NEOM, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 31 October 2023: NEOM, the sustainable regional development taking shape in northwest Saudi Arabia, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BlueNalu, the global leader in the development of cell-cultured seafood.
The partnership aims to progress the commercialization, marketing, and distribution of BlueNalu’s cell-cultured seafood products, and reflects the mutual interests of both organizations in developing food solutions that increase food security and improve access to healthy foods for communities in the Kingdom and worldwide.
Core objectives of the MoU include supporting the establishment of an incubation and food innovation ecosystem in the Kingdom; public education and outreach activities; conducting extensive consumer research; and engaging with regulatory agencies to enable the approval and sale of these novel foods.
This partnership followed NEOM Investment Fund USD 20 million investment in BlueNalu. The funding will enable the next stage of BlueNalu's growth and its continued progress toward scaling and commercializing healthy and sustainable seafood around the globe.
Majid Mufti, Chief Executive Officer of NEOM Investment Fund, commented: "Our investment in BlueNalu goes beyond mere financial backing; it marks a pivotal moment in our commitment to fostering sustainable regenerative aquaculture and resilient food ecosystems. By aligning NEOM Food with BlueNalu's trailblazing approach, we're not just envisioning a sustainable future—we're investing in the transformative technologies that make it achievable. This is yet another demonstration of how NEOM Investment Fund serves as a cornerstone in actualizing NEOM's overarching vision.”
Dr. Juan Carlos Motamayor, Executive Director of NEOM Food, said: "NEOM is committed to building a resilient future, and our partnership with BlueNalu aligns perfectly with our goals. In BlueNalu, we have found the perfect nexus of visionary leadership, groundbreaking technology, and a holistic approach to product innovation. We look forward to working with them to shape a more sustainable and resilient food ecosystem.”
Cell-cultured seafood, real seafood produced directly from fish cells, is poised to revolutionize the production and consumption of these products around the globe. This emerging technology can result in seafood with the same taste, texture, and nutritional value as their conventional counterparts, but resulting in products that are consistent, healthy, secure, and sustainable, thereby fulfilling consumer preferences. Importantly, this production method has the potential to
significantly reduce the environmental impact of protein production.
Lou Cooperhouse, Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer of BlueNalu, said: "This collaboration with NEOM is a monumental step towards creating a more secure and accessible supply of seafood in the Kingdom. By combining our global expertise in cell-cultured seafood and the tremendous number of strategic partnerships we’ve developed to date at BlueNalu, together with NEOM's extraordinary vision and resources, we can accelerate the development of innovative, renewable food solutions via cell-cultured seafood."
The partnership further strengthens NEOM’s ongoing commitment to harnessing innovation to nourish people and the planet and guaranteeing food security for generations to come.