With increased recognition of the environmental impact and the potential loss in value of the by-products from aquatic wastes, such as frog and fish, which have been traditionally discarded, researchers are increasingly looking at how to recover biomaterials such as collagen and develop them into high value-added products for various applications in the medical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries.

Armstrong Industrial Corporation (Armstrong), a leading Singapore manufacturing group with operations in Asia covering the data storage, electronics, automotive, consumer and industrial sectors, was exploring relevant technologies in new sectors that could leverage its foam, rubber and elastomer expertise. Health and personal care applications was one such potential area. Through IPI’s Tech Alert service and open innovation platform, Armstrong was introduced to Collagreen Tech Pte Ltd (Collagreen), a spin-off from Nanyang Technological University that develops methods to recycle bio-waste from the local frog farms and fisheries into high-value collagen.

In February 2017, a related Armstrong entity and Collagreen formalised a collaboration to develop collagen-based products for the medical, consumer cosmetic skin care and food & beverage industries. This collaboration included working together on specific projects as well as investment in a minority equity stake in Collagreen.

“Armstrong and Collagreen share a vision to synergistically create a high-value innovation-led business that leverages the scientific, operational and commercial strengths that each party has individually,” said Phyllis Ong, Deputy CEO of Armstrong.

“Collagreen’s business is strongly committed to developing innovative technologies to extract and transform bio-waste into products that fill a market niche. With our experience in extracting bio-active collagen, we are confident that the collaboration with Armstrong will accelerate the development of our collagen products for various interesting applications in the near future,” commented Chelsea Wan, Managing Director of Collagreen.