SINGAPORE - Its wide-ranging, three-year agreement signed yesterday with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) will see scientists from both sides conduct research on ingredients - looking into the science behind them and their manufacture - and the connections between diet and disease.
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Here is the media statement from A*STAR:
A*STAR Signs Agreement with NESTLÉ to Strengthen Food & Nutrition R&D in Singapore
Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) has entered into a research agreement with Nestlé today to help boost the company's expansion in R&D in the country. This agreement signed by the two organisations will set the stage for cutting-edge research in areas including packaged food and beverages, food ingredients, nutrition, food manufacturing processes, food science and technology, as well as biotransformation .
The framework research agreement will bring together both partners' capabilities and expertise in a range of advanced technologies and research fields that will help Nestlé to optimise its production processes and to provide nutritional foods for Nestlé's consumers. A*STAR has been developing research capabilities in food and nutrition as one of its five strategic research priorities in the biomedical sciences. This partnership will thus also boost A*STAR's capabilities as the research collaborator of choice in Asia for the global food and nutrition industry.
As Asian consumers become more educated and affluent, many food and nutrition companies like Nestlé are responding by developing food, health and wellness products customised for Asian markets. In four years, Singapore's total manufacturing output for the food manufacturing sector increased from S$5.7 billion in 2007 to S$8.4 billion in 2011, while the value-added manufacturing output almost doubled from S$1.2 billion to S$2.1 billion. The number of workers employed in food manufacturing also increased 20 per cent over the same time period.
The agreement, which involves the participation of all 18 A*STAR research entities, will provide opportunities for researchers across A*STAR to embark on collaborations with Nestlé's affiliates globally. A*STAR recently launched a joint centre with National University of Singapore (NUS) - Singapore Centre for Nutritional Sciences, Metabolic Diseases, and Human Development (SiNMeD) - to advance research on nutrition, early development and metabolic disease. This agreement will also allow Nestlé access to A*STAR's research facilities and technology.
Mr Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman of A*STAR said, "A*STAR is looking forward to this excellent opportunity to broaden and deepen the work that we do with the world's leading food and nutrition company to expand their R&D capabilities in Singapore. This agreement marks a significant milestone in propelling forward A*STAR's research thrust into food and nutrition."
Stefan Catsicas, Nestlé Chief Technology Officer, Head of Innovation, Technology, Research & Development said, "We are delighted to sign this research agreement with A*STAR. It provides the framework for future collaboration that will help to strengthen our food science and technology capabilities in Singapore and beyond."
A*STAR has also previously embarked on research projects with Nestlé through the EpiGen consortium , to understand optimal nutrition for mothers during pregnancy and for infants to promote metabolic health throughout life.