The Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), along with other Singapore universities and research institutions will form the ‘Disruptive and Sustainable Technologies for Agricultural Precision’ (DiSTAP) interdisciplinary research group in January of 2018. DiSTAP aims to develop nanosensor-based detection technologies to be applied in precision agriculture, particularly in the area of urban farming. They will also be working with Greenphyto, a developer of automated vertical farming systems.
Professor Michael Strano, Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT, said, “The Disruptive and Sustainable Technologies for Agricultural Precision (DiSTAP) will utilise new techniques developed at MIT to help world-class Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL) produce the next generation of agricultural products. Using powerful nanosensor technology, we will tap and measure biochemical signaling pathways within the plant not possible until now. The TLL is well-positioned to capitalise on these advances. DiSTAP will engineer new plants to solve longstanding problems in agriculture and also translate these advances to state-of-the-art biomanufacturing technologies. The goal is to make the TLL and Singapore the technological hub for a new generation of agricultural research methods.”
Professor Chua Nam Hai, Deputy Chairman, TLL, said: “Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL) focuses on the development of innovative solutions to address realworld needs with the ultimate aim of improving lives and benefitting the society. By leveraging TLL’s plant biology expertise, we hope to contribute to the production of higher yielding plants and new systems that enable high-density urban farming. We are pleased to partake in this joint effort with these outstanding research and industry 3/4 partners and look forward to the sustainable production of plant products for enhancing food sustainability in Singapore.”