New Australian-First Online Course in Cellular Agriculture to Help Students and Professionals Break into the Sector

August 2, 2022 - 3 min read

Cellular Agriculture Australia (CAA), in collaboration with industry, academia, and regulatory organisations, have created Australia’s first online course on cellular agriculture. The course is specially designed for students and industry professionals, to equip them with the foundational knowledge to understand this emerging industry and its future potential. Knowledge gained through the course will act as a baseline for practical educational experiences, which is critical for future graduates to translate theory into the creation of impactful outcomes for the sector.

The online course is the first of its kind in Australia, and was developed in response from conversations with industry and academia, who state that one of the biggest challenges the industry faces in order to grow the sector and achieve commercial scale is the ability to access and attract new talent. Globally, there is a growing risk of a talent shortage, with predictions that more than 85 million jobs could go unfilled by 2030 due to the absence of skilled people to take them. Since the cellular agriculture industry is still nascent, its future potential may be hindered if initiatives to solve this problem are not explored and actioned. This was the main driver for this initiative and CAA hopes it will act as a catalyst for further dedicated courses that deepen knowledge and build industry relevant skills for the sector.

The six modules consist of an introduction to cellular agriculture, an opportunity for Australia, an introduction to cultivated meat production, an introduction to precision fermentation, scaling cellular agriculture, and food policy and regulation in Australia.

Students and industry professionals transitioning from other fields were identified to be the key audience of the course which if successful, could serve as a case study for universities to develop their own internal subjects or courses on cellular agriculture, or could serve as part of an employee's training at a cellular agriculture company. 

Christina Aguila, the University Innovation Specialist at GFI, said, "Cellular Agriculture Australia's short course is huge for the future food movement. To feed nearly 10 billion people by 2050, we need to prepare a massive wave of talent to enter the cellular agriculture space.

Like any emerging field, we're facing a lack of formal educational programs focused on cell ag and alternative proteins. It can take years for universities to establish new courses and majors, so online short courses like this are critical. Rather than wait for formal programs to become commonplace at universities, CAA is giving learners an opportunity to kickstart their educational journey into the alt protein field right away.

Developing a robust alt protein workforce will require people from all walks of life and parts of the world—not just students on the traditional college path. This type of free, web-based offering is an important step toward building the workforce required to feed the world in a better way."

Although the world has transitioned to online learning, not all content has been designed to deliver strong education outcomes. As such, and through a collaborative approach, CAA intends to bring together subject matter experts in all facets of cellular agriculture and learning and development experts to create an accessible global learning hub for cellular agriculture.

Dr. Sam Perkins, CEO of Cellular Agriculture Australia, says that, “When online learning content is purposefully designed to create engaging experiences and strong education outcomes it can act as a scalable tool to support further practical and applied skill development, which will be essential for the future of our sector.”

Cellular Agriculture Australia is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to accelerating the cellular agriculture sector in Australia. Their initiatives are focused on developing talent pipelines into cellular agriculture, creating a connected and collaborative community within the sector, and promoting positive awareness of cellular agriculture.

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