Wageningen University is a world leader in food science and technology research, and the partnership is expected to lead to new food science programmes at NTU at both undergraduate and Master’s level. NTU said increased focus on food science would help support growth in the region’s food industry, especially as Singapore has emerged as a hub for industry research and development in the Asia Pacific region.
NTU provost Professor Freddy Boey said in a statement: “Food science and technology is expected to be a new research frontier in Singapore. NTU is anticipating a substantial rise in funding in this field over the next few years as it continues to play an important role in the health, welfare and economic status of individuals and nations.
“Big food companies could also be developing research labs in Singapore focusing on high value food processing, so we want to move fast and position ourselves firmly in this field so as to benefit our students, faculty and Singapore as a whole.”
Specific joint research projects are expected to include a focus on converting raw agricultural materials to value-added food ingredients, sustainable food production, better understanding on food ingredients’ effects on health, and conversion of waste oil to food supplements using microbial engineering.
The Netherlands is the world's second largest exporter of agricultural products after the USA, the universities said, and the food sector accounts for more than 10% of Dutch GDP.