Politics & Law

Singapore Recruits Alt Protein Scientists Amid Rising Food Security Concerns

The Singaporean government has unveiled details of how it seeks to attract foreign professionals — including alt protein scientists — as businesses prepare for one of the biggest updates to the country’s visa scheme coming into effect in September 2023, reports Nikkei Asia. 

The government has released a list of 27 jobs, including agritech talent, that will be favored in the new visa scheme to Employment Pass (EP) — a work visa for foreign professional managers, executives, or those in specialized jobs.

The talent pool for agritech includes alternative protein food application scientists, reflecting the city-state’s ambition of becoming a leading food innovation hub.

solein yellow protein in a mixing bowl
Solein © Solar Foods

A hub for alt protein

Singapore’s reliance on importing over 90% of its food has led the government to establish food security as a high priority. Over SG$114 million has been invested in alternative proteins as part of the government’s “30 by 30” strategy, which aims to enable the country to produce 30% of its nutritional needs locally by 2030.

According to Food Frontier, the Singaporean alt protein market has 11 local and more than 17 international plant-based meat manufacturers, along with 11 companies operating in the food biotech space. Some cell ag companies working in Singapore include: 

  • Biomanufacturing company ESCO ASTER, the first and only firm yet to have received full regulatory approval from a government entity (the Singapore Food Agency), with ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000 certifications, to produce and sell cultivated meat with the highest safety standards.
aleph farms cultivated thin cut steak
Image courtesy of Aleph Farms
ShiokMeats cultivated crab
© Shiok Meats

Mirte Gosker, Managing Director of Good Food Institute APAC, says that Singapore is “without question the leading alternative protein hub in Asia — and arguably the world.” 

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