Thesis subject

The role of researchers in the protein transition

Among policy makers, researchers, and business there is an increased interest in new protein sources. Products based on seaweed, micro-algae and insects, but also in-vitro meat and legumes, are seen as an environmental friendly alternative to meat-based products. This interest has triggered a series of projects, research programmes, subsidy programmes, networks (e.g. Green Protein Alliance), conferences and the like.

The Dutch government has also formulated the “Voedselagenda”  in which it formulates the objective to be a front-runner in healthy and sustainable food in 5 to 10 years. Consequently, budget is made available to support innovation in the food sector. At WUR ‘the protein transition’ is one of the three investment themes.

Knowledge about the roles different actors play in the transition pathways, is lacking. Do the niches of meat alternatives compete with one another, do they have a symbiotic relationship or are the pathways independent? And specifically, what is the role of research and researchers in the protein transition? How do researchers of the diverse niches interact and what learning takes place among them?