On 30 March, global healthcare company Abbott announced the opening of its US$24 million (S$32.9 million) Nutrition Pilot Plant in Singapore. The facility is Abbott’s second research and development (R&D) hub outside the US and the first in Asia.
Since Abbott first set up in Singapore back in 1970, the group has invested over US$340 million that includes a nutrition R&D facility that was launched at the Biopolis Research Park back in 2009.
Located in Tuas South, the centre includes both manufacturing and quality control functions and will allow Abbott scientists to prototype or pilot new products and formulations tailored to the preferences of Asian consumers. This would enable the firm to respond swiftly to the changing healthcare needs of consumers in Asia. The firm plans to ramp up staff strength for its nutrition R&D segment in Asia and seeks to have 40 percent of its global R&D team based in Asia by 2018, up from 25 percent currently.
"This new facility allows us to more rapidly pair nutrition science innovation with local tastes and texture preferences, delivering products consumers need to live a healthy life," said Dr Robert Miller, divisional vice-president of R&D, scientific and medical affairs at Abbott Nutrition. "We're establishing nutrition centres of excellence around the world to accelerate research and respond quickly to consumers' rapidly evolving lifestyle needs."
“Mr Kevin Lai, executive director of consumer businesses for the Economic Development Board, said the establishment of the pilot plant "marks another significant milestone in the Abbott-Singapore partnership". "We are excited to see Abbott leveraging Singapore's support ecosystem, for R&D and consumer insights, to accelerate its product innovation and commercialisation for Asia and beyond," he said.