Food Innovation and Capability Development Sandbox: A Singapore Study

Leader: Shan Pan
Team: Yenni Tim, Sandeep MS, Toomas Tamm


Food is a basic human need and the food sector is one of the oldest industries in the world. Driven by the ever-changing needs and tastes of consumers and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, the food industry remains fiercely competitive. The industry is also facing some of the most challenging issues of our time, including sustainable sourcing, food safety, malnutrition, overweight, consumer trust, and food security. Constant innovation is the key to staying ahead of competition and tackling the challenges. This sandbox aims to develop a maturity framework that is useful for assessing the innovation capability of food businesses and envisioning the journey towards innovation excellence.

Participation Organizations: Enterprise Singapore and Food & Beverage Companies in Singapore

Enterprise Singapore is a government agency championing enterprise development. The agency works with companies to build capabilities, innovate and internationalize. It also supports the growth of Singapore as a hub for global trading and startups. As the national standards and accreditation body, the agency develops industrial standards and ensures consumer product safety. To revolutionize the food industry, Enterprise Singapore has launched “FoodInnovate”, a multi-agency initiative that seeks to equip companies with knowledge and resources to pursue food innovations, with a vision to position Singapore as a location of choice to create food for Asia.

More than five companies in Singapore’s food & beverage industry will participate in the development of the maturity framework. They will share first-hand insights into innovation practices, demands, opportunities, as well as challenges in the industry. They will also provide real-world data for assessing the proposed framework.

Impact Statement

This sandbox will develop a food innovation maturity model and assessment tool through rigorous, theory-guided research involving a large number of food manufacturers and service providers. The maturity model is expected to benefit businesses in the food industry, creating a more delicious, sustainable, resilient, and equitable future of food, by providing:

  • A descriptive account of a business’s current level of innovation capability
  • A comparative analysis for benchmarking units and businesses
  • A prescriptive indication of areas of improvement for advancing innovation capability and charting an innovation journey
  • A holistic approach to develop solid innovation capability based on synergistic technology, people, process, and strategy