Among the companies I've spoken with, technical positions seem to be a huge bottleneck, so I'd imagine those being the highest impact. In this industry, I'm considering technical positions to generally have titles like food scientist, research/process associate, bioprocess engineer, food technologist/developer, etc. This bottleneck seems especially intense among clean meat companies, so if you have a relevant background, I'd strongly encourage you to apply.
Beyond that, it's hard for me to guess exactly which positions are highest impact.
Good question! And thanks for your point, we should have linked to definitions of terms.
I think that we were able to conduct effective technical research in this space largely because we spoke to a ton of founders of companies and thoroughly read the published scientific literature. Additionally, we split up tasks to maximize specialization/expertise within each domain that we cared about. Those would be my two primary pieces of advice. We did not have a strong background in these subjects before beginning, so I would not let that deter you from diving in.
Companies obviously don't want to share their trade secrets, so you can't expect to learn everything about the field but a dedicated EA, especially with a strong science background, can develop a strong enough understanding to make a career-relevant decision about the state of the field.
Hey, Jamie, thanks for your thoughts! I'll speak for myself, as our entire team hasn't had time to review your comment yet.
Your comparison to CE's approach is fair, although there are a number of differences. We did consider opportunities outside of plant-based/clean meat but I was not involved with the research at that point. Our decision criteria within this space was informed primarily by our judgment as EAs and as a team with experience in business/consulting of the factors likely to matter most for impact and success of the company.
I definitely agree that the broader conceptualization of impact is a critical framework to consider. However, I don't necessarily think that our two approaches are mutually exclusive. For example, a high-quality chicken/fish substitute could do just as much to advance the field of plant-based products as a high-quality burger (or perhaps even more, given the large number of beef products on the market now). We considered the factor you're highlighting to some extent in our decision-making, as you can see in our selection of developing a product in an Asian economy, which could spur the creation of new products/companies in this area if done successfully. Our approach in clean meat - to focus on intermediary technologies, e.g. cell lines, media formulations, etc. is also informed by your approach, as this likely would do more good by advancing the field as a whole than by having direct impact.
Great to see such a strong focus on farmed animal welfare from a research organization! This list of prioritized questions looks strong to me. A few others worth considering:
I hope this is useful! Let me know if you have any questions - happy to discuss further.
Shoot me an email! We aren't at the stage to use many volunteers right now but we'd love to hear from you.
Excellent to hear! Please get in touch! :)
Thanks! We started there and are definitely considering several ideas on that list.