Nestlé is expanding research and innovation activities in Asia with the establishment of Nestlé Research Centre (NRC) Asia in Biopolis, the biomedical research hub of Singapore.
The expansion builds on Nestlé’s strategic innovation partnership with Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), and provides a new base for Nestlé Research Centre, with a focus on healthy aging.
Longer life expectancy and a marked decline in fertility rates have resulted in a rapidly ageing global population, with significant economic, healthcare, and societal repercussions. In particular, Asia’s aging population is expected to reach 1.2 billion and account for 60 percent of the world’s population of older people by 20501.1
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Nestlé has identified a strategic need for a research footprint within Asia to study the role of nutrition and early development in health and disease, so as to better address the needs of the region’s aging population.
NRC Asia’s strong focus on healthy aging leverages Singapore’s strong biomedical research capabilities and diverse ethnic population to enrich the wellbeing, health, and longevity of Asia’s aged. The regional insights gleaned on geriatric nutrition could also lead to nutritional interventions across the globe.
Furthering a Longstanding Relationship
The establishment of NRC Asia builds on the success of Nestlé’s strategic innovation partnership with A*STAR, Singapore's lead public sector research agency driving economic-oriented research. The origins of Nestlé’s partnership with A*STAR date back to 2011, when NRC began collaborative projects in clinical nutrition research with A*STAR’s Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (SICS).
Since then, the partnership has gone from strength to strength, giving Nestlé the confidence to anchor NRC Asia in Singapore. NRC Asia’s scope of research encompasses both new and existing platforms which have been jointly developed with A*STAR.
For Nestlé, the appeal of A*STAR comes from its spectrum of research capabilities and ability to integrate these expertise together with that of the wider innovation ecosystem in Singapore.
Since the signing of a Framework Research Agreement with A*STAR in Jan 2014, Nestlé Research has set up strategic platforms around food science and technology, materials science and packaging, nutrition, health and behavior.
The collaboration will also increasingly expand on biotransformation – the use of natural processes, such as fermentation, to transform raw materials into ingredients with nutritional or functional benefits.
1 United Nations Population Division. Population Facts. August 2014. Number 2014/4.