Friday, July 14, 2006

Singapore to increase research talent pool

Archived here for future reference. Grad School, anyone?

July 15, 2006
Scientific and R&D talent will be trained

I REFER to the letter from Mr Vincent Tan Yan Fu, 'Put greater emphasis on training scientists' (ST, July 12).

We thank Mr Tan for his views and suggestions.

The National Research Foundation (NRF) and Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council undertook a rigorous deliberation process and considered training of scientific and R&D talent as a critical component of the proposals for the three strategic programmes in Biomedical Sciences, Environmental and Water Technologies, and Interactive and Digital Media, as well as the set-up of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (Smart) Centre.

Training and growing a pool of R&D talent is crucial as top research minds are necessary to transform Singapore into a nation underpinned by strong capabilities in R&D. Through this, Singapore can leverage on R&D to create new growth engines to drive our economy.

The three strategic programmes and Smart Centre will create new opportunities for budding young scientists to embark on R&D careers, and open up avenues for them to work with internationally renowned R&D talent.

The NRF and MIT are working closely on the Smart Centre. The centre will see senior MIT professors lead in research, and this will certainly offer great R&D training opportunities for young scientists.

Chong Wan Yieng (Ms)
Manager, Corporate Communications
National Research Foundation


86,000 R&D jobs to be created in S'pore by 2015

Today Weekend • July 15, 2006

Singapore is aiming to create 86,000 research and development jobs by 2015, Minister of State for Trade and Industry S Iswaran said, as the country competes for foreign investment with regional rivals that include Hong Kong.

Singapore more than quadrupled the number of researchers here to about 19,000 between 1990 and 2004, with 61 per cent of those employed by the private sector, he added.

More workers are needed because Singapore wants to increase spending on research and development to 3 per cent of the nation's gross domestic product by 2010, he said.

"Nurturing and attracting scientific talent is a key focus, especially given our small population base,'' Mr Iswaran said at a United Kingdom-Singapore conference on building science and technology capacity with South-east Asian partners.

"The Government is committed to invest in R&D as a driver for economic growth and as a foundation for our long-term competitiveness," he said.

The Minister of State also said scientific capability needed to be built up.

This could be done either through research or collaborations with industry.

So far, Exploit Technologies, the commercialisation arm of agency A*Star — set up to translate research into marketable products and services — has licensed more than 120 technologies and spun out eight companies since 2002.

More than 160 local companies have also benefited from a scheme that provides them with technological assistance and manpower to boost their competitive edge. — Agencies

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