Industrial Manufacturing
Industrial Manufacturing
Bringing Affordable Meat to the Masses
How Ark is scaling cultivated meat production, one mammoth bioreactor at a time
Yossi Quint
June 5, 2023

We started Ark because we believe that cultivated meat is:

  1. The future of the $1.4 trillion meat industry
  2. On the precipice of transformational growth
  3. Bottlenecked by unscalable production technology

Ark is developing novel bioreactor infrastructure to unlock cultivated meat production at scale.

Meat production is broken. Cultivated meat is the solution.

There are high stakes in our steaks. Each year billions of animals are packed into factory farms, receiving hormones and antibiotics, carrying disease, and emitting billions in greenhouse gas. Our appetite for meat is only growing, straining the natural and agricultural systems that supply it and raising grocery bills.

The solution is cells. Cultivated meat is the same meat you know and love, grown directly from cells in a bioreactor rather than cells in an animal. Instead of the years it takes to raise dozens of animals to fill a store shelf, cultivated meat can produce whole farms-worth of meat from a single cell sample in a matter of weeks. Free of hormones, antibiotics, disease, and harmful nutrients, cultivated meat is tastier, safer, and healthier. Cultivated meat means having your burger and eating it too.

The catch? Today’s tech can’t scale to feed the planet.

Replacing just 1% of the world’s meat consumption with cultivated meat requires an ~100x increase in current bioreactor capacity. If all the world’s bioreactor capacity–mostly used to produce critical medicines today–started to produce cultivated meat, it would only satisfy U.S. meat consumption for 12 hours.

Bioreactors available today are expensive to build and operate. They are purpose-built for the pharmaceutical industry and require an army of highly skilled operators to manage just a handful of them. Unlike meat production, the pharmaceutical industry only requires low volume throughput of very high value outputs. 

Ark’s bioreactor technology is purpose-built for cultivated meat.

Competing with conventional agriculture on volume and price requires colossal bioreactors with cutting-edge automation. Ark will achieve this with: 

  1. Fit-for-purpose bioreactors: We went back to first principles and challenged the status quo. Through a radical process of redesign we have re-invented the bioreactor to serve the unique needs of the cultivated meat industry.
  2. Economies of scale: The single biggest lever to reduce cost is scale. We have designed a range of bioreactors capable of scaling to millions of liters (the biggest bioreactor today is 30,000 liters). At scale, Ark’s bioreactors will be 85%+ cheaper than the biggest bioreactors today.
  3. Automation: Leveraging manufacturing 4.0, we are developing a new operating system for bioproduction where decisions are made automatically, enabled by real-time-data from advanced sensors and a first-of-its-kind digital twin. Our automation system will improve uptime and optimize processes, while reducing the number of costly operational mistakes.
  4. High resolution computing: We have developed computational models so that companies can scale up in weeks instead of years, while optimizing the bioprocess to ensure the bioreactors produce more, for less.

Let’s reimagine meat!

We have brought together brilliant engineers and scientists to solve a critical step of the cultivated meat value chain: production. Our team boasts passionate, kind, and dedicated industry experts across the cellular agriculture and bioprocess fields, including a bioprocess veteran who has overseen multiple percentage points of global bioreactor capacity, a mechanical engineer who has built multi-story high pressure vessels, and one of the first people to ever receive a PhD in cultivated meat. What we share in common is a deep-seated desire to create a better food system through solving complex problems that matter for the planet and all its inhabitants.

We are in the midst of a sea change that has the potential to redefine the future of meat. We are thrilled to be a part of this movement. There’s no time to lose.

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