Singapore Recruits Alt Protein Scientists Amid Rising Food Security Concerns
The Singaporean government has unveiled details of how it seeks to attract foreign professionals — including alt protein scientists — as businesses…
The Singaporean government has unveiled details of how it seeks to attract foreign professionals — including alt protein scientists — as businesses prepare for one of the biggest updates to the country’s visa scheme coming into effect in September 2023, reports Nikkei Asia.
The government has released a list of 27 jobs, including agritech talent, that will be favored in the new visa scheme to Employment Pass (EP) — a work visa for foreign professional managers, executives, or those in specialized jobs.
The talent pool for agritech includes alternative protein food application scientists, reflecting the city-state’s ambition of becoming a leading food innovation hub.
A hub for alt protein
Singapore’s reliance on importing over 90% of its food has led the government to establish food security as a high priority. Over SG$114 million has been invested in alternative proteins as part of the government’s “30 by 30” strategy, which aims to enable the country to produce 30% of its nutritional needs locally by 2030.
According to Food Frontier, the Singaporean alt protein market has 11 local and more than 17 international plant-based meat manufacturers, along with 11 companies operating in the food biotech space. Some cell ag companies working in Singapore include:
- Biomanufacturing company ESCO ASTER, the first and only firm yet to have received full regulatory approval from a government entity (the Singapore Food Agency), with ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000 certifications, to produce and sell cultivated meat with the highest safety standards.
- GOOD Meat, the first producer worldwide to receive regulatory approval to use serum-free cell growth media in cultivated products in Singapore. It produces and sells cultivated chicken in specialized restaurants. In December, the company announced the first butchery in the world to sell and serve cultivated meat.
- Aleph Farms, from Israel, is a cultivated meat company working with ESCO Aster to launch its thin steaks in Singapore. It has announced plans to make Singapore its hub for Southeast Asia and the larger Asia-Pacific area.
- ImpacFat, a Singaporean startup claiming to be the first food tech company working to develop cultivated fish fat.
- Israel’s Steakholder Foods has announced plans to launch a cultivated avian product onto the Singaporean market as it prepares to seek regulatory approval.
- Shiok Meats has been steadily working towards launching its cultivated seafood products. The company already operates two R&D facilities in Thailand and Australia, along with a “first of a kind” mini-plant at its headquarters in Singapore.
- Umami Meats is developing fish cell lines and has announced plans to launch cultivated Japanese eel by 2025.
- Precision fermentation startup TurtleTree, which recently unveiled its animal-free lactoferrin, aims to launch its products in the Singaporean market.
- Last October, Finland’s Solar Foods received regulatory approval in Singapore for its novel sustainable protein Solein, made out of microbes cultured with electricity and air-captured carbon.
Mirte Gosker, Managing Director of Good Food Institute APAC, says that Singapore is “without question the leading alternative protein hub in Asia — and arguably the world.”plant-based alternative protein cell ag good meat alternative proteins alt protein meat chicken fish seafood protein alternative lactoferrin cultured biomanufacturing fermentation alt startup