Project Title

NGS-based Microbial Testing for Probiotics Products: Guidelines Development and Laboratory Capacity Building 

Project Year

2021   

Project Number

SCSC 04 2021A 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Completed Project   
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Project No.

SCSC 04 2021A 

Project Title

NGS-based Microbial Testing for Probiotics Products: Guidelines Development and Laboratory Capacity Building 

Project Status

Completed Project 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: Human Security 

Project Year

2021 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

120,000 

Co-funding Amount

20,000 

Total Project Value

140,000 

Sponsoring Forum

Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC) 

Topics

Conformance; Standards 

Committee

Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

Malaysia 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Australia; China; Thailand; Viet Nam; United States 

Expected Start Date

01/08/2022 

Expected Completion Date

31/06/2023 

Project Proponent Name 1

Cindy Teh Shuan Ju (wef 2 May 2023) 

Job Title 1

Dr and Associate Professor, Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine 

Organization 1

University of Malaya 

Postal Address 1

Not Applicable 

Telephone 1

(60-3) 79676674 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

cindysjteh@um.edu.my    

Project Proponent Name 2

Not Applicable 

Job Title 2

Not Applicable 

Organization 2

Not Applicable 

Postal Address 2

Not Applicable 

Telephone 2

Not Applicable 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

Not Applicable 

Declaration

Cindy Teh Shuan Ju 

Project Summary

The global demand for probiotic products has increased due to their health-promoting benefits. However, the conventional testing protocol to verify the composition of probiotics, strain identity, viability, and potential harmful microbe contamination is could not support the increasing volume in global food trade. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, an emerging tool for food testing, could be the solution to probiotics testing. This project is proposed to identify best practices and develop guidelines to apply NGS for quality and safety verification of probiotics product in laboratories, and to build the capacity of laboratories in APEC economies for NGS-based testing for probiotics to enhance probiotics testing capacity. An expert group will be formed to develop the NGS-based protocol that will take place via virtual platform from January to June 2022. The developed protocol will be used to train governmental, commercial and industry lab personnel from APEC economies in October 2022.

Relevance

Relevance – Region: The growing global market for probiotic products is estimated at 15 billion USD annually, with more than 12 million tons of probiotic products estimated to be consumed in 2024. Driven by the highly competitive market, more probiotic strains are being used in food and marketed in various forms, such as probiotics supplements in powder or pill format, yoghurt, ice cream and infant formula. Moreover, there has also been an increase in multiple-strain probiotics products that increases the challenges in lab testing for product verification. Although probiotics are generally recognised as safe for consumption, there are risks associated with unknown or less-studied strains; genetic mutations; and contamination by harmful microbes. Therefore, to ensure probiotic food product are safe to consume and meet quality requirements, the food safety authorities perform lab analysis to verify the contents as stated on the labels. The current standards (culture-dependent method) are not just time-consuming and expensive but also inaccurate and inefficient, specifically for novel products with new probiotic strains. Other than that, culturing-approach using different standard methods such as ISO15214, ISO20128, ISO27205 could be confusing and may not be suitable for some novel products. With the increasing volume of probiotics products in the global food trade, rapid and efficient product testing to fulfil standard requirement is essential. The emerging food analysis tool, NGS technology, is a promising solution for this purpose. This project is therefore proposed to gather experts to identify best practices and recommend protocol for NGS-based probiotics testing in lab; and build NGS-testing capacity in APEC economies for safety management of probiotic products. Increasing the lab testing capability of less-developed APEC economies could help to increase the market opportunity of novel local products from these economies to the global market.

Relevance – Eligibility and Fund Priorities: This proposed project supports standard development and capacity-building needs for APEC developing economies. The capacity-building workshop on NGS aims to share, strengthen, maintain and develop knowledge, abilities, skills and technical know-how to the lab personnel from food safety authorities and industry from APEC developing economies. It also addresses the funding priority area of health security in which contamination of food supplies is among the agenda. 

Relevance – Capacity Building: With the increasing demand for probiotics products globally, particularly novel traditional probiotics product from less-developed APEC member economies, there is an urgent need to improve the efficiency of the current standards of probiotics testing in lab by adopting NGS. However, many APEC developing economies (such as Papua New Guinea, Viet Nam, as well as Malaysia) have low utilization of NGS which may be due to the lack of capacity to perform NGS for food diagnostics. Thus, increasing the capacity will enable better management of probiotics in APEC economies to ensure the quality and safety as well as increase competitiveness of probiotics products from the developing economies in the global market and thus attain sustainable growth and equitable development in the APEC region.

Objectives

1) To identify best practices as well as to develop recommended guidelines for verification of probiotics strains, cell viability and contamination using NGS technology;

2) To build capacity in performing and applying NGS for probiotics testing and management in the economy; and

3) To initiate a supporting network that consists of field experts, food safety authorities, researchers and industries in APEC to enable communication and enhance cross-border collaboration on probiotics management.

Alignment

Alignment - APEC: The proposed project on developing NGS-based standard protocol for probiotics testing and laboratory capacity building in the APEC region supports the APEC’s Food Security Roadmap towards 2020, which is to improve food nutrition and safety, and enhance trade and markets. This project seeks to develop a standard recommended protocols of NGS-based probiotics testing that would significantly reducing the testing duration as well as improve test efficacy which is essential to facilitate food trading. Increasing capacity to provide quality test would also ensure that only high quality and safe products could enter the market.  This project supports the APEC 2021 priorities on “Increasing Inclusion and Sustainability” to unlock the potential of all. Increasing the APEC developing member economies capacity to provide quality NGS analysis will definitely benefit the local SME probiotics manufacturers.

Alignment – Forum: This present proposal is in line with the Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF) which is under the Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC). It focuses on developing NGS-based lab testing method for probiotic products to facilitate global food trade. It is also aligned with FSCF because ensuring that only the permitted strains are used in the product is part of the food safety criteria set for probiotics. It is aligned with the FSCF’s objective to strengthening food safety systems for a safer and greater confidence in the region’s food supply as described in the 2017 FSCF statement. The work also falls under one of the five key FSCF PTIN areas of building laboratory capacity.

TILF/ASF Justification

Not Applicable.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: 

1) Publication of the findings from the Survey on the Status and Challenges of Probiotics Testing and NGS Application: One online questionnaire and two to three online focus group discussions will be conducted to collect information on the methods used by food testing labs from different economies in the testing of probiotics products, challenges in the testing and capacity of food testing labs to apply NGS technology. An initial questionnaire will be sent to the related governmental agencies on food testing of all the APEC economies and also other non-APEC economies, with a special focus on developing economies.

We will also seek information from the related food authorities to invite their domestic labs, commercial labs and industry labs to take part in this questionnaire survey to map the current status of probiotics testing methods, parameters and technologies used. This will then lead to the focus group discussion to identify challenges, limiting factors and opportunities for NGS application in probiotics testing in lab.

This survey will be conducted by the PO, collaborators, Food Safety and Quality Department (Ministry of Health Malaysia) and the expert committee established under this program. The seeking of information and write up document will be written by a contractor supervised by PO.

The findings from the survey will be published on APEC Publications website as well as shared openly and disseminated through the network of AOAC, USFDA and the participants of the three-days capacity building workshop.

2) Handbook of Best Practice Guidelines of NGS Application in Probiotic Product Testing: An expert committee consisting of experts on NGS, bioinformatics, probiotics and microbiology, food safety and quality testing will be formed to develop a handbook of best practice guidelines of how NGS could be applied to verify probiotic strains, detect contamination, and determine viability for the purpose of standardizing NGS lab protocols for probiotics testing.

    The handbook will be developed by taking into consideration of the information and data collected in the survey conducted to provide recommendations to economies with limited resources on step-by-step basic setup of platform for NGS analysis in the lab. The meetings and discussion will be conducted via online platform. The recommended guidelines and methods detailed in the handbook will be used for the three-day capacity building workshop.

The final handbook will be shared openly online and disseminated through the network of AOAC, USFDA and the participants of the three-days capacity building workshop.

The rough contents of the handbook include table of content (1 page), introduction (2 pages), objectives (1 page), approaches of probiotics testing (2-3 pages), Application of NGS in probiotics testing (5 pages), best practices and guidelines (3-5 pages), basic requirement and setup (2-3 pages), Bioinformatics and data analysis (2-3 pages), reporting (1 page), limitations (1 page).

3) Three-day Capacity Building Workshop: A 3-day capacity-building workshop will be conducted in April 2023 in University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with an aim to share knowledge and hands-on skills on NGS and probiotics testing, to communicate the best practice guidelines of NGS application in probiotic product testing developed in this program and also to provide a platform to network and kick-start conversation on cross-border collaboration and support to increase lab capacity in NGS application in probiotics testing as well as to establish standardize method across labs for probiotics testing with NGS platform that allow lab-to-lab comparison.

Approximately 35-45 participants (2 from each APEC economies) will be invited to join this workshop. The participants are lab personnel that may be from domestic labs, commercial labs, industry labs, academic labs that provide food testing including probiotics testing. The trainers and speakers will be identified from the expert groups by the committee.

The rough agenda with tentative topics of the workshop is as follows:

Time

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

9.00am-11.30am

Lecture 1:

Fundamental of WGS and metagenomics

Lecture 2:

NGS workflow: a practical guide

Lecture 3:

Probiotics testing: approaches and challenges

Lecture 4:

Bioinformatics: practical guide

Hands-on session 5:

a) Data analysis of Bacterial WGS using web-based tool

b) Assembly and Annotation of Prokaryote genome

c)  Species and Strains identification

d) SNP calling and Phylogenetic tree construction

11.30am-

1.00pm

Hands-on session 1:

Genomic DNA extraction and measurement

Roundtable discussion:

LAB testing: current practices and way forwards

1.00pm-2.00pm

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

2.00pm –

5.00pm

Hands-on session 2:

NGS Library preparation and Optimization

Hands-on session 3:

Sequencing Library quality

control

Hands-on session 4:

Sequencing run and Data quality control

Continue hands-on session 5:

(2.00 - 3.30pm)

Reflection session:

a)   Reflection & way forward

b)   Identify opportunities and future follow-up activities

End

7.30pm – 9.00pm

Dinner and networking session

Free time

4) An Online Platform for Networking and Knowledge Sharing: A standalone forum satellite website (build outside the APEC website) will be developed, hosted and maintained by the University of Malaya to share all the information generated from this program, including the reports, handbook on best practice guidelines, lab protocols and parameters on probiotics testing with NGS platforms, etc.

This online platform will carry a forum function that allows networking among labs, researchers and experts from APEC and non-APEC economies to share methods, and best practices that will lead to more initiatives in the future.

The targeted audience are lab professionals and researchers who conduct or interested in probiotic testing. University of Malaya will host and maintain the website for 3 years and could be transferred to other potential strategic partner/ institution/ organization for hosting and maintenance.

5)  Final Summary Report: A final summary report, following the APEC publication guidelines of no less than 30 pages with relevant information present and discuss in the webinars, focus group discussion, and workshop along with the key conclusions, as well as the survey research findings, pre- and post-survey results will be included. The report will be made available to all APEC economies in the APEC publication website.

The final report will include: table of contents (1 page); executive summary (1-2 pages); Introduction and background of the project (2-3 pages); Aims and objectives (1 page); research findings on the current state of probiotic testing (5 pages); best practices and recommendations (5-6 pages); capacity building workshop (3-5 pages); Opportunities and way forward (1 page); pre- and post-event survey (2 pages).

6) Training Protocols: The training protocols (with lecture notes, hands-on lab practical instructions sheet and information) will be included as an independent output of this project for sharing with the participants of the workshop.

Outcomes: The implementation of this project is expected to yield the following direct and indirect outcomes:

1)  Best practice guidelines for probiotics testing with NGS technology is identified and transferred; and this will serve as the base for future continuous improvement and modification to enhance the efficiency of probiotics lab testing.

2) Knowledge and lab skills in NGS application for probiotics testing among lab personnel from APEC economies are improved and enhanced.

3) Initiate and kickstart efforts to standardize lab methods/ protocols for probiotics testing with NGS platform to facilitate lab-to-lab comparison, food import and export (regulation purpose), and surveillance activities for consumer health and safety.

4) Increase the cooperation and collaboration network between labs, standard body and policy-makers in the APEC Economies to enhance testing efficiency of probiotics products and so to improve safety and quality of the probiotic products to consumers.

Beneficiaries: In the first phase, various experts on NGS, bioinformatics, probiotics and microbiology, food safety and quality testing (researchers in the related field, standard body such as AOAC), experienced lab personnel from the domestic labs, commercial labs, industry and food safety authorities from both APEC and non-APEC economies will be invited to participate in this project as the expert committee.

In the second phase, the capability building workshop will be participated by the laboratory personnel and researchers (preferably 1 from frontline and 1 from managerial level with microbiology or molecular biology background, with at least 1 year lab experience) who are from the domestic labs, commercial labs and industry from APEC economies, with a particular emphasis on the lab personnel from the developing economies (Viet Nam; Thailand; Indonesia; Brunei Darussalam; the Philippines; Papua New Guinea; Peru; Mexico and Chile). At least 2 participants from each APEC economies will be invited to join this 3-days capacity building workshop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Women are also set to benefit from this project as APEC traveling eligible economies are strongly encouraged to nominate one female participant each. The channels used to reach out these different targets will be specified via invitation to their national contact points (food safety or public health governmental agencies/ ministry). Other APEC or international fora such as AOAC, FDA, FAO, ILSI may also be used to identify and to reach the target participants.

Dissemination

Channels of dissemination: The final summary report and all other documents generated from this APEC project will be shared on the APEC website and also the developed website from this project with an aim to share information and facilitate communication and networking. 

The number, form and content of any publications: The outputs of the project will be disseminated through electronic copies to the participants (survey and workshop), collaborators and expert committee via email and on the online platforms such as APEC Project Database, PO’s website (www.um.edu.my) and the established website of this project. Also, it is expected that the participants, collaborators and experts of this project share and disseminate the information and outputs to the stakeholders within their economies and networks. The Final Report will be published as an APEC publication and will be made available on APEC PDB website as appropriate, in keeping with the APEC Project Guidelines, particularly on the APEC Data Privacy that no personal data of project participants, experts and contractors be included in the APEC publications.

The target audience:  The target audience would include testing and diagnostic labs (food and nutraceuticals), academia, public policy makers, standards and accreditation bodies, as well as industry stakeholders.

Any intention to sell outputs arising from this project: There is no intention to sell the outputs arising from this project.

Documents that will be produced and disseminated: (1) Publication of the findings from the survey on the status and challenges of probiotics testing and NGS application; (2) Handbook of best practice guidelines of NGS application in probiotic product testing; (3) Training protocols (independent output); (4) An online platform for networking and knowledge sharing; and (5) Final report to be published as APEC Publication.

Gender

This project will contribute and support two of the five women’s economic empowerment pillar:

1) Skills, capacity building, and health by recruiting at least 30% of women lab professionals and researchers in the 3-days capacity building workshop; and

2) Leadership, voice and agency by including gender participation in the workshop, online survey and expert committees (35%) to ensure participation and engagement of both men and women.

Each economy will be urged to identify at least 1 out of 2 participants sent to join the capacity building workshop to encourage women engagement and involvement, as well as career development in the diagnostics field. Also, women experts will be included to provide a platform for recognition of women leadership in the field. In the implementation of the activities of this project, PO will try to maintain woman engagement and participation of at least 30% to secure woman participation and engage at least 35% of female experts in the expert committee and speakers (workshop).

The PO is committed to collecting sex disaggregated data for all speakers and participants (not only those funded by APEC) at the project event.  This data will be included when submitting a Completion Report to the Secretariat upon completion of the project, as well as providing guidance to future POs on their own gender parity targets.

To promote the active reflection and engagement of the female perspectives in this project, the following will be implemented: (1) Question items in the survey research pertaining to female perspective or impact on women in relation to the topic be included; (2) include a session in the Workshop to discuss how female participation is promoted in the field of NGS testing for probiotics products; (3) include a question of whether the workshop has addressed satisfactorily gender issues related to the main topic in the post-event survey. When processing the results of the feedback, the PO is committee to disaggregate it by gender in order to evaluate if the satisfaction level varies according to the participant’s gender.

Targets

Female Participants (%)

30%

Female Speakers/Experts (%)

35%

Referring to the Guide on Gender Criteria for APEC Project Proposals in the Guidebook on APEC Projects, please tick the pillar or pillars that this project supports, in promoting women’s economic empowerment:

5 Pillars (you may tick more than one)

1

Access to Capital and Assets

2

Access to Markets

3

Skills, Capacity Building, and Health

/

4

Leadership, Voice and Agency

/

5

Innovation and Technology


Work Plan

Timeline

Activity

Deliverables/ Outputs

PHASE 1

Jul – Aug 2022

Secure project contractor to support project implementation:

A signed contract with the project contractor

Sep 2022

Identify experts (on NGS, probiotics testing and food testing, standard and regulation), from both APEC and non-APEC economies, to form the expert committee for planning, strategizing and conduct of the online survey, handbook and workshop.

List of expert committees

1 Oct 2022

Submit the APEC Project Monitoring Report to the secretariat

APEC Project Monitoring Report

Oct 2022

Expert committee meet to design and finalize survey tool as well as to identity labs and their PIC/ contacts as respondents

Survey tools

Oct – Nov 2022

Conduct the online questionnaire and a focus group discussion (via online platform)

Survey publication

Dec 2022 – Jan 2023

Develop and finalize best practice guidelines for NGS-based probiotics testing in lab and also lab testing protocols and parameters as part of the recommended guidelines. (Virtual meetings)

Handbook of best practice guidelines for NGS-based probiotics testing in lab developed

PHASE 2

22 Jan 2023

Review the delivery format of the workshop (4 months in advance before the workshop)

Decision on the delivery format

Jan-Mar 2023

Develop and finalize of recommended content and protocols for training

Workshop agenda and training protocols

Jan-Mar 2023

Identifying and invitation of speakers for the capacity building workshop.

List of speakers for workshop

Jan-Mar 2023

Develop the satellite website

Satellite Website

1 Jan  – 20 Jan 2023

Identify participants; send out GIC and the workshop agenda to invite participants (2 months before the workshop)

List of participants

21 Jan 2023

Submit delegates from APEC non-member for SCSC approval

List of participants

21 Feb 2023

Confirmed list of participants and booked air tickets

List of participants

1 Mar 2023

Confirmed booking of training venue & accommodation

Booked venue & accommodation

21-23 Mar 2023

3-day capacity building workshop based on the developed recommended protocols to use NGS for probiotics testing in lab.

Conduct pre- and post-workshop evaluation

Workshop agenda, event attendance list, pre- and post-workshop evaluation

1 May 2023

Submit draft of Final Summary Report to the Secretariat to review, followed by SCSC endorsement

Endorsed Summary Report

Jun 2023

Final Summary Report published on the website

Final report published

End Aug 2023

Submit the APEC Project Completion Report and supporting documents to the Secretariat

APEC Project Completion Report

6 to 12 months after project completion

Participation in the Long-Term Evaluation of APEC Projects survey conducted by the Secretariat

Risks

1) COVID19: The Covid19 pandemic is expected to get better in Q3 and Q4 of 2022 and Malaysia has announced endemic status started from 1 April 2022. Global travelling has already been allowed too. However, there may still be a very slight possibility of travel ban for certain economies due to unforeseen conditions. As a mitigation measure, the delivery format will be reviewed at least 4 months before the workshop to decide if there is a need to change the training to an online format.  

2) Low Survey Response: to increase response rate, the online survey will be short and straightforward with only essential information and data to be collected. The PO and the committee will gather updated published information and also from previous relevant APEC projects on NGS to avoid similar questions to be asked in the survey.

3) Technical problem during online expert meetings and survey:  Zoom platform will be used to conduct the online meeting with the use of other communication platform such as Slack for offline communication among the committee members. A user instruction on how to use the Zoom platform as well as Slack will be shared with the committee prior to the first meeting and a dry run will be conducted to assist any members who may not be familiar with the platform. 

4) Low economy participation at workshops: travel budget restrictions must be applied at economies given the containment of Covid 19. To avoid low participation, several letters and engagement of high-level policy makers will be done through the Malaysian authorities and the other organizations involved in the project implementation.

5)  Insufficient outputs dissemination:  All materials and handbook will be prepared and disseminated in advance through email or a suitable file-sharing platform to allow participants review the materials before the hands-on workshop in Kuala Lumpur to ensure efficient learning during the workshop. All documents and materials will be shared on the website that is developed for the main purpose of networking and communication.

6) Low application of the recommendations in the home economies:  The online platform/ website as well as the network established will be used to connect and communicate with the participants and experts after the workshop to follow up on the implementation of the recommendations. Follow-up online activities will be organized upon request to provide assistance to economies to implement the recommendations.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Evaluation focus

Indicators

Target Goals

Evaluation Method

Reporting

Output

1.      Survey on the status and challenges of probiotics testing and NGS application

1.      No. of experts engaged

15

Event attendance list

Completion Report

2.      No. of survey respondents

50

Survey collected

Completion Report

3.      No. of FGD conducted

1

Event attendance list

Completion Report

4.      % of women experts engaged

35%

Event attendance list

Completion Report

2.      Handbook of best practice guidelines of NGS application in probiotic product testing

5.      No. of pages

20

Handbook

Email to the secretariat

3.      Three-day capacity building workshop

6.      No. of speakers

6

Event attendance list

Completion Report

7.      % of women speakers

35%

Event attendance list

Completion Report

8.      No. of attending economies

16

Event attendance list

Completion Report

9.      No. of travel eligible economies

10

Event attendance list

Completion Report

10.   % of participating men/women

70/30

Event attendance list

Completion Report

4.      online platform for networking and knowledge sharing

11.   Online platform established

28 Feb 2023

Certification by PO

Completion Report

5.      Final report

12.   No. of pages

30

Certification by PO

Email to the Secretariat

13.   Submission to the Secretariat

30 Jun 2023

Submission to the Secretariat

Email to the Secretariat

Outcomes

1.      Best practice guidelines for probiotics testing with NGS technology is transferred and implemented

1.      Implementation of international best practices by economies

2023-2024

Tracking economies six months after event

Report to Working Group

2.      Knowledge and lab skills in NGS application for probiotics testing among lab personnel from APEC economies are improved

2.      % of participants report substantial knowledge increase

75%

Post-workshop evaluation

Completion Report

3.      developing APEC economies report substantial knowledge increase

25%

Post-workshop evaluation

Completion Report

4.      women report substantial knowledge increase

33%

Post-workshop evaluation

Completion Report

3.     Initiate and kickstart efforts to standardize lab methods/ protocols for probiotics testing with NGS platform

5.      No. of follow-up activities to standardize lab methods

1

Tracking economies six months after event

Report to Working Group

4.     Increase the cooperation and collaboration network between labs, standard body and policy-makers in the APEC Economies

6.  No. of discussion on collaboration

1

Tracking economies six months after event

Report to Working Group


Linkages

This project will supplement the on-going project on “FSCF PTIN Whole Genome Sequencing: Laboratory Capacity Building for Environmental Food Safety Testing” under Committee on Trade and Investment / Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance / Food Safety Cooperation Forum / Partnership Training Institute Network. Building testing capacity for probiotics products will unlock opportunity for more research and innovation on probiotics that fall under the portfolio of PPSTI. With the previous project promoting the WGS (one of the NGS application) for environmental food safety testing, this project will specifically be focusing on WGS of probiotic strains and another application of NGS, which is targeted metagenomic for verification of probiotic composition. This could further broaden the scope of application of NGS for food testing each member economies. This project will also promote non-APEC fora collaboration with FAO by engaging with the FAO experts in Phase 1.

Sustainability

The project has several outputs that will have all the information collected through the project activities available for further consultation and use by the economies to develop and implement the NGS-based probiotics testing. All of this information will be shared to openly to all of the interested parties and stakeholders for further improvement and continuous update and enhancement to fit to the changing dynamics in food testing, as well as the standard and regulations.

This project, in no means to develop a final standardized lab standard/ protocols for NGS-based probiotics testing for implementation of all, but to develop a framework and recommended guidelines towards establishment of a standardized protocols and parameters for NGS-based probiotic testing that could be adopted as a global standard method in food testing. Hence, this project will engage and communicate with stakeholders on food testing standards such as AOAC. To ensure and allow the conversation and network (labs and experts) initiated in this project to be continued, a website/ online platform is developed to share the activities, information and contacts so that similar efforts could be emulated in the APEC as well as non-APEC economies, with the support from this network build. In order to measure the use of the Handbook by the APEC economies, participants will be contacted 3 months after the end of the project in order to evaluate the use and dissemination by them in their economies. Also, a download tracker from the web site will be implemented in order to measure the potential users of this outputs.

Project Overseers

The Project Overseer is Dr Chai Lay Ching, Head of Centre for Research Services, University of Malaya. She is a microbiologist and food safety expert from Malaysia. Dr Chai Lay Ching is also the science advisor or the Institute of Life Science Institute (ILSI) Southeast Asia region. Dr Chai Lay Ching oversees the administration and implementation of this project, with the support from the research support from University of Malaya, who will provide assists and support on the financial management, including accommodation and air fares booking. The Project Overseer will engage with project consultant/ assistant to assist in the implementation of the project. 

Under this project, the PO will form an organising committee, which may include collaborators (International Life Science Institutes, Malaysia LAB Society, etc.), Food Safety and Quality Department Ministry of Health Malaysia, and individual experts from both APEC and non-APEC economies. 

The Project Overseer will ensure that all Project outputs will comply with the APEC Publications, APEC Logo and Copyrights Guidelines before being published and will be provided to the Program Director, who will review and finalize the project reports, including monitoring and completion reports.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

1)  Contractor for Research Tasks:

No.

Scope of work

Unit (Hour)

1.

Identify and contact respondents and experts for surveys, including creating and maintaining a database of respondents; communicating with respondents and experts via emails and phone conversations.

10

2.

Support and assist in the developing of surveys that include background data search; type and prepare survey tools that is ready for distribution.

20

3.

Execute and distribute the surveys to the respondents to ensure all the identified respondents have been reached out to for the surveys; arrange and facilitate online interview/ engagement sessions; ensure effective data collection and management of the responses from the surveys.

10

4.

Conduct data cleaning and prepare the data collected for analysis by the experts/ committees; support experts/ committees discussion and analysis; prepare summary and report of the findings.

15

5.

Report writing that include drafting and submitting reports (no less than 30 pages); amending the report based on suggestions/ comments received from SCSC members

30

6.

Ensure the protocols and requirements (including datelines) are followed throughout the project; manage and store documents required by APEC for the project.

10

Total Hours

95

2)  Contractor for Administrative Tasks:

No.

Scope of work

Unit (Hour)

1.

Managing meetings and focus group discussion 

20

2.

Drafting agenda and general Information for circular

20

3.

Contacting experts and speakers for their availability for meetings and focus group discussion

20

4.

Identifying and inviting participation to the workshops

20

5.

Minute of meeting/discussion and distribution

20

6.

Communication with participants and experts

15

7.

Prepare and circulate all related information

15

8.

Facilitating the registration process

10

9.

Researching and confirming project event venues

15

10.

Arranging for matters related to events and workshops organization

20

Total Hours

175

3)  Contractor for Event Management:

No.

Scope of work

Unit (Hour)

1.

Arranging and checking set-up and facilities at physical events

25

2.

Liaison with venue providers, experts and speakers

10

3.

Drafting the ‘run sheets’ for events

20

4.

Floor management on event day

30

Total Hours

85


Waivers

Not Applicable.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
Attachments
Content Type: Standard Proposal
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