Catalyst: Strategic – New Zealand-Singapore Future Foods Research Programme

MBIE has announced four successful proposals for a $12 million investment in future foods in Singapore.

Under the Government-wide New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership, the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), have jointly announced the launch of the New Zealand-Singapore Bilateral Research Programme on Future Foods.

New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership(external link)

Agency for Science, Technology and Research(external link)

The Programme has been co-developed to:

  • support and encourage the development and exchange of scientific strengths and capabilities between both countries’ research communities;
  • catalyse benefits from each other’s global connections to cutting edge science; and
  • create a research programme which produces a holistic, end-to-end research project, where developments are systematically shared and built upon.

The New Zealand research teams were able to apply for up to $3 million over 3 years, with the Singapore research partners eligible for approximately equivalent funding. Based on the independent recommendations of a combined panel of international and domestic experts, MBIE and A*STAR jointly selected 4 proposals which centred on a fundamental technical problem or challenge and had a novel technical application in future foods, with scientific research into non-animal food protein across mutual priority areas at their core. We received 10 proposals in total from a wide variety of collaborating research organisations, showing a promising foundation for future initiatives. The New Zealand investment totals about $11.8 million (excluding GST) over 3 years.

Funded projects

Lead NZ organisation Project title
AgResearch Limited Cooking and processing of seaweed to improve consumer acceptance, protein digestion and nutrient bioavailability
Massey University Te Rangahau Taha Wheako mō ngā Kai o Āpōpō: The Consumer Dimension of Future Foods
The Cawthron Institute Realising the value of algae as a source of alternative protein
The University of Auckland Understanding the interactions between plant-based protein and cellular agriculture

Together with the Catalyst: Strategic – NZ-Singapore Data Science Research Programme, these funding commitments are New Zealand’s largest ever single investment in a bilateral science partnership with another country. The successful projects will help lead to the creation of new and world-leading knowledge and contribute to the overarching objective of accelerating the development of data science and future foods capabilities in both Singapore and New Zealand.

Catalyst: Strategic is one of the 4 funding streams within the Catalyst Fund. The Catalyst Fund supports activities that initiate, develop and foster collaborations building on international science and innovation for New Zealand’s benefit.

Public statements of funded projects

Important dates

Date Activity
October 2020 Projects begin
December 2023 Projects conclude

Contact us

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Last updated: 01 October 2020