A/Professor Matthew Tan
A/Prof Matthew Tan is a Food Security Specialist and an Aquaculture veteran with more than 20 years’ experience in the Agritech Industry.
He is currently Singapore Representative (Private Sector) to APEC Policy Partnership on Food Security and is also the current APEC Chair for Sustainable Development in Agricultural and Fishery sectors (PPFS) where he co-ordinates discussions between senior officials, APEC governments and the private sector on the use of technology and combined resources for Sustainable Development in the Aquaculture, Agriculture and Fishery industry. For the past number of years, he has also been actively involved in assisting governments with their Economic Transformation – Aqua Tech 4.0 in the light of food security; working in tandem with the various ministries and multiple stakeholders in the country with an overarching view to achieving their future food securities goals.
In tandem with his current APEC appointment, he is also serving as the Chief Executive Officer (Asia) of Assentoft Aqua Asia Pte Ltd.
Assentoft Aqua A/S (Denmark) is one of the world's leading Aquaculture Engineering companies and the team at Assentoft Aqua has been involved in Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) development since the very beginning of the recirculation aquaculture industry in 1978; thus, learning from both successes and failures from existing plants, including salmon plants. Assentoft is second to none in having the lowest possible footprint RAS that saves space, pipes, buildings etc, rapid installation time by using steel tanks as our basic component, having the best available water treatment within the industry, low investment per produced ton of fish and deep knowledge about salmon, trout and tropical pelagic fish production in land-based RAS-systems.
Prior to his current corporate appointment, Matthew was previously the Group Chief Technology Officer & Chief Risk Officer of Oceanus Group Ltd and CEO & Director of Oceanus Tech Pte Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of Oceanus Group) – One of the world’s largest land-based aquaculture companies which is listed on the main board of the Singapore Stock Exchange (from 2013 to 2020).
He was responsible for the development of Oceanus Group's Risk Management framework and farms' operational protocols manuals and oversaw the development and implementation of the company farm’s Bio-security plan which includes the validation & adoption of sustainable technologies, implementation of water monitoring system, animal nutrition & feed formulation and possible use of Recirculating Aquaculture technologies in their land-based farms (total 42 farms spread over 300 km of coastal areas and a 5,000 floating sea cage farm).
He was also part of the new management team that spearheaded the restructuring of the company in 2015 and was instrumental in proposing the major changes to their business model and restructuring of operations which saw a 60% reduction in overheads and expenses subsequently. The restructuring efforts paid off and the company turned profitable in 2020. Note that the company was saddled with huge debts and defaulted on a totalling debt of S$94 million in 2014 and had a negative net asset position of approximately S$66 million.
Subsequently, he was seconded and promoted to CEO & Director of Oceanus Tech Pte Ltd which was setup by the group to spearhead the group expansion.
On the applied research frontier, Matthew is currently serving as an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow and Associate Professor (Aquaculture) with the Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture (CSTFA) - College of Science and Engineering - James Cook University, Australia.
James Cook University specialises in the sustainable exploitation of tropical aquatic species and is Australia’s leading university in Tropical Fisheries Science. Through the Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture (CSTFA), JCU partners with industry, NGOs, and government to tackle grand challenges associated with sustainable production of seafood.
Current external appointments:
- Singapore Representative (Private Sector): Policy Partnership on Food Security, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). About APEC PPFS : https://apec.org/Groups/Other-Groups/Policy-Partnership-on-Food-Security.aspx
- Chair - Sustainable Development for the Agriculture and Fisheries Sector, APEC PPFS - Responsible for coordination of discussions between APEC governments and the private sector on the use of technology and combined resources for Sustainable Development of Aquaculture, Agriculture and Fishery Sectors within the APEC region and set-up of APEC Centre for Sustainable Development in Agriculture and Fisheries sectors in Singapore.
- Member - Technical Advisory Panel (Agri Tech) - Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) : Agency for Science, Technology & Research (A*STAR).
- Member of Scientific Advisory Board : Sento Biotech Sdn Bhd – Development of Carbon Neutral feed for culture of Macrobrachium rosenbergii, also known as the giant river prawn or giant freshwater prawn.
- Advisor (HON) - Centre for Aquaculture and Veterinary Science, School of Applied Science, Temasek Polytechnic.
- Chairman - Scientific Advisory Board : Singapore CrawFish - Singapore Crawfish (SGCF) is Asia leading freshwater crawfish aquaculture farm. With their technological breakthrough in controlled spawning, SGCF has built the world’s first, large scale and sustainable crawfish hatchery which will provide farmers globally with quality, sustainable and quantifiable source of crawfish fries to ensure sustainable farming. SGCF utilize a combination of various state of the art systems such as the recirculating aquaculture system and chemical free hydrocavitation technology amongst many others to rear crawfishes healthily and sustainably.
- Member – Editorial Board : Journal of Marine Biology and Aquatic Research (JMBAR)
- Member – Editorial Board : Aquatic Research Journal
Track Records and Completed Projects
- Principal Consultant/ Chief Sustainability & Technology Officer Designate – On site survey and measurement for carbon sequestration potential, carbon credit development and mangrove aquaculture CSR in Indonesia for Singapore/ Indonesia entity. This project involves Mangrove, peatland & coastal restoration plus possible CSR planning for regenerative Aquaculture for the indigenous people. June 2022 to present.
- Member - Scientific Advisory Board cum Chief Sustainability Officer - Carbon Neutral Prawn Project – An APEC reference project – Singapore & Malaysia. A carbon-neutral prawn aquaculture system through the development of sustainable aquafeed and the adoption of a green circular economy. The fruition of this project will create a massive disruption to the aquaculture & feed industry as it will create a sustainable aquaculture industry that minimizes its environmental impact while providing high-quality and carbon neutral seafood to consumers. Dec 2022 to present.
- Advisor (Sustainability) - Frederiksdal Pte Ltd. Frederiksdal is one of the world’s largest cherry vineyards (Denmark) and also the only one in the world that produces wine from cherries according to the same principles that have been used in centuries of production of grape wine. Providence of net zero and carbon neutral advisory and recommendations for the implementation of carbon mitigation strategies and re-evaluation of the wine Life Cycle Analysis re. carbon neutrality – July 23 to present.
- Member of Advisory Board – One of the world’s leading cell-based cultured seafood company that utilizes tissue formation methods to produce healthy and tasty seafood meat. June 23 to present.
- Member – Advisory Team, Aquaculture Domain : Planet Net Zero Pte Ltd – Carbon Credit Specialist. Planet NetZero is built from the need to develop large-scale, impactful, and measurable solutions to increase food security and fight climate change. PNZ delivers profitable, internationally funded projects to reduce carbon emissions and plastic waste, protect the environment and biodiversity, and drive social development. From 2022 to present.
- Principal Consultant – Agritech feasibility study and development of a Strategic White Paper for a main board listed company in Singapore. This listco is looking to diversify and enter the Agri Industry. Oct 2020.
- Senior Principal Consultant & Head of Technical Team – Part of the economic advisory team that put together the Strategic Aquaculture Redevelopment Plan for the Government of Western Africa. This project includes 53 site surveys completed and the identification and development of 16 sites as Special Economic Zone for self-sustainable aquaculture. 2018 – 2020.
- Chairman – Scientific Advisory Board - SEA Aquaculture. Development of a vertically integrated 10,000 Metric Ton production per year Atlantic Salmon RAS facility in Vietnam. This is a key food security project in Asia – An APEC Project. Total project value US$100m – 10 HA footprint.
- Member - Scientific Advisory Board - Pebble Labs, Inc : A USA based biotechnology company developing solutions to safely and sustainably increase aquaculture yield and food security. Its mission is to develop breakthrough disruptive technologies that address the greatest agriculture, aquaculture, and environmental challenges facing the globe. Pebble Labs is committed to urgently solving these challenges.
- Member - Peer Review Group : Global Livestock and Aquaculture Policy Project - Funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) - CHATHAM HOUSE - The Royal Institute of International Affairs. From 2019 to 2020.
- Principal Consultant – Development of the proposal for the introduction of intensive & indoor shrimp farming system and redevelopment of 2,000 acres of land for Aquaculture in Rompin, Malaysia. 2019 to 2022.
- Principal Consultant – Assessment of the Vanuatu Aquaculture Industry – Development of the re-development proposal for the Trade commissioner of Vanuatu – 2018
- Principal Consultant – Assessment the conversion of 8,000 disused shrimp (post disease outbreak) pond into Barramundi Culture – Sri Lanka
- Principal Consultant : AVA Land tender specification – 1.3 HA and proposal development for a bio secure hatchery for a leading aquaculture player in Singapore. Awarded land lease in 2019.
- Principal Consultant : Strategy development and implementation for the largest fishery feed player in Nigeria. Was involved in the implementation of the plans which include training of farmers cooperatives (aquaculture) and a team of technical executives responsible for subsequent follow-up with these farmers for the whole of Nigeria - 2017 to 2020.
- Principal Consultant : Design of 2.3 HA Bio-secure aquaculture facility which include hatchery, nursery, grow-out and brood stock holding areas in Africa - 2017 to 2020.
- Principal Consultant : Technical advisory to Aquaculture farmers in Egypt & Ghana for the largest fishery feed mill in Africa- 2017 to 2020.
- Principal Consultant : Design and set-up of 2.3-hectare Bio-secure aquaculture facility (about US$3m) which include hatchery, nursery and brood stock holding areas in Malaysia – 2017.
- Principal Consultant : Site survey - 220 Acres of disused shrimps’ raceways and land for possible aquaculture grow-out use. West Malaysia 2016.
- Principal Consultant : Hybrid Grouper species development and ECO diversity study on endemic species– Malaysia – 2016
- Collaborator : Bio marker study on Abalone laggard and Selective Genetics breeding - Jointly with Temasek Poly & Oceanus Group – 2017.
- Collaborator & Technology Partner : Use of Hydrocavitation technology for increasing aquaculture harvest yield - Jointly with one of the world's largest shrimps’ producers – 2015 to 2017
- Principal Consultant : Design and Setup of 2 HA Bio Secure Grouper/ Sea Bass Hatchery and Aquaculture farm – Malaysia – 2016
- Principal Investigator : Design and use of hydrocavitation technology for Sea Bass and shrimps pond culture in Sri Lanka.
- Principal Consultant : Design of Inland bio secure Hatchery facility (1.2 HA) in Ipoh, Malaysia.
- Principal Investigator : Investigation on possible conversion of existing shrimp culture ponds (500 HA) for food fish grow-out in Pahang, Malaysia.
- Principal Investigator – Investigation and technical Advisory on the mortalities and grow-out issues in a State-owned Tilapia farm. Indonesia.
- Principal Investigator : MND Research Fund Grant on “Ecological Land Based Aquaculture - Farming of food fish in Urban environment”. Multi-million-dollar MND grant to fully develop a high intensity & high yield aquaculture RAS farming system using minimum space and labour through the integration of people, technology and business system.
- Co-Principal Investigator (with Surbana Technologies) : Development of Multiple storey land-based food-fish breeding system with Surbana Technologies. This project leverage off high intensity vertical fish farming as an "engineering" solution to solve this issue.
- Project Director : Development of a Fully automated and online monitoring of water conditions for aquaculture farms – Horiba Instruments & Bio X Pte Ltd
- Principal Investigator - Development of live support system for shipping containers for the shipping of live sea food (sea to land) with APL (part of NOL Shipping Group) one of the world’s top shipping companies. The project successfully research, designed and developed an enclosed automated recirculation water filtration and treatment system for incorporation into APL’s Live reefer container.
- Project Director – 2013 Technical farm audit completed for the world’s largest Aquaculture (China) spanning more than 300 km. Oceanus Group.
- Principal Investigator and project Director – Development and setup of Asia first Aquahub (live seafood holding logistic hub) in Jurong Cold Hub One, Singapore. A joint development with CWT Fresh (Part of CWT Group).
- Lork C, Cubillas M, Ng B, Chau Y and Tan M (2020) Minimizing electricity cost through smart lighting control for indoor plant factories. Proceedings of the 46th Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society. In: IECON 2020: 46th Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, 18-21 October 2020, Singapore
- Kang C, Tandiono T, Lu X, Turangan C, Osman H, Lim F, Lucas M and Tan M (2018) Numerical and experimental studies of collapsing cavitation bubbles for ballast water treatment. Proceedings of the International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering. In: ASME 2018: 37th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, 17-22 June 2018, Madrid, Spain
- Kang C, Tandiono T, Lu X, Turangan C, Osman H, Lim F, Lucas M and Tan M (2018) Numerical and experimental studies of collapsing captivation bubbles for ballast water treatment. Proceedings of the International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering. In: OMAE18: 37th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, June 17-22 2018, Madrid, Spain
- Tan M (2017) Future of agriculture and fisheries in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. World Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, 5. pp. 4-7
- Tan M, Wenham S and Chong C (2016) Elimination of LID with innovative new hydrogenation technology facilitates increased PERC cell efficiencies through the use of lower resistivity p-type Cz wafers. Extended Abstracts from the Photovoltaic Science and Engineering Conference. In: PVSEC-26: 26th Photovoltaic Science and Engineering Conference, 24-28 October 2016, Singapore
- Tan M (2008) Water quality and the ornamental aquatic sector. Aquarama Magazine, 5 (10). pp. 8-11