Food and Nutrition Security Collaboration

July 2018

Photo (left to right), Mr Ankesh Shahra, Director, VertiVegies; Prof Sanjay Swarup, NERI Deputy Director and PI; Mr Lim Kok Thai, CEO, AVA; Mr Veera Sankaran, Director, VertiVegies; Prof Ong Choon Nam, Director, NERI; Prof Philip Liu, Vice President, NUS; Mr George Loh, Director, NRF and Prof Ng How Yong, Director Designate, NERI

To address food and nutrition security, NERI researchers under the Singapore National Research Foundation Competitive Research Programme, are developing novel integrated agrotechnologies, plant nutrients and microbials to improve green leafy vegetables in Singapore. Their preliminary efforts have led to the conception of the proprietary Nutrigel, a cross-linked hydrogel polymer capable of effecting slow release of water and fertilizer supplements for soil amendment, which they term NUSoil. Nutrigel and NUSoil have drawn great interest from numerous institutions, government agencies and industry.

VertiVegies Pte. Ltd., a Singapore integrated urban farming solutions provider, together with the China’s SananBio, a Chinese Academy of Sciences joint venture, a developer of innovative vertical growing systems and inventive horticulture lighting technologies, is well positioned to be a leading urban farming solutions provider in Singapore and the region.

In view of that, NERI sees the collaboration with VertiVegies would help NUS to gain traction in test-bedding and commercialization of research outcomes while VertiVegies hopes to leverage on NUS’s expertise and capabilities to conduct indoor farming projects of mutual interests.

The MOU signing between NERI and VertiVegies was witnessed by AVA CEO, Mr. Lim Kok Thai and NUS senior management, Vice President Prof Philip Liu.