meats Innovation Academy dedicated to sustainable food technologies and developing future talent.

The Innovation Academy will be built in collaboration with Abu Dhabi-based universities and research centres.

Furthermore, AGWA will also work with Believer Meats to establish a regulatory pathway and halal certification standards for cultivated meat products in Abu Dhabi.

Believer Meats CEO Gustavo Burger said: “Partnering with AGWA represents a significant step forward in our mission to create a global powerhouse of cultivated meat solutions bringing products to new strategic markets.

“This collaboration will not only enable us to expand our operations but also align perfectly with our vision of creating a sustainable and more resilient global food system.

“By leveraging AGWA’s innovative framework and support, we are confident that we can address food security challenges and bring our safe, healthy, and delicious cultivated meat products to the MENA region and beyond.”