S$6 million gift from Prima Group to support education and research in food sciences at NUS and SIT

The National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) today received gifts totalling S$6 million from the Prima Group, in conjunction with its diamond anniversary, which will support a professorship, scholarships and research in food sciences.

The Prima Group, led by its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mr Primus Cheng Chih Kwong, commemorates its 60th year milestone by channeling its resources into education endowment and research funds, in lieu of lavish celebrations. This tradition was started by Mr Cheng’s late father, Mr Cheng Tsang Man, who founded the Prima flour mill in 1961. NUS and SIT will each receive a S$3 million gift towards the Food Science and Technology discipline.

Contributions towards education and research in the field of food science and technology will play a vital role in bolstering Singapore’s efforts towards the long-term sustainability of food safety and security.

Accepting the cheques on behalf of their universities from Mr Primus Cheng are NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye and SIT President Professor Tan Thiam Soon.

Mr Primus Cheng said, “For our 50th anniversary, Prima had chosen to support the cause of education because we firmly believe that education is the foremost fundamental enabler. It is only with education that people can become self-reliant and utilise their skills and knowledge for the betterment of mankind. For our diamond anniversary this year, we want to commemorate this milestone in a more impactful manner by supporting both universities’ education and research efforts in food science and technology which would in turn improve food quality and nutritional value as well as enhance the safety of food for societies at large. The enabling effect of education can only be maximised if people can also have adequate, safe and nutritious food. As a food conglomerate, it is our hope that our gift will provide more synergistic impact.”

Prima has been a strong supporter of NUS and it has contributed to a wide range of student and research programmes across the University.

NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye said, “We are grateful for Prima’s generosity and their continued partnership with NUS. This latest gift will enable the University to support the advancement of Singapore’s food industry and achieve food resilience and security. We will establish the Cheng Tsang Man Professorship in Food Science and Technology which will help the University to attract and retain world renowned academics who can spearhead breakthroughs in research while offering new dimensions of teaching and learning in nurturing future generations of food scientists and technologists. The donation will also provide undergraduate scholarships to students at the Department of Food Science and Technology who wish to pursue their interest in this field of study.”

Professor Tan Thiam Soon, President, SIT, welcomes the Prima Group’s philanthropic leadership to encourage industry innovation and transformation, as well as nurture young talents in the field of food technology. Prof Tan said, “Prima’s endowed gift of S$3 million to SIT will enable us to establish the Prima Group Applied Research Grant to support innovation projects focused on closing technological gaps in food manufacturing and processing. Furthermore, Prima’s generous gift will allow us to award at least three Prima Group Scholarships annually to academically talented Food Technology undergraduates at SIT.” He added, “SIT is focused on applied research and innovation to bridge knowledge discovery and application. SIT is honoured to partner the Prima Group, a global name in the food manufacturing industry, in this philanthropic initiative.”