Bezos Center for Sustainable Protein at NCSU will also involve NC A&T, UNC-P, Duke, and Forsyth Tech

(Business NC, David Mildenberg) — A group led by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is giving $30 million over five years to NC State University to help create healthy food products that will be plant-based or use fermentation and animal cells.

The Bezos Center for Sustainable Protein at the Raleigh University will create a manufacturing hub for proteins that are environmentally friendly, healthy, tasty and affordable, according to a university press release.

Bezos started his Earth Fund with $10 billion to address climate-change challenges. It has committed $100 million to establish open-access research and development centers focused on sustainable protein.

“As a land-grant university in a state with significant animal agriculture, NC State is uniquely positioned to help shape the future of sustainable food production,” said Chancellor Randy Woodson in a statement He said the effort can help “feed a growing world population in an economically and environmentally sustainable way.

The state legislature’s funding of the Food Innovation Lab in Kannapolis and new facilities in the College of Engineering have made NC State incredibly competitive for this grant.”

NC State said N.C. A&T State University, UNC Pembroke, Duke University, and Forsyth Tech Community College in Winston-Salem will be involved in the project tied to research and workforce development. About 20 industry partners will also take part in the center for technology transfer and student internships.

Bezos is among the five wealthiest persons in the world with a net worth topping $200 billion. He founded Amazon in 1994 and stepped down as CEO in 2021.

He sold Amazon shares valued at $4 billion in February. His ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, has received massive publicity for donation more than $12 billion over the past five years to more than 1,200 nonprofit groups.