New ag-tech partnership to help Peel and Singapore prosper

February 21, 2018

Signed agreement: Murdoch University SCRIPT Dean & Director Chris Vas, Regional Development Minister the Hon. Alannah MacTiernan, Peel Development Commission Chair Paddi Creevey, and Fund Singapore Chief Executive Officer Lester Chan.

Murdoch University will be helping to boost the agriculture industry in Peel and improve food security in Singapore thanks to a new partnership.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the Western Australian Government’s Royalties for Regions program, the Peel Development Commission, Fund Singapore Pty Ltd and Murdoch’s Singapore Centre for Research Innovation, Productivity and Technology (SCRIPT) will pave the way for investment in food production and agriculture tech development in the region.

Dr Christopher Vas, Director of Murdoch University’s Singapore Centre for Research in Innovation, Productivity and Technology (SCRIPT) said the agreement would further strengthen mutually-beneficial trade, science and innovation ties between the two countries.

“At Murdoch SCRIPT, we are in a privileged position to be involved in Singapore’s industry, research and engagement activities, which will help us to connect food producers in Peel with local innovators and funders over here,” he said.

“The collaboration with Fund Singapore as a potential strategic investment partner is great news for Peel food producers. It will help them to access opportunities for expansion, value-added processing and importantly market access in Asia.

“Start-ups that enable ag-tech activities within and beyond the farm gate will also be sought to participate in this collaboration especially where food provenance, traceability, safety and security are concerned.”

Dr Vas said ag-tech entrepreneurs in Singapore were looking to develop new forms of food production within its urban areas, but that land scarcity and growing consumer demand require new forms of collaboration across the supply chain, providing Peel developers with opportunities.

“We recognise that co-operation in ag-tech development, intensive food production and innovative start-up enterprises between Singapore and WA will contribute to the Peel and WA's economic competitiveness and adoption of innovation, as well as supporting Singapore's food security.

Minister for Regional Development Alannah MacTiernan said that a deeper co-operation between the State Government, potential Singaporean investors and the academic sector would help to drive commercial agriculture opportunities in the Peel region.

"The Peel has real natural advantages in food production and, through the Transform Peel project, we are confident we will see more diverse industries and more job opportunities in the region," she said.

Lester Chan, CEO of Fund Singapore, said the company had a strong interest in the innovations and potential in the Peel region.

“We believe strongly in the future of ag-tech innovation and that Peel and Murdoch can be strong partners for us to achieve a very productive future,” he said.

From back (L to R): Jin Hao Low (Fund Singapore Chief Credit Officer), Janine Hatch (Peel Development Commission Principal Officer), Andrew Ward (Peel Development Commission CEO), Charlie Clarke (Murdoch School of Law).
Front: Professor Lyn Karstadt (Murdoch University Deputy Vice Chancellor International ), Paddi Creevey (Peel Development Commission Chair), Robyn Clarke MLA (Member for Murray-Wellington), Lester Chan (Fund Singapore CEO), Dr Christopher Vas (Murdoch SCRIPT Deputy Dean & Director).

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