Innovation for Sustainable Food Production: Shiok Meats, Singapore
On the occasion of the WTO TRIPS Council online side event focusing on the intersection of innovation, IP and sustainability – which will take place on March 9 at 16:00 – we are re-posting some resources about IC member Shiok Meats. Shiok Meats is a Singaporean company that produces cell-based crustacean meat. Shiok Meats plans to bring healthy, nutritious, environmentally-friendly and cruelty-free crustacean meat to tables everywhere in the coming years, disrupting the global shrimp market which is worth an estimated 40b USD annually. This month marks the one-year anniversary since the Singaporean innovators introduced their first shrimp dumpling. Shrimp grown from cells has several advantages over wild caught shrimp or shrimp raised through aquaculture – notably in relation to health, environment, and labor impacts – but further innovation is required to bring down production costs. This is the goal of the team at Shiok Meats over the next 2-3 years.
Expectations rise for China-US health cooperation
In their 2021 annual letter themed ‘the year global health went local’ released by Bill Gates and Melinda Gates, they are reviewing the epidemic in 2020 and addressing the future.
Gates stressed that cooperation between China and the US is critical to combating the pandemic, including ending the current pandemic and preventing the next one, while he pointed to China’s continuing technological advances, improving regulatory capabilities and a growing willingness to help the world.
Roberta Lipson, founder of United Family Healthcare, agreed that there is plenty of room for cooperation between China and the US, first and foremost in healthcare amid the epidemic’s hardships. High tariffs make the use of imported products more costly for both countries, said Lipson, adding that elimination or reduction of these duties would give patients in both countries access to the most suitable products at reduced costs.
“Opening the market for leading-edge therapies and medicines will also benefit from level playing fields in central procurement as well as reliable intellectual property rights protection,” said Lipson.
U.S. patent chief warns against ‘drastic’ actions in light of COVID
A top U.S. official on Tuesday dismissed calls for countries to waive intellectual property protections on vaccines and other products to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
“Before any drastic measures are taken with respect to IP rights, evidence must be brought to bear that such measures are actually needed,” Andrei Iancu, director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, said during a discussion hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “This has not happened.”
“To the contrary, the evidence to date shows that there is an unprecedented level of cooperation in industry, and that IP has facilitated this worldwide cooperation,” Iancu added.
E-commerce Story Pitch Contest
In this online pitch competition, three e-commerce companies from developing and least developed countries will pitch their story and will be asked a series of questions, with online participants deciding who wins.
In their pitch, finalists will have to provide practical e-commerce insights, actionable tips and innovative approaches. The aim is to share specific learnings, get inspired, and learn useful tips and tools to boost online sales. The winning e-commerce entrepreneur will receive a prize package worth 1,000 USD for digital marketing services.
Singaporean business associations welcome RCEP
Two Singaporean business associations, the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises and the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, have welcomed the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and said they will help local small and medium enterprises tap into the opportunities provided by the agreement.
The RCEP was signed by the ten ASEAN states (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam), and five of their FTA partners—Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. The 15 member countries account for 30% of the world’s population and 30% of global GDP, making it the world’s largest trade bloc.
Shiok Meats debuts lab-grown shrimp meat
Shiok Meat’s finished product possesses the texture of ground shrimp and has already been tested to make shumai, the Cantonese dim sum mainstay with the yellow dumpling wrapper. But its applications are potentially manifold in Chinese-centric cuisine. Eventually, the company aims to move beyond ground shrimp meat to produce crab, lobster, and a structured deshelled shrimp. Read more.