S’pore Poly opens perfumery, cosmetic facility

SINGAPORE — Final year Singapore Polytechnic (SP) student Tiffany Chin no longer needs to jostle for space in the laboratory with the launch yesterday of a new S$1 million facility for the perfumery and cosmetic science diploma programme, the only one of its kind here. “Now, there is more room, equipment and things (we) can do there,” said the 19-year-old at the opening ceremony.

The polytechnic opened its state-of-the-art facility to provide hands-on training for students and meet the expected growth of the personal-care consumer market.

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With half of the world’s top 10 flavour and fragrance houses based here, Singapore is poised to become a regional hub for the personal-care consumer market. SP foresees an increased demand for more skilled manpower as the global market for personal fragrance is expected to grow by at least 40 per cent, reaching US$16 billion (S$20 billion) by 2017.

The 575 sq m facility, which is slightly bigger than a basketball court, will provide training for perfumery and fragrance creation, as well as cosmetic formulations in personal-care products like soaps. Its three sections, the conceptualisation, crystallisation and communication rooms, will allow students to brainstorm new ideas, test and develop products, as well as work on marketing the final products. The course currently has a cohort of about 120 students.

In line with efforts to focus on applied learning, the incoming batch of students in April will have an extended internship programme — from the current 12 weeks to a year.

Yesterday, SP also signed four Memorandums of Understanding with industry players Procter & Gamble, Lubrizol Southeast Asia, NUANCE-Watson and the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences. The areas for collaboration involve ingredient sponsorship, local and overseas internships and industry-based projects that require students to develop real-life solutions for clients.

“Industry support is very crucial for the diploma … (students) will work on real-life projects and results will be time-based, customer-based. It’s very different from what you do in the classroom,” said Course Manager Jessie Tong. Students have previously worked on commercial projects such as the Romance Singapore series of perfumes for the Family Matters Singapore campaign. Siau Ming En

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