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2020 Year in Review: Transformative Innovations Disrupt the Entire Ecosystem

Joshua Haslun, Ph.D., Senior Analyst
February 23, 2021

Transformation is an apt descriptor for 2020, but several innovations found purchase during the ongoing COVID-19 transformation and are creating disruption of their own. Alternative proteins, vertical agriculture, ingredient discovery, and the microbiome all received significant advancement despite a turbulent year.

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From cellular agriculture and fermentation-derived proteins to insects, alternative proteins found purchase globally. Vertical agriculture and controlled-environment agriculture in general received funding eclipsing that of 2019, which will enable significant commercial expansion, even if that production remains in greens and herbs. Ingredient innovation saw significant advancement led by the likes of Brightseed, NotCo, and MycoTechnology, and Google's DeepMind contributed significant advances toward improving protein discovery. Lastly, the influence of the microbiome expanded and grew in areas outside of food, with skin, animal health, and plant and soil health receiving significant funding and partnerships.

As we reflect on 2020, we take a look at some of the most important developments that occurred in the Transformative Innovations Disrupt the Entire Ecosystem storyline.



Vertical agriculture (1)


Additionally, the Lux Agrifood Team curated the following "Analysts' Choice" readings on the evolution of Transformative Innovations Disrupt the Entire Ecosystem:

This blog is part of the Lux Agrifood and Health Team's Year in Review series examining the highlights and key developments of the agrifood sector in 2020. For an overview of the other storylines in Emerging Ecosystem of Agrifood and Health program, be sure to subscribe to our agrifood newsletter. 

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