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Singapore Food Agency, NUS, Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory and industry partners sign MOU for the AquaPolis Programme

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On 30 November 2022, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA), National University of Singapore (NUS), Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL), and seven industry partners [Barramundi Group (BG), Blue Aqua International (Blue Aqua), Singapore Aquaculture Technologies (SAT), Swee Chioh Fishery (SCF), The Fish Farmer, Universal Aquaculture (UA), and Vertical Oceans (VO)] signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop the AquaPolis Programme.

The AquaPolis Programme, an initiative under Singapore Food Story R&D Programme 2.0, envisions Singapore to be a leading research and innovation cluster for sustainable tropical aquaculture. It brings together local and overseas aquaculture researchers and industry partners to reap strategic synergies in developing innovative and sustainable solutions, while cultivating talent for the industry’s workforce. AquaPolis will capitalise on the technical, operational and research expertise of strategic partners to achieve translational R&D results, in improving the productivity and competitiveness of our local farms towards Singapore’s “30 by 30” food security goal. This goal aims to build the agri-food industry’s capability and capacity to sustainably produce 30% of Singapore’s nutritional needs by 2030. Beyond local production, the developed solutions and innovations may also be relevant to agri-food industries in other regional countries and contribute to sustainable food practices and enhance our food security, particularly in the light of climate change.

The MOU demonstrates the shared commitment of SFA, NUS, and TLL in R&D collaboration, and exchanges with industry partners on the knowledge of cultivation and intensification of sustainable aquaculture production in Singapore.

The MOU was jointly signed by Mr Lim Kok Thai, Chief Executive Officer of SFA; Professor Chen Tsuhan, Deputy President (Research and Technology) of NUS; Mr Peter Chia, Chief Executive Officer of TLL; Mr Tan Ying Quan, Head of Operations of BG Singapore; Dr Farshad Shishehchian, Group CEO and Founder of Blue Aqua; Dr Dirk Eichelberger, Chief Executive Officer of SAT; Mr Mark Wong, Managing Director of SCF; Ms Kelly Jin, General Manager of The Fish Farmer; Mr Jeremy Ong, Chief Executive Officer of UA; and Mr John Diener, Chief Executive Officer of VO.

Mr Lim Kok Thai said, “SFA welcomes this strategic collaboration. It is exciting to see R&D talents from local and overseas institutions as well as our key industry partners, coming together with innovation and sustainability in mind, to build our capabilities and capacity in aquaculture within Singapore and beyond. Our aquaculture industry plays a key role in our food security, and I am confident that these collective efforts will strengthen our food security and build a resilient food future for Singapore.”

Professor Chen Tsuhan said, “NUS is excited to host the AquaPolis Programme. We look forward to collaborating closely with the Singapore Food Agency and Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory to co-create innovative research solutions to address challenges in tropical aquaculture.”

Mr Peter Chia said, “AquaPolis represents a milestone in Singapore’s 20-year journey to bring together partners, with a vision to transform our aquatic food systems to be more sustainable and resilient for a growing population in light of global climate changes. We look forward, together with SFA and NUS in partnership with our industry partners, to help lay the foundation for research-based innovation to address challenges faced by industry today, and to nurture the next generation of aquaculture champions to benefit all consumers in Singapore.”