OCTOBER 2022 — Projections state that by 2050, the world must feed two billion more people. In resource-scarce Singapore, we look to creative farming practices, leveraging research and development (R&D) to face this challenge of food security.
Agri-food innovation has been identified as a promising avenue to generate sustainable food solutions. By intensifying Technology, Innovation and Enterprise (TIE) efforts in the agri-food industry, RP has become a leading contributor and innovator in the urban agriculture space through strategic industry collaborations and robust facilities like The Greenhouse.
One such significant industry collaboration was RP’s inaugural Sustainable Urban Agriculture Forum. Held at Sands Expo & Convention Centre, this interactive hybrid forum was one of the highlights of the Agri-food Tech Expo Asia 2022.
Organised by RP in collaboration with IPI Singapore and the Trendlines Agrifood Innovation Centre, the Forum supported the goal of deepening industry engagement and strengthening partnerships in agri-tech. Leaders and experts from key sectors — such as the agriculture industry and government agencies — convened at the Forum to discuss issues at the forefront of urban agriculture.
Topics of interest included food supply resilience, and challenges such as high farming costs and energy consumption. The Forum also addressed the latest trends in sustainable farming and their feasibility for adoption locally and regionally.
Principal/CEO of RP Mr Yeo Li Pheow speaking at the Sustainable Urban Agriculture Forum
At the event, RP signed three Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with Priva Horticulture, Ripe Fresh, and Sembcorp Industries.
Through the MOU collaborations, RP hopes to drive innovation in agri-tech and delve deeper into other related opportunities. These partnerships will facilitate the exploration of new applications for cutting-edge technology, such as the employment of precision climate control in the Agriculture Technology Innovation Laboratory at RP. There will likewise be opportunities to develop sustainable farming solutions and test-bed technologies through these industry collaborations.
Capability development is on the cards as well. Supported by training and industrial attachments, RP’s students and staff will receive a boost in skills that are highly sought-after and relevant to the agri-food industry.
MOU signing with Priva Horticulture
MOU signing with Ripe Fresh
MOU signing with Sembcorp Industries
In addition, enterprises will benefit from a new Urban Agriculture Centre of Innovation (UACOI) that is led by RP’s Agricultural Research and Innovation Centre (AGRI Centre).
One of the three new Centres of Innovation (COI) set up in 2022, the UACOI provides technical expertise and facilities that small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and start-ups within urban agriculture sector lack, boosting innovation and growth. Its three key areas of focus are enhancing crop health, developing superior crops and enabling smart farming.
Launched at the Forum by Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State for Trade and Industry & Culture, Community and Youth, the UACOI was established with support from Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG).
The UACOI aims to support local farms in all stages of their business, from research and development (R&D), to commercialisation, to internationalisation. This holistic approach enables businesses to expand and develop a wide range of capabilities.
According to Principal/CEO of RP Mr Yeo Li Pheow, it is paramount to remain innovative in spurring capabilities in the agri-tech sector to ensure long-term food security. This is especially important for Singapore as a small city-state with limited resources, as we move towards a more sustainable future.
“In support of Singapore’s 30 by 30 food resilience goal, we are delighted to be appointed by Enterprise Singapore as a Centre of Innovation for Urban Agriculture,” stated Mr Yeo, “Together with our agri-tech partners, RP will continue to leverage its multi-disciplinary and agri-tech capabilities to develop creative solutions for the industry.”
This investment in innovation will accelerate the development of creative, commercially-viable solutions that can address the region’s most pressing food security, health and nutrition needs.
Discover new possibilities when you tap on RP’s multi-disciplinary capabilities. Check out the UACOI today.
Tap into these exciting agri-tech courses:
- Part-Time Diploma in Applied Science (Urban Agriculture Technology)
- Specialist Diploma in Agritechnology and Agribusiness
- Career Conversion Programme for Agritech Operator
- Career Conversion Programme for Agritech Specialist
- Agriculture 101
- Agriculture Technology
- Agri-Food Tech for Start-Ups
- JPFA-RP Masterclass for Plant Factories with Artificial Lighting
- Specifications for Good Agriculture Practice in Singapore
- Sustainable Agriculture: Clean and Green Standard for Urban Farms
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