1.1  The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore, and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) jointly announce the launch of the Singapore-New Zealand Bilateral Research Programme on Future Foods call for proposals.   

1.2  This call for proposals aims to bring together key research organizations in Singapore and New Zealand to support and encourage the exchange of scientific strengths and capabilities in the development of Future Foods. 

1.3. Each proposed project must centre on a fundamental technical problem or challenge and have a novel technical application in Future Foods. There must also have scientific research into non-animal food protein at its core. This encompasses: 

  • Plants, including algae
  • Microbes
  • Fungi

Proposals that draws on the secondary inputs from animal-based products including cellular agriculture, hybrids, meat-derived secondary ingredients and insects are welcomed, provided the primary element remains one of the non-animal food proteins listed above. To keep the initial three-year programme scope targeted, algae (including seaweed) and microbial proteins are prioritized. Excellent proposals drawing on other ingredients as described above will be considered. 

1.4 The proposed project must also align with at least two of the four priority research areas for this Call:

  • Processes (eg both upstream and downstream elements)
  • Materials (eg leveraging specific indigenous or endemic ingredients, or multi-trophic elements)
  • Consumer (eg with insights and sensory understanding treated holistically as a feedback loop in the project)
  • Health (eg including the impact of specific proteins on the gut microbiome)

Proposals that produce new insights into interactions that encompass elements from at least one of the Processes or Materials research areas will be prioritized. Other examples of mutual interest to both Singapore and New Zealand will be considered and are included in the Future Foods workshop summary. Please refer to this link for more information.

1.5 The successful proposals will:

  • Lead to the creation of new and world-leading knowledge in Future Foods
  • Advance the development of a dynamic and world class Future Foods scientific capability for both countries that addresses major challenges for the economy, environment and society
  • Support and encourage the development and exchange of scientific strengths and capabilities within each country and to allow each country to benefit from each other’s global connections to cutting edge science
  • Build successful collaboration models that ensure maximum synergy in research development across teams
  • Identify mechanisms aimed at transfer of knowledge to a wide range of users across Singapore and New Zealand


2.1 This call is open to proposals that involve at least one New Zealand-based Principal Investigator (PI) and one Singapore-based PI.

2.2 On the Singapore side, applications are open to Singapore-based public sector research performers, such as the Institutes of Higher Learning (including universities and polytechnics), A*STAR Research Institutes, and non-defence related public sector agencies (e.g. Ministries and Statutory Boards).

2.3 On the New Zealand side, applications are open to both public and private New Zealand-based research organisations. However, proposals will be assessed against their public benefits and private organisations should clearly indicate how their proposal will benefit New Zealand.

2.4 New Zealand and Singapore applicants must jointly develop a single proposal that will be submitted through MBIEs Investment Management System (IMS). Registration is compulsory and this includes the submission of a proposal outline to enable MBIE and A*STAR to identify suitable assessors. New Zealand and Singapore applicants collectively develop their full proposal, which the New Zealand applicants will submit the joint research proposal through MBIE’s Investment Management System (IMS). The Singapore project team is required to get the appropriate endorsement from their host institution and principal investigators and industry collaborators from Singapore and New Zealand that are associated with the proposed research plan.

2.5 MBIE and A*STAR will jointly assess the proposals and anticipate funding approximately four Future Foods research projects.


3.1 This Call for Proposals (“the Call”) is a bilateral investment funded by MBIE and A*STAR to support approximately four multi-disciplinary joint research projects in Future Foods.

3.2 A*STAR intends to commit up to S$5 million for three years. The Singapore project team may apply for up to SG$1.2 million (including overheads of 20%). The Singapore project team and research activities may include self-funded industry contributions and partnerships.

3.3 MBIE intends to commit up to NZ$4 million per annum for three years. The New Zealand project team may apply for up to NZ$3 million (excluding GST) of funding over the same period.

3.4 Each project team must have two separate budgets: one for the Singapore contribution and the other for New Zealand. Direct research costs (ie excluding overheads) on each side should be roughly equivalent. For the Singapore project team’s budget, please refer to A*STAR guidelines and terms and conditions for fundable and non-fundable expenses and fill in the Budget, milestones and KPI template.

4. Important Dates

31 January 2020

Call for Proposals published

16 March 2020, 12 noon

New Zealand Time (GMT+13)

Closing date for proposals

March-April 2020

Proposals assessed

May/June 2020

Results released to applicants

June/July 2020

Successful projects contracted

5. Essential Documents