Singapore, S. Australia ink pact on food innovation

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 yesterday.

"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 (small and medium-sized enterprises) 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."

Professor Mehdi Doroudi, deputy chief executive of Pirsa, added: "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 as platforms to promote business and facilitate knowledge exchanges in 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 firms, 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 last November 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$120 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.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2017, with the headline 'Singapore, S. Australia ink pact on food innovation'. Print Edition | Subscribe