Temasek’s Nurasa, A*STAR’s SIFBI, and the Trendlines Agrifood Innovation Centre launch a new initiative offering scaling opportunities to FoodTech startups in Singapore innovating in functional food and alternative protein. 

Nurasa, formerly known as the Asia Sustainable Foods Platform, Temasek‘s latest venture providing solutions and support to FoodTech companies from their product development stage to commercial setup, has teamed up with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)’s Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI) and The Trendlines Group‘s Agrifood Innovation Centre (AFIC) to launch the inaugural “Food Tech Start-Up Challenge.”

Nurasa’s Client Development Manager Jolene Lum, said, “At Nurasa, we are focused on accelerating the commercialisation and adoption of sustainable foods across Asia. As part of that, we work closely with industry partners and promising food tech start-ups to ensure that the taste, texture, nutritional value, and price of these sustainable foods match consumer demands – simply put, we all want to eat food that excites us.”

The Challenge invites pitch submissions from FoodTech entrepreneurs and startups in Singapore specialising in alternative protein or functional foods from now until the 27th of January, 2023. For alt protein innovators, the Challenge’s stakeholders will be looking for technologies that not only enable the production of animal-free meat but also overcome common barriers to the plant-based meat industry – taste, texture, nutrition, and price.

For functional food innovators, who develop products that promote health benefits, including food that has been fortified, enriched, or enhanced, Challenge stakeholders will be focusing on “the silver diet” –  a sub-sector of functional foods referring to products that are modified in taste, texture, nutrition, and ease of preparation to better cater to the specific needs of older adults aged 65 years and older.

SIFBI’s Corporate Strategy and Business Development Director, Dr. Michelle Ngiam, added, “To meet Singapore’s ’30 by 30’ goal, that is to sustainably produce 30% of our nutritional needs by 2030, ecosystem partners need to work closely together to build our agrifood industry’s capabilities and capacities – and the Food Tech Start-Up Challenge is one of the ways we are doing so. Innovative start-ups will be able to leverage the state-of-the-art facilities, as well as tap on the agrifood industry insights and scientific expertise by working with the wider ecosystem, with the aim towards translating the latest food technologies into tasty and nutritious food products for consumers and position Singapore as a global agrifood innovation hub.”

Finalists will be invited to proceed to the product development phase of their pitch where they will be paired with experienced industry mentors, given access to an extensive network of agrifood ecosystem contacts, and take part in workshops focused on product and customer development, brand storytelling and marketing, operations, and financing.

The finalists will then take part in a “Pitch and Tasting Day” in June 2023, where they will be judged on product quality, feasibility, market potential, innovativeness, and capability. The winners will be awarded prizes and incentives such as early access to Nurasa’s Food Tech Innovation Centre (FTIC)’s cutting-edge technologies and the opportunity to work closely with industry leaders to scale up the development of their novel, animal-free food products to pre-commercialisation stage.

“Trendlines has been actively involved in the development of the local agri-food ecosystem and we are excited to start a food tech-focused challenge with Nurasa and SIFBI. We believe that participating start-ups will have a lot to benefit from the mentorship, access to equipment and funding support that this challenge will provide,” Mr Anton Wibowo, the CEO of AFIC, concluded.


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