Singapore’s SATS investing S$100 million in automated food production technology

(IMAGE: SATS) aviation catering provider SATS announced it has commenced a lease agreement with JTC to build an innovative food hub in Singapore’s Jurong Innovation District. The move aligns with SATS’ strategy to strengthen its Singapore core while growing international and non-travel businesses.

The project will bring together all of SATS’ expertise in food production – culinary, food technology, supply chain, innovation, sustainability, digitalisation, food safety and nutrition to transform current food production processes. The company will deploy automation and robotics to achieve operational efficiency and hone vital new skills for the future. For example, processes within the hub will be networked with Internet of Things (IoT) technology to provide data that will aid planning, increase asset utilisation and reduce food waste. Large-batch production of meals will be automated to achieve efficiency, and certain manual processes such as meal assembly will potentially be carried out by robotic finger grippers and auto dispensing units for various food components. The company will also expand the SATS Global Innovation Centre (SGIC) to the hub, enabling it to tap into the location’s close connectivity to food tech start-ups, SMEs and institutions of higher learning to develop an open collaboration platform for innovation partnerships. SGIC is a network that includes SATS Innovation Hubs in Singapore and the UK, creating opportunities for cross-border collaborations. 

SATS Food Hub aims to bring new vitality into Singapore’s Jurong Innovation District and its community with an experiential centre in the hub. Visitors to the hub will learn about food innovations and sustainability through educational tours of the facility. 

Kerry Mok, president and CEO of SATS, said, “SATS Food Hub’s location in Jurong Innovation District allows us to tap into Singapore’s innovation ecosystem to develop new products and services. Automating our meal production processes changes the landscape significantly to benefit our customers, suppliers and business partners. It will enable us to implement hi-tech food production to achieve cost efficiency, strengthen operational resilience and create greater opportunities for upskilling our people. Through our investments in innovation and automation, SATS aims to help local businesses that we are working with to innovate and scale their operations cost-effectively to compete internationally.”

Tan Boon Khai, CEO of JTC, said, “We warmly welcome SATS to Jurong Innovation District. SATS will be the first food player to join a growing community of innovative companies in the District. We look forward to collaborations between SATS and the JID community to create new and exciting products sustainably by leveraging the latest technology.”

SATS Food Hub is expected to be completed in 2024 and will occupy an area of 20,000 sqm. The five-storey building will have facilities for food manufacturing, production kitchens, innovation lab, warehousing and logistics centre, food court and experiential centre. It is designed to meet Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority Green Mark Platinum certification.

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