Aquaculture Innovation Centre (AIC) deploys the AIC Specialist Scheme to engage consultants to help in specific areas. Here’s the specialist team.
AIC strives to support and develop the SMEs in the aquaculture industry with the aim of enhancing farming productivity through the following:
Facilitate new growth areas by regularly scanning the environment; identifying and developing emerging technologies or other areas of growth that are important for capability building to support sustainable development and growth of the aquaculture industry.
Drive farm productivity and product quality by providing product evaluation or testing services, applied research and innovative technology development including precision technologies that could help drive sustainable and intensive aquaculture.
Support safety, environmental sustainability and manpower productivity by educating and training manpower in aquaculture standards and best practices for better farm operation, biosecurity, environmental sustainability and workplace safety.
Raise resource efficiency and sustainability for applied research and services through cooperation, co-sharing of existing resources, space and pooled expertise from institutes of higher learning, agencies and research institutes.
Sustainable intensive aquaculture production with innovation and technology
“Grow More with Less”: For a sustainable and higher farm productivity
“Zero Waste Management”: For greater environmental sustainability
Developing technologies that would lead to LESS:
Water usage – water technology that could support intensive cultivation for urban farms
Land usage – vertical growing on smaller footprint; containment culture systems with controlled environment
Manpower reliance – smart or precision technology: IoT, sensor and automation; self-cleaning technology for tanks and net cages
Environmental pollution – animal waste treatment or by-product recycling; digestible
Production cost – cost-effective and efficient. Examples:
✔ Healthier produce through development of vaccine and sensitive fieldable tests
✔ Faster growing through improving feeds and feeding management, as well as research in developing quality broodstock and hatchery
✔ Training manpower for better farm productivity, food produce traceability, farm operation and biosecurity
Dr Lee Chee Wee
Dr Diana Chan
Deputy Centre Director
Dr Fanny Yasumaru
Manager/Technical & Services
Ms Esther Kuay
Ms Susila Krishnasamy
Deputy Manager/Marketing, Outreach & Training
Dr Elgin Yap
Deputy Manager/Business Development
Dr Saravanan Padmanabhan
Ms Deborah Chua
Executive/Training & Technical Support
Ms Germaine Lau
Senior Research Executive
Ms Huang Yun-Tzu
Senior Research Executive
Mr Khoo Chia Loon
Senior Research Executive
Mr Ng Bo Kai
Senior Research Executive
Mr Chen Jinghui
Senior Research Executive
Ms Ng Rongxin
Associate Professor (Dr) Shabbir Moochhala
He is currently both Innovation Director at Fifth Sense (a pharmaceutical and neutraceutical company), Director at G.R.A.I.N. International (a plant science solution provider) and Director of Chemtron Pte Ltd (a solution provider for additive technology). He is concurrently holding adjunct associate professorship position at National University of Singapore @ Department of Surgery and Pharmacology. He holds consultation positions at Temasek Polytechnic (TP) with School of Applied Science (ASC) and Aquaculture Innovative Centre (AIC).
He was for several years Centre Head for Centre of Molecular Diagnostics and later as Head Centre for Research and Opportunities in Plant Sciences (C.R.O.P. S.) at TP. Concurrently he was serving as a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff (DMTS) at DSO National Laboratories, where he also served as Program Director of Combat Care and Performance, and Head of Screening & Diagnostic Laboratory.
Dr Meliana Riwanto
She is the Director of Ascelon, a TP spin-off specialising in innovative biomedical products and scientific consulting. With over 14 years of experience in R&D and expertise in clinical trial, quality & regulatory affairs of therapeutics and medical devices, she has worked with MNCs including Novartis, Roche and local/international SMEs.
She is a pharmacist by training (NUS), an ISO auditor (BSI) and a Singapore-Certified-Management-Consultant (TÜV-SÜD). Recipient of numerous grants/awards, including Swiss-National-Science-Foundation and Novartis Research grants, she has published articles and book chapter in high-impact scientific journals. Current appointments include Senior Lecturer at TP and Consultant to Asian Development Bank.
Mr Khoo Hock Lai, William
Director & Founder
Unison Aqua Pte Ltd
He comes with an engineering background of which 10 years was in the oil and gas industry. William has 15 years’ experience in breeding of freshwater and marine species like cichlids, arowana, stingrays, tilapia, crayfish and mud crabs. He also designs, builds and does installation of indoor/outdoor aquaculture systems for crustaceans and finfish. He had also designed farm and hatchery process and layout in addition to live feed culture, algae, rotifers and artemia. He was directly involved in AIC’s collaboration with MTI, ESI, MPEDA and other Indian farmers which took him on overseas assignments to India for waterless packing project. Currently he serves as adjunct lecturer teaching the SGUS Programme (Entrepreneurship in Aquaculture).
AIC is deeply engaged with Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) in various projects through the Associate IHL Member Scheme. We showcase the members and their labs.
Dr Li King Ho, Holden
Nanyang Technological University
Microfluidics is the technology platform that deals with the flow of liquids through microscopic channels. It allows high-throughput screening and experimentation that takes advantage of several advanced techniques, such as microchips, miniaturised nozzles and micropumps. These technologies are used for processing and manipulating small amounts of analysts, cells and microbiomes using channels down to micrometer dimensions.
Miniaturisation of testing capabilities, based on microfluidics technology, opens up vast opportunities towards rapid testing and identification of aquaculture diseases and pathogens studies. Such portable devices enable quick field tests and adaptation to on-site on-demand applications. Designing and prototyping of microfluidic devices for aquacultural based bio-sample studies and analysis. This includes customisation of specific microfluidic platform, design of portable devices for field application and support on training of handling of microfluidic devices.
Conducts Masterclass on Microfabrication and Microfluidics for industrial users.
The NTU Micro-Sensors Lab offers the following:
- System architecture design for microfluidics devices customisation and implementation
- Micro sensors and electronics instrumentation integration with microfluidics to provide characterisation and analysis of biological samples
- Data analysis with advanced machining learning algorithms and implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Prof Lim Chwee Teck
Director, Institute for Health Innovation & Technology (iHealthtech)
Department of Biomedical Engineering
National University of Singapore
Prof Lim works with an interdisciplinary team of engineers, life scientists and clinicians to address important scientific and biomedical problems, and develop innovative technologies to better detect, diagnose and treat diseases.
Effective containment of disease outbreak and pathogens requires rapid and accurate detection of pathogens. However, most tests are carried out in laboratories with specialised and expensive equipment causing delays in the results and leading to lower aquaculture yield. Miniaturisation using microfluidics based molecular diagnostics for aquaculture diseases and pathogen studies offers point-of-care testing for field/farm use. This offers multiple advantages – lower costs due to lesser reagents used (and allowing for more frequent testing), shorten the sample to answer time to under an hour and simple workflow not requiring trained personnel.
The CT Lim Lab has frequent collaborations with industrial partners to develop and translate technological solutions to some of the challenges and needs encountered in the biomedical and life sciences fields.
AIC has been actively engaged in manpower development in the aqua sector through various formalised and certifiable programmes. Details here.
Temasek Polytechnic (TP) hosts a 1200m2 aqua-centric research and services facilities housed within the Centre for Aquaculture and Veterinary Science (CAVS) and Temasek Aquaculture Facility (TAF) in the School of Applied Science. Examples of facilities within TP that are available for services, research and training include the Aquaculture Research Facility, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories, Feed Making and Feed Analysis Laboratories as well as water and waste treatment, membrane technology, biological and chemical testing laboratories.
CAVS was appointed as the Technology Resource Centre for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation for Policy Partnership on Food Sustainability (APEC PPFS) particularly in the sustainable development of agricultural and fishery sectors in November 2017.
TP has a team of nutritionists, microbiologists, molecular biologists, biochemists, immunologists, veterinarians, and specialists. They are experts in water and membrane technologies, with capabilities in providing specialised services, including vaccine development and efficacy trials, evaluation of feed or product efficacy in growth performance, breeding, and hatchery and larviculture as well as testing services involving molecular biology, cell culture, serology, histoprocessing , microbiology, haematology and clinical chemistry.
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) has strengths in the life and physical sciences, as well as in engineering. Relevant to aquaculture, A*STAR has deep expertise in genomic technologies, image analytics, antimicrobial surface coatings, customised sensor technologies and networks, factory and process automation, artificial intelligence and modelling. These capabilities have applications for health and disease management of aquaculture species and improving energy efficiencies of aquaculture farms and related processes.
James Cook University (JCU) Singapore is recognised internationally as a leader in aquaculture research and training, with research expertise that specialises in the sustainable production of tropical aquaculture species, including finfish, marine shrimp, abalone, and ornamentals. The staff at the JCU Singapore campus are world-class experts in aquaculture selective breeding, nutrition and feed development, hatchery production and aquatic animal health. With a strong focus on industry-relevant outcomes JCU is ready to partner to conduct high-quality scientific R&D with commercial industry, government institutions, universities, polytechnics and other stakeholders.
Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) host the Centre for Aquaculture Diagnostics and Vaccines (CADV) within the School of Chemical & Life Sciences. In this centre, isolation and identifications of microbial pathogens from diseased aquatic animals can be conducted. The centre has the capability to do microscopy, molecular biology, protein technology, and microbial fermentation for the purpose of making prototype vaccines. CADV also holds a licence to Possess Veterinary Biologics (For Research & Development Purpose) obtained from the Animal & Veterinary Service, NParks. The centre undertakes projects such as development of autogenous fish vaccine, development of technologies for mangrove crab grow-out, fattening, and meat quality assessment
Nanyang Technological University (NTU) hosts two national research centres of excellence – the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE) – that are tackling important questions in environmental sustainability and public health. The university also offers a Food Science and Technology programme to train students with adequate skills needed for the demands of national food security and associated new food industry, by developing modern technology for urban farming (agriculture and aquaculture) and increasing environmental sustainability.
National University of Singapore (NUS)’s Department of Biological Sciences is a research-intensive department with a focus on developing multi- and inter-disciplinary research platforms using various organism models, from plants to animals, that thread across different scales, i.e., from atomic, molecular, cellular, tissue, systems to organismal levels. It hosts both freshwater and marine aquarium facilities, used for the study of hatchery technology, feed development, spawning and rearing of marine fish. For larger running seawater aquariums, NUS has access to the facilities of the Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI) on St John’s island, thus extending the possibilities at NUS for multidisciplinary marine research.
Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) hosts a Centre for Aquatic Science and Technology within their School of Life Sciences and Chemical Technology, established to help improve farm productivity and explore new initiatives in sustainable aquaculture through research and consultancy projects, in areas such as feed development and recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). NP has expertise in molecular DNA and protein analysis, water purification technology, microbiology, and feed formulation for aquaculture.
Republic Polytechnic (RP) hosts a 180-square-metre Aquaculture Centre within their School of Applied Science, featuring both an indoor and outdoor laboratory, which supports research in marine science and aquaculture technologies. A joint-laboratory agreement was signed with James Cook University (JCU), which saw part of the aquaculture facility retrofitted with equipment for marine conservation and exploration cum surveillance work. The centre undertakes projects which include fish feed formulation, horseshoe crab and coral conservation, water quality management, anti-fouling and mathematical modelling approaches to optimise aquaculture.
The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) oversees food safety and food security from farm-to-fork, ensuring and securing a supply of safe food for Singapore. SFA’s Marine Aquaculture Centre (MAC), located on St John's Island, aims to deepen Singapore’s expertise in the areas of aquaculture genetics, nutrition and health. Since its set-up, MAC has focused on selective breeding of Asian seabass and undertakes R&D in large-scale hatchery production technology to ensure the long-term sustainable supply of marine fish fry. To enable researchers in Singapore to conduct aquaculture R&D and to facilitate the translation, MAC will contribute its expertise in the areas of fish husbandry and make available shared facilities such as replicated tank systems for research and incubator space for test-bedding and commercialisation of R&D results.
Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) was established as the Nation’s fifth Autonomous University, with vision to be a leader in innovative university education by integrating learning, industry and community. SIT espouses an applied learning pathway and offers degrees with a focus on science and technology. Our academic staff work closely with the industry in translational research and innovation as well as consultancies to address industry challenges. Through our nexus with industry, our graduates are exposed to deep skills/ industry training and attuned to the needs and demands of the future economy. In the urban agrifood and aquaculture sectors, SIT has deep expertise in technologies spanning the engineering and infocomm tech disciplines such as advanced sensors and instrumentations, Internet-of-things, data analytics, artificial intelligence, efficient energy utilisation, coating technology, and asset management and maintenance to enhance production yield, optimise land and water use, and reduce manpower needs. SIT also has expertise in food technology and nutrition, in particular food processing technologies and scale up to complement our engineering knowhow in advancing agrifood and aquaculture growth. The SIT new campus in Punggol, which will be powered by renewable energy resources and modern information technology infrastructure, will be an ideal testbed to support and scale smart urban farming and agritech initiatives, working closely with the industry and agencies.
Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL) developed genetically selected populations of Asian seabass and Saline tilapia. TLL conducted aquaculture research since 2002 using three experimental sites: Brackish water hatchery for tilapia, Multi-species fresh water lab facilities and Seawater large-scale tanks. The research programmes in collaboration with the industry and research organisations rely on a holistic understanding of farming, including:
- Reproduction/Genetics: Commercial hatchery, fish breeding, reproductive biology, breeding programs, quantitative genetics, molecular tools for selection, domestication of new species
- Nutrition/Health: Formulations, processing of aquafeed (~100kg/batch) alternative ingredients (TGC, FCR, Dig.) in large-scale systems (~250kg fish/trial), fish/shrimp health
- Systems: Optimization and design of commercial-scale RAS systems for tropical fish
- Industry: Aquaculture product development in tropical aquaculture, marketing analysis
Feed development & performance
Feed quality testing
Live feed enrichment & production
Fish meal replacement with alternative food source
Evaluation of feed or product efficacy
Breeding, hatchery & larviculture
Selective breeding & seedstock development
Diagnostic lab test method development
Pathogen challenge studies
Water technology & waste treatment strategies
Material development for Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS)
Smart urban aquaculture technology development
Customised training, certification programme, seminar & workshop
Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.
The Straits Times and TNP featured the launch of the Aquaculture Innovation Centre, that was officiated by Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade & Industry. The articles spoke about how the centre will focus on optimising nutrition for food fish during its first three years of operations and other ongoing projects that the centre is involved in.
Aquaculture Innovation Centre To Promote Innovation And Training
Centre Director Dr Lee Chee Wee and Dr Saravanan Padmanabhan, Assistant Director of Technology Development at the School of Applied Science were featured in television interviews by Channel NewsAsia, Channel 8 and Vasantham.
|Dr Lee Chee Wee
|Ms Susila Krishnasamy
Deputy Manager, Marketing/Outreach/Training
|Dr Diana Chan Pek Sian
Deputy Centre Director
|Dr Elgin Yap
Deputy Manager, Business Development