Singapore plans to assist native and international corporations that use indoor rising applied sciences, resembling hydroponics, vertical farming and information analytics.
SINGAPORE – Temasek has signed an settlement with the Company for Science, Know-how and Analysis (A*Star) to ascertain the Meals Tech Innovation Centre, a facility to speed up the commercialisation of meals applied sciences.
The state investor mentioned the memorandum of understanding with A*Star is a part of a renewed give attention to growing its investments in corporations and start-ups at dwelling and throughout Asia that use revolutionary applied sciences to supply meals.
The announcement was made at a digital media briefing on Wednesday, in opposition to the backdrop of the Apac Agri-Meals Innovation Summit additionally held on-line for the primary time.
Individually on the summit, Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State for Commerce and Business, had earlier highlighted Singapore’s achievements in realising its ambition to supply as a lot as 30 per cent of its meals wants domestically by 2030.
Singapore plans to attain the purpose by supporting native and international corporations that use indoor rising applied sciences, resembling hydroponics, vertical farming and information analytics, to optimise manufacturing.
Temasek has invested greater than US$5 billion (S$6.7 billion) within the agri-food house over the previous 5 years, nurturing a portfolio of greater than 40 agri-food corporations.
However many of the funding is in European and North American corporations.
Mr Anuj Maheshwari, Temasek’s managing director of agribusiness and Center East and Africa, mentioned that whereas Western corporations had led the worldwide agri-food sector with technological improvements, Asia is now catching up quick.
“We actually see much more alternatives in Asia than we noticed a number of years in the past,” he mentioned, referring to start-ups within the agri-food sector.
Mr Maheshwari added that many bigger buyers, even greater than Temasek, are chasing funding alternatives in Asia’s agri-food house.
“At one finish, we have now to grapple with a much bigger alternative set and however we see extra competitors. However we’re dedicated to investing within the sector given our give attention to not simply producing returns but in addition for a greater planet,” he mentioned.
Mr Maheshwari added that international meals manufacturing must be elevated by 40 per cent to feed a world inhabitants set to hit a complete of 9.8 billion by 2050, up from 7.7 billion now.
On the identical time, agriculture makes use of 33 per cent of the world’s arable land for cattle farms, accounts for about 20 per cent of greenhouse gasoline emissions and consumes as much as 70 per cent of world recent water. There’s a must re-imagine meals manufacturing by utilizing revolutionary applied sciences resembling vertical farms to chop land use, automation to scale back wastage and alternative routes of manufacturing proteins to decrease emissions.
Mr Maheshwari additionally mentioned that international funding in tech-based agri-food start-ups hit US$20 billion final 12 months, up from simply US$2 billion in 2013, with the emergence of revolutionary corporations resembling Unimaginable Meals that makes burger patties from plant-based proteins.
Mr Yeoh Keat Chuan, Temasek’s senior managing director for enterprise growth, mentioned manufacturing of plant-based proteins and precision fermentation to make milk proteins would be the start line of the collaboration with A*Star.
He mentioned a number of corporations have proven curiosity within the Singapore Institute of Meals and Biotechnology Innovation, which was arrange final 12 months at A*Star to spice up native manufacturing capabilities of novel meals elements.
Most of those corporations want pilot manufacturing of small batches of their merchandise earlier than going industrial, which is what the Meals Tech Innovation Centre goals to do.
Past sustainable proteins, Temasek will goal investments in corporations which have revolutionary concepts for resilient provide chains, inexpensive vitamin and concrete meals techniques.