Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is tying up with Wageningen University from the Netherlands to ramp up research in Food Science and Technology, an upcoming research frontier that is expected to be an important engine of growth for Singapore.
The partnership between NTU and Wageningen University, one of the world's leading research centres in Food Science and Technology, will provide NTU students with new opportunities in education and research in this highly interdisciplinary field.
The School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at NTU and the Department of Agrotechnology and Food Sciences at Wageningen University, is looking at various new undergraduate modules specialising in Food Science and Technology.
NTU aims to develop full-fledged programmes in Food Science and Technology at both the undergraduate and Master's level, involving more schools and departments from NTU and Wageningen University. This will contribute to a critical mass of trained manpower for the food industry both locally and regionally.
The tie-up between NTU and Wageningen was inked today by NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson and Wageningen University's President Dr Aalt Dijkhuizen.
Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands, who is in NTU as part of her official visit to Singapore, witnessed the signing ceremony. Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands is joined by Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Orange, and Princess Máxima of The Netherlands.
Also present is Ms Grace Fu, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister (Foreign Affairs and Environment and Water Resources), together with other senior government officials and members of NTU senior management.
"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," says NTU's Provost, Professor Freddy Boey. "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."
On the research front, NTU and Wageningen University are expected to focus on projects such as the conversion of agricultural raw materials into high-value food ingredients, as well as sustainable food production including conversion of waste to food supplements. Such research also aims to establish a deeper understanding of the link between the intake of food products and ingredients and their effects on health.
Currently, inter-disciplinary research related to Food Science and Technology at NTU is being carried out in its various Engineering and Science schools.
One of the research projects being carried out at NTU's School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering aims to convert waste oil to food supplements using microbial engineering. Overall, the research leads to reduced production cost and enhanced environmental sustainability. Another example of a research project underway at NTU is the application of nanotechnology in food packaging and extraction of high value food ingredients from raw materials.
The NTU- Wageningen University partnership came about as both universities were inspired by the shared objectives of promoting and accelerating the progress of research, education and training in the increasingly important area of Food Science and Technology.
Despite its small size, The Netherlands is the world's second largest exporter of agricultural products, after the USA, and the food sector accounts for more than 10 per cent of the Dutch national GDP.
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About Nanyang Technological University
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. This year, NTU will enrol the first batch of students at its new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, which is set up jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to several world-class autonomous institutes - the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering - and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).
A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.
Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore's science and tech hub, one-north and is setting up a third campus in Novena, Singapore's medical district.
For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg.