Singapore, South Australia ink partnership for closer collaboration in food innovation

SINGAPORE - Singapore and South Australia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to foster closer collaboration in food innovation.

The MOU between trade agency Spring Singapore and Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) was inked during a South Australian business mission to Singapore on Monday (July 24).

"We are looking forward to a fruitful partnership with PIRSA to build complementary capabilities in emerging food innovation areas, including functional foods and food waste reduction," said Mr Ted Tan, Spring's deputy chief executive.

"Singapore SMEs can access new food technologies and processing methods to accelerate the development of innovative products. It will also offer a launch pad for Australian companies entering the Asia market, creating win-win partnership opportunities with our SMEs," he said.

Professor Mehdi Doroudi, deputy chief executive of PIRSA, said: "This MOU will enable South Australia and Singapore to learn from each other's efforts in food innovation by targeting a number of key focus areas, including research and development, commercialisation, product development, packaging innovation and technology and knowledge exchange."

The MOU will leverage Singapore's Food Innovation Cluster (FIC) and South Australian Food Innovation Centre (SAFIC) as platforms to promote business and facilitate knowledge exchanges between the two countries in the area of food innovation, and to actively engage each other in topics such as functional food development and food waste reduction.

Led by Spring, the FIC is a multi-agency effort to catalyse co-innovation among multinational companies, local SMEs and research institutions, and accelerate the development and commercialisation of new products. The FIC is a key initiative under Singapore's Food Manufacturing Industry Transformation Map, which was launched in November 2016, to steer the industry's growth over the next five years.

Singapore is a key trade partner for South Australia. Between 2015 and 2016, the state's agriculture, food and wine exports to Singapore reached A$111 million (S$119.6 million).

The South Australian business delegation to Singapore is part of the state's larger strategy to explore opportunities in the food and beverage sector of the region.

South Australia's food and wine industries make up its largest export sector and is a major employer. In 2015 and 2016, these sectors generated A$18.6 billion in revenue, accounting for 45 per cent of the state's merchandise exports and employed more than 147,400 people, which equates to one in every five working South Australians.

In Singapore, the food manufacturing industry also plays a significant role in the economy, with more than half of its output being exported to countries such as Japan and China. In 2015, the industry contributed S$3.7 billion to Singapore's gross domestic product and employed about 40,000 workers.