Wageningen University & Research strengthening ties with Singapore

In the first week of April, a delegation of Wageningen University and Research (WUR) visited Singapore to strengthen the collaboration on food science and research with the city-state.

As part of an effort to deepening the ties, Wageningen University and Research (WUR) and Nanyang University’s (NTU) Food Science and Technology Programme (FST) signed a third agreement for the Joint Second Major in FST and a letter of intent to offer additional NTU modules in areas such as artificial intelligence to WUR students. The partnership was first inked in 2014 and at the time witnessed by Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix. Ever since, the collaboration has expanded to include a joint PhD program and a graduate certificate program.

WUR in Singapore 1

The ongoing partnership has produced graduates high sough-after by both academia and industry. Signed by NTU’s Acting President Prof Ling San and Prof Arthur Mol, Rector Magnificus and Vice-President of the Executive Board of WUR, the ceremony strengthens the continued commitment from both institutions to a sustainable and mutually beneficial partnership in education and research.

Another milestone of the mission was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Dutch vertical farming company Growy, joining forces with other research institutes and companies to advance vertical farming. The MOU aims to promote international collaboration to further develop vertical farming in Singapore, which has been growing rapidly in recent years due to the challenges of limited land resources and food security. The signatories were NTU (FST), WUR, the National University of Singapore (NUS), Republic Polytechnic and the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, who all share the common goal of advancing the state of vertical farming technology, increasing production efficiency, and reducing the environmental impact of agriculture.

WUR in Singapore 2

Witnessed by the National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF) and the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Singapore, the MOU aims to bridge the research ecosystems from the Netherlands and Singapore. It also promised to deliver on Singapore’s 30-by-30 national food objective, aiming to produce 30 percent of its nutritional needs by 2030 – up from less than 10 percent currently.

“We are glad to see that this MoU creates new partnerships that will increase knowledge in efficient vertical farming. The Netherlands believes companies, knowledge institutions and governments working hand-in-hand leads to the best results” according to Netherlands ambassador Anneke Adema. She added “The Netherlands is globally recognized as a leader in agri-food technology and is working hard at becoming more sustainable, reducing waste and producing more locally. Joint innovation is key in this transition, and Singapore and the Netherlands will continue to develop the future of farming together”.