[Celebrating Inspiring Women In March Series #2: IPI Senior Manager, Adeline Chan] 


In her role as a Senior Manager at IPI’s Innovation & Technology department, Adeline Chan works closely with SMEs in Singapore’s food and nutrition ecosystem to grow both their companies and the industry.

Nurturing out-of-the-box thinking, guiding executives to greater heights and witnessing the growth of nascent start-ups—these are the driving forces behind Adeline Chan’s work as Senior Manager at IPI’s Innovation & Technology department. With a focus on the food and nutrition industry in Singapore, Adeline has dedicated almost six years at IPI to identifying and bridging innovation gaps for companies and resolving a plethora of challenges they face.

Before her tenure at IPI, Adeline was part of the research and development team at Pokka Corporation Singapore Pte Ltd, where she was responsible for a wide range of activities from recipe formulation to the commercialisation of tasty beverages. Armed with a degree in food science and nutrition, she also contributed her expertise at the Health Promotion Board’s (HPB) Centre of Excellence (Nutrition). There, she developed strategies for the food industry to innovate and promote healthier food solutions and products. At Youngevity Intl (Singapore), she also provided consultation on nutrition-related technical matters, cultivating, and maintaining robust relationships with food companies and addressing public nutritional inquiries.

Adeline’s prior experiences have laid a solid foundation for her impactful role at IPI, where she has guided more than 30 companies in transforming their operations and boosting their revenues. “I was drawn to the role as I find it meaningful having the opportunity to enhance the ecosystem and collaborate with SMEs and start-ups on their innovation journey,” said Adeline.

At the core of Adeline’s work is a profound devotion to her customers’ success. “Being able to share the company’s joy when they succeed, and to be genuinely appreciated for my expertise, time and effort, motivates me to go above and beyond in serving them,” she added.

She also recognises that supporting innovation and collaboration—especially among smaller enterprises facing stiff competition and resource constraints—is crucial for Singapore’s economic vitality. Working to facilitate technology adoption and transform SMEs and start-ups, Adeline leverages IPI’s resources to offer more than just technical assistance to these companies; she also strives to shift mindsets, manage stakeholders and bridge knowledge gaps, thereby contributing to narrowing the revenue disparities within the SME sector.

Adeline had a particularly meaningful and impactful interaction with Audrey Chew, CEO of You Tiao Man, who pivoted her company from a hawker store to becoming the largest wholesaler of you tiao, a traditional fried dough snack, to hotels, caterers, and restaurants nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Audrey’s humility and thirst for knowledge to continually evolve her business through innovative and exciting ways are truly inspiring and I’m glad that IPI has had the opportunity to be part of her journey,” shared Adeline.

Adeline is passionate about supporting female innovators, acknowledging the unique challenges they face in balancing domestic responsibilities with their entrepreneurial and innovative endeavours. Her advocacy for providing support—be it through support groups, technical assistance or mentorship—is a vital component in empowering women to thrive within the highly competitive innovation ecosystem.

For young women aspiring to make their mark on Singapore’s innovation landscape, Adeline recommended exploring organisations such as WOMAG, a volunteer-led group of professionals dedicated to promoting gender diversity in the food and agribusiness industry across Asia.

Reflecting on the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, ‘Inspire Inclusion’, Adeline underscored her commitment to fostering inclusivity at IPI. “By encouraging active listening, and placing ourselves in our client’s shoes, we ensure that our proposed solutions are well-aligned with their visions and realities—helping us cultivate a more inclusive environment, as well as driving more meaningful and impactful innovation,” she said.