The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform aims to alleviate "friction-to-adoption" by providing solutions and support to food-tech companies at every stage of their growth cycle.
SINGAPORE, Nov. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Temasek today announced the launch of the Asia Sustainable Foods Platform to focus on addressing the challenges of scaling up the production of alternative proteins, as well as accelerating the growth of sustainable foods in Asia.
The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform aims to provide solutions and support, as an enabler, operator and investor, to food-tech companies as they go through their life cycle from product development to commercial scale-up.
As an enabler, it will provide R&D advisory and pilot-scale manufacturing facilities to support food-tech businesses accelerate their product commercialisation;
As an operator, it will provide manufacturing capabilities, along with market insights into commercialisation opportunities to support scaling up across Asia; and
As an investor, it will also provide businesses with a network of strategic connections and allocate capital to promising food-tech start-ups.
"Asia is expected to require around US$1.55 trillion of investment over the next decade to satisfy growing consumer demands for healthier and more sustainable food options. We need to evolve our current capabilities to bolster food security and strengthen supply chains," said Yeoh Keat Chuan, Deputy Head, Enterprise Development Group at Temasek.
"Temasek has invested over US$8 billion in the global farm-to-fork value chain since 2013, and will continue to increase our investments in this space. Singapore has a significant role to play in the transformation of the agri-food sector. The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform aims to support local and regional businesses, innovate, scale up and commercialise," he added.
The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform will be managed by a core team of food-tech professionals, led by newly appointed CEO, Mathys Boeren. Prior to joining the Platform, Mr Boeren worked in the food and food-ingredients industry for more than 25 years, amongst others for Unilever, Givaudan, Symrise and Kerry. More recently, he has advised start-ups in the sustainable food space on the alignment of product attributes and consumer preferences.
Mr Boeren highlighted that "Our key differentiating factor is our end-to-end enabler, operator, and investor capabilities that provide bespoke solutions and support to aspiring food-tech companies at every stage of their growth cycle. With our support to remove friction-to-adoption, companies can speed up their product development and pilot launch, as well as accelerate their commercial scale-up and go-to-market. In the end, it is our goal to delight consumers across Asia with tasty, fresh, traceable and sustainable food."
Accelerating Product and Process Development with the Food Tech Innovation Centre (FTIC)
The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform and A*STAR's Singapore Institute of Food & Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI) have committed to invest over S$30 million in the Food Tech Innovation Centre (FTIC) over the next three years, to provide tailored infrastructure and service offerings to promising food-tech start-ups.
FTIC will be a one-stop shop where aspiring food-tech start-ups will have access to a food grade pilot scale facility with extrusion and fermentation equipment, shared labs, test kitchens, co-working spaces, as well as A*STAR's deep R&D know-how.
"SIFBI is excited to partner with Temasek's newly established Asia Sustainable Foods Platform on the FTIC, which will provide much-needed pilot scale capabilities for Alternative Protein (AP) companies to shorten time to market. We expect that this partnership will help anchor AP companies, and to contribute significantly to the flourishing and vibrant food-tech landscape here in Singapore," said Dr Hazel Khoo, Executive Director, SIFBI.
This will address pain points food-tech businesses face in bringing their innovations to market, such as long wait-times for pilot-scale facilities and equipment; the lack of deep product & process development capabilities; and the difficulty in navigating regulatory processes and understanding unfamiliar markets in other parts of Asia.
FTIC is also pleased to announce that its first partner, Next Gen Foods, will be setting up their global R&D and innovation centre within FTIC. Next Gen Foods is a food start-up that is creating a portfolio of delicious, nutritious and sustainable plant-based foods – beginning with its popular chicken made from plants, TiNDLE, now available in over 150 restaurants across seven markets in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
"At the core of Next Gen Foods is a dedication to creating plant-based foods that are not only sustainable – but also delicious, nutritious and scalable," says Timo Recker, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Next Gen Foods. "We can only do this through a commitment to continuous product innovation and growth, and we're thrilled to become the first company to put down roots in the brand-new FTIC. It is a significant milestone that reinforces our commitment to build a global impactful player based in Singapore, and we are grateful to our partners at A*STAR and Temasek's Asia Sustainable Foods Platform for joining us on our mission to create a better food system for future generations to come."
Robust Co-manufacturing Capacity with Leading Industry Players
The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform is exploring two joint ventures with global industry experts in plant-based and microbial proteins.
A partnership with CREMER, a German agri-food multinational with expertise in plant-based protein, through a joint venture company, will augment the Platform's manufacturing capabilities for plant-based protein products. Key to this process is high moisture extrusion (HME), a new technology for producing texturised proteins that more closely resemble meat than other plant-based manufacturing techniques. The Platform's investment in, and the operation of, the joint venture company are subject to obtaining all required regulatory approvals and consents.
Given the nascent technology, CREMER's expertise in contract manufacturing and operating other HME plants globally will provide essential support for businesses in this area where few companies have mature HME capabilities and capacity, particularly in Asia.
"For CREMER, the customer has always been the starting point of our decisions. We are constantly improving and developing value-added services and products for our customers in tomorrow's world. Recognising the growing importance of sustainability, health and plant-based foods in supporting the global food ecosystem, CREMER wants to play a major role in driving these trends by contributing production knowledge we have gained over decades. By bringing HME capabilities to Asia, CREMER aims to provide production support to the fast-growing plant-based community here," said Damian Krueger, General Manager of Sustainable Nutrition at CREMER.
The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform has also signed an agreement with ADM, a global leader in nutrition, that will pave the way to form a joint venture that enables contract development and manufacturing services for microbial proteins produced via precision fermentation. ADM's global capabilities, and innovative fermentation-based expertise, will help enable smaller existing food-tech companies to efficiently scale their fermentation innovations through to the pilot scale. This project is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).
"We've talked to innovators, from startups to mature food providers, in Singapore and across APAC, and they have told us that they are eager and waiting for a partner that can provide support for food-grade precision fermentation technology," said Joe Taets, president of ADM's APAC business. "This first-of-its-kind joint venture in Singapore would meet that demand, and in doing so, will help further the development of the alternative protein industry in APAC."
"EDB is pleased to be supporting ADM and Temasek's Asia Sustainable Foods Platform efforts in building up precision fermentation expertise in Singapore. The joint venture addresses the needs of innovators in developing and scaling fermentation-based solutions, allowing them to serve global customers from Singapore. This will also strengthen our agri-food ecosystem through ensuring that the suitable infrastructure and technological capabilities are in place to spur innovation of agri-food technologies," said Damian Chan, Executive Vice President, Singapore Economic Development Board.
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Temasek is a global investment company with a net portfolio value of S$381 billion (US$283b, €241b, £206b, RMB1.86t) as at 31 March 2021. Headquartered in Singapore, it has 13 offices in 9 countries around the world.
The Temasek Charter defines Temasek's three roles as an Investor, Institution and Steward, which shape its ethos to do well, do right, and do good. As a provider of catalytic capital, it seeks to enable solutions to key global challenges.
With sustainability at the core of all Temasek does, it actively seeks sustainable solutions to address present and future challenges, as it captures investible opportunities to bring about a sustainable future for all.
The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform, a wholly-owned company of Temasek, aims to delight consumers across Asia with tasty, fresh, traceable and sustainable food by accelerating the commercialisation of sustainable foods in the region. It provides solutions and support to aspiring food-tech companies at every stage of their growth cycle, alleviating friction-to-adoption as they advance from product development and pilot launch to commercial scale-up and go-to-market.
CREMER was founded in 1946 by Peter Cremer. Today, in its third generation of family ownership, the company has grown to become an established German multinational with a long-standing history of success in trade, logistics and industry. With over 2,000 employees in over 60 companies and holdings, CREMER is active on all continents.
In recent years, recognising the growing market for healthy and sustainable food products, CREMER embarked on a growth strategy in the plant-based protein segment. The company has now committed investments into plant-based contract manufacturing capabilities in North America, Europe and Asia, and is well-equipped to help clients in the plant-based space with their various contract manufacturing needs.
At ADM, we unlock the power of nature to provide access to nutrition worldwide. With industry-advancing innovations, a complete portfolio of ingredients and solutions to meet any taste, and a commitment to sustainability, we give customers an edge in solving the nutritional challenges of today and tomorrow. We're a global leader in human and animal nutrition and the world's premier agricultural origination and processing company. Our breadth, depth, insights, facilities and logistical expertise give us unparalleled capabilities to meet needs for food, beverages, health and wellness, and more. From the seed of the idea to the outcome of the solution, we enrich the quality of life the world over.
Founded in 2020, Next Gen Foods is a food-tech startup developing and commercializing innovative and sustainable plant-based food products -- starting with TiNDLE. Next Gen Foods is backed by top-tier investors and led by a team with proven experience in plant-based foods technology, along with global brand development and operational scaleup. For more information, visit www.nextgenfoods.sg.
About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
A*STAR is Singapore's lead public sector R&D agency. Through open innovation, we collaborate with our partners in both the public and private sectors to benefit the economy and society. As a Science and Technology Organisation, A*STAR bridges the gap between academia and industry. Our research creates economic growth and jobs for Singapore, and enhances lives by improving societal outcomes in healthcare, urban living, and sustainability. A*STAR plays a key role in nurturing scientific talent and leaders for the wider research community and industry. A*STAR's R&D activities span biomedical sciences to physical sciences and engineering, with research entities primarily located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis. For ongoing news, visit www.a-star.edu.sg.
About the Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI)
The Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI) was inaugurated in 2020 with a vision to be a global leader by providing end to end capabilities in the food innovation value chain while establishing a sustainable food ecosystem. Our core capabilities include discovery, strain engineering, biotransformation, nutrition and food process engineering.
About Economic Development Board
Economic Development Board ("EDB") is a government agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, is responsible for strategies that enhance Singapore's position as a global centre for business, innovation, and talent. EDB undertakes investment promotion and industry development, and work with international businesses, both foreign and local, by providing information, connection to partners and access to government incentives for their investments.