Enterprise Singapore (ESG) has set aside over S$55 million to accelerate the growth of promising local agriculture and aquaculture companies by developing their innovation capabilities to grow more with less.
This builds on ESG’s ongoing efforts to develop a vibrant agri-food tech ecosystem that will catalyse innovation and scalable solutions to meet evolving needs.
As part of these efforts, ESG also encourages the industry to adopt cutting-edge agriculture and aquaculture technologies.
Agri-food sector remains a bright spot amid COVID-19
The agri-food sector requires S$1.1 trillion more in investments by 2030 for Asia to meet the region’s agricultural needs. Singapore’s strong innovation climate and supporting infrastructure make it a conducive place for agri-food technologies to take root.
Modern technology in agriculture and aquaculture has enabled the development of climate-resilient, resource-efficient and high-yield farming solutions, offering opportunities for food producers to ‘grow more with less’ in densely built-up environments. ESG has been supporting local food producers in their development and adoption of these technologies.
ESG continues to grow the agri-food tech ecosystem and companies
ESG has put in place various initiatives to support the growth of the agri-food tech startup ecosystem and drive deep tech commercialisation.
In January 2019, ESG’s investment arm, SEEDS Capital, appointed 7 co-investment partners to catalyse over S$90 million worth of investments into early stage agri-food tech startups.
ESG has also anchored five global agri-food tech accelerators and one local life sciences accelerator in the past year under the Startup SG Accelerator programme – Big Idea Ventures, GROW, Hatch Blue, The Yield Lab, Trendlines Agrifood Innovation Centre and Temasek Life Sciences Accelerator – to nurture and mentor agri-food tech startups in fundraising, product development, commercialisation and internationalisation.
These six accelerators are expected to groom over 150 agri-food tech startups over the next three years.
Said Mr Ted Tan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Singapore, “There is an urgency for our agriculture and aquaculture companies to leverage agri-food technologies to address the growing demand locally, as well as globally. We will also continue to support agri-food tech startups and the use of disruptive innovation to future-proof food production in Asia.
“The current COVID-19 situation has underscored the importance of this, amidst the disruptions observed across the global food supply chain. The additional funding will provide a boost to these companies as they build their capabilities and scale up. This will not only contribute towards national food resilience, but further strengthen their global competitiveness,” he concluded.
Dr Bao Shengjie, Chief Executive Officer, Singrow, said that ESG’s support has allowed them to “expand our network of prospective partners through international co-innovation programmes such as the Singapore-France Joint Innovation Call.”
“Through our participation in GROW’s inaugural cohort and events such as SFF x SWITCH (Singapore Fintech Festival x Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology), we were able to increase mindshare across the Asia-Pacific region and sharpen our focus on the company’s growth and sustainable innovation,” he continued.