Future Food Asia Award (FFAA) – Announcing the FFAA Grand Prize Winner and the four Startup SG award winners, for a total of S$ 340’000.

  • String Bio from India wins the US$ 100’000 Grand Prize.
  • Agrint (Israel), Hands Life Science (Hong Kong), Smart AHC (Singapore) and Sophie’s Kitchen (Taiwan) each wins a S$ 50’000 Startup SG Grant awarded by SPRING Singapore.

With a rising middle class, changing food consumption patterns, and land scarcity, the Asia Pacific region needs new home-grown solutions to improve food productivity sustainably.

Spearheaded by ID Capital, and supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board and leader Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM), Future Food Asia is the region’s first-of-its-kind platform to bring together a community of investors, corporates, governments, academics and entrepreneurs. Its competition has generated an overwhelming response, with Agritech and Foodtech startups from 19 different countries from the wider Asia Pacific region applying.

To qualify, applicants needed to have done a proof-of-concept and come up with an innovative and sustainable technology that impacts the food ecosystem positively.

The selection of the eight finalists was done by a jury panel consisting of four experienced and diverse jury members. The panel included Gérard Jacquin, former Director of Partnerships, Transfer and Innovation at INRA, Europe’s leading agricultural research institute; Dr. Ralph Graichen, Director of Food and Nutrition at A*STAR’s Biomedical Research Council; Victoria de la Huerga, Vice President of ADM Ventures, Archer Daniels Midland Company; and Isabelle Decitre, Founder and CEO of ID Capital.

At the FFAA event on Friday 26th, which was co-organized with A*STAR, the Jury has awarded String Bio the US$ 100’000 Grand Prize for its contribution to addressing the major challenge of sustainable protein.

Dr. Ezhil Subbian, Founder and CEO of String Bio, said: “String is on a mission to deliver sustainable solutions to fundamental problems. This recognition at FFAA is a huge technical and business validation on String’s journey. It gives us incredible momentum as we move forward. Thanks to Isabelle Decitre, ID Capital, ADM, EDB and other event organizers for this recognition to the String team/technology.”

Dr. Kenneth Lee, Senior Director of Food, Nutrition & Consumer Care, A*STAR’s Biomedical Research Council, said: “Singapore is developing rapidly into a science and innovation hub for the food industry. In the span of just a few years, some of the leading food companies of the world have established major R&D centres in Singapore. Startups are an important part of the innovation ecosystem that we are building in Singapore, and we are therefore delighted to co-organise this 1st edition of FFAA with ID Capital.”

Lee Eng Keat, Executive Director for International Organisations Programme Office, Logistics and Natural Resources, Singapore Economic Development Board, said, “The wide range of solutions showcased highlights the breadth and rapid pace of innovation in the Agritech and Foodtech space. EDB is pleased that the Future Food Asia Award provides a platform for MNCs to sharpen their awareness of such innovations and encourage potential partnerships with innovative startups in Singapore.”

“ADM is proud to work with entrepreneurs, NGOs and others in the Asia Pacific region to encourage the development of new innovative technologies, and new ways of looking at agriculture and the creation and delivery of food. We’re excited to support the kind of people who are willing to innovate and meet the challenges of feeding the world in the 21st century”, said Ian Pinner, ADM President for Southeast Asia, Australia & New Zealand, and Global Destination Marketing.

As part of the Startup SG initiative, SPRING Singapore supports promising technology startups. The Future Food Asia Award (FFAA) is one platform to identify startups with innovative and potentially disruptive solutions in the Foodtech and Agritech sectors. As a result of the FFAA competition, SPRING awarded four winning teams with a S$50,000 grant each.

Mr. Ted Tan, Deputy Chief Executive of SPRING Singapore, said, “To stay ahead, agribusinesses and food manufacturers must find new ways to differentiate themselves from the competition. Foodtech and Agritech are key emerging areas of interest to Singapore. SPRING supports startups in these sectors to add diversity to our ecosystem and bring innovative solutions to address future challenges.”

SPRING Singapore, in consultation with the FFAA judging panel, has selected Agrint, Hands Life Science, Smart Animal Husbandry Care (Smart AHC) and Sophie’s Kitchen as winners of its S$50,000 grants.

Tomer Touati, CRO of Agrint, said: “We are very thrilled and greatly appreciate this opportunity. For us, East-Asia and the Middle East are the main markets of oil and date palm trees. We will use this cooperation with SPRING in order to set our local presence in Singapore as an innovation gateway to the whole region.”

Marco So, Founder and CEO of Hands Life Science, said: “Our team feels blessed as the Singapore government and ID Capital give us this opportunity even when we are at an early R&D stage. The prize connects us with the Singapore Foodtech industry. One great thing about the modern world is globalisation, and as the Foodtech industry is so advanced in Singapore, we surely would benefit from potential international collaborations on R&D.”

Howard Tang, Co-Founder and CEO of Smart AHC, said: “We are truly excited and appreciate SPRING for awarding us the Startup SG prize. This award has proven again that Singapore can be a right place for Agritech startup like us. We will continue to strive hard and extend our technology to the agriculture sector around the region.”

Eugene Wang, Founder & CEO of Sophie’s Kitchen, said: “We are so excited to receive the award. The SPRING award is the first recognition from a public entity in our company history. We are looking for an English speaking country to relocate and expand our operations. This award made Singapore an interesting location for us to consider.”

Isabelle Decitre said: “We want to use this day to thank all our clients and sponsors who helped FFAA in becoming a reality. The diversity of Asia Pacific is well reflected in both the deal flow of applicants and the finalists. It has proved that world class innovation is very present in Asia Pacific in the

Agritech/Foodtech sectors. We will make sure that this innovation platform keeps growing over the coming years to the benefit of Asia and its inhabitants. We will glad to continuously bring new startups to our clients over the next 12 months and present these startups next year at the second edition of FFAA.”


String Bio [India]


String Bio applies a biological conversion process to convert methane gas to various value added products including single cell protein used for animal feed. String’s technology leverages advances in synthetic biology, fermentation technology, chemistry and process engineering to produce a reliable and cost-effective protein.


1. Agrint [Israel]


Agrint has built a solution aimed against any tree borers and especially the Red Palm Weevil – the most harmful and undetectable pest to Palm and Coconut trees worldwide. They were able to transform military grade technology and apply it to the world of precision agriculture. Agrint has developed a low-cost and low-energy unique sensor, which can be installed on any tree and transmit real-time early detection notifications as pests penetrate it. Allowing farmers to save the trees from any damage, increase the efficiency of pesticide management and eliminate the costly replacements of dead trees.

2. Hands Life Science [Hong Kong]


Hands Life Science is an innovative startup in the domain of DHA production. Their technology produces DHA in a novel chemical structure that is significantly more absorbable and oxidation-stable. Production utilizes a proprietary micro-organism.

3. Smart AHC [Singapore]


Smart AHC provides e-traceability capabilities for pig farmers. Their technology optimizes productivity yield of pigs through predictive analytics, and caters to a rapidly growing market – the market size of pork in China is more than twice that of its mobile phone market.

4. Sophie’s Kitchen [Taiwan]


Sophie’s Kitchen is a food tech startup using innovative ingredients and patent pending technology to make plant-based seafood alternatives. All their products are 100% gluten free, 100% Soy Free, ALL Non-GMO Project verified, and Kosher. The products are currently available in 2,000 stores in US and Canada, as well as in France and Hong Kong.

About ID Capital

ID Capital is a boutique investment and consulting firm founded by Isabelle Decitre and headquartered in Singapore. Over the course of the last two years, ID Capital has sourced and screened over 250 Agritech/Foodtech deals and has been actively involved in the closing of three Venture Capital investments in this sector. For further enquiries please write to [email protected]

About the Singapore Economic Development Board

The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) is the lead government agency for planning and executing strategies to enhance Singapore’s position as a global business centre. EDB dreams, designs and delivers solutions that create value for investors and companies in Singapore. Our mission is to create for Singapore, sustainable economic growth with vibrant business and good job opportunities. For more information, please visit www.sedb.com.

About ADM

For more than a century, the people of Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) have transformed crops into products that serve the vital needs of a growing world. Today, we’re one of the world’s largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers, with more than 32,300 employees serving customers in more than 160 countries. With a global value chain that includes 428 crop procurement locations, 280 ingredient manufacturing facilities, 39 innovation centres and the world’s premier crop transportation network, we connect the harvest to the home, making products for food, animal feed, industrial and energy uses. Learn more at www.adm.com.

For media enquiries please contact: Jackie Anderson
[email protected]
US: (312) 634-8484

About A*STAR

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore’s lead public sector agency that spearheads economic oriented research to advance scientific discovery and develop innovative technology. Through open innovation, we collaborate with our partners in both the public and private sectors to benefit society.

As a Science and Technology Organisation, A*STAR bridges the gap between academia and industry. Our research creates economic growth and jobs for Singapore, and enhances lives by contributing to societal benefits such as improving outcomes in healthcare, urban living, and sustainability.

We play a key role in nurturing and developing a diversity of talent and leaders in our Agency and Research Institutes, the wider research community and industry. A*STAR oversees 18 biomedical sciences and physical sciences and engineering research entities primarily located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis.

For more information on A*STAR, please visit www.a-star.edu.sg

About Startup SG

Startup SG represents the shared interests of the startup community and positions Singapore as a leading startup hub. It provides entrepreneurs with a launch pad and a platform to connect them to the global stage, and access to local support initiatives. Please visit www.startupsg.net for more information and news.