Business

Two consortia launched by NRF to spur R&D

Published: 7:15 PM, September 20, 2016

Angela Teng

angelateng@mediacorp.com.sg

SINGAPORE - Research and development (R&D) is key to nurturing Singapore’s innovation and enterprise ecosystem and the National Research Foundation (NRF) has launched two new consortia to feed this growth, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean said on Tuesday (Sept 20).

At the opening of the inaugural Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH), Mr Teo, who is also the chairman of the NRF, announced the launch of the Singapore Cybersecurity Consortium (SGCSC) and the Singapore Consortium for Synthetic Biology (SINERGY) to be hosted by National University of Singapore and supported by the NRF.

“These consortia will facilitate the growth of start-ups with deep expertise, and adoption of such technologies by our enterprises,” he said. The SGCSC will draw on research from the National Cybersecurity R&D programme and SINERGY will draw on the Biological Design Tools and Application Programme.

“While we have invested significantly in innovation inputs, such as enhancing human capital and creating a pro-business environment, we can do more to bring innovations from R&D to market, seeding and growing enterprises and further expanding high-tech exports,” Mr Teo added.

Besides strengthening integration between the industry and the R&D community with the launch of the two consortia, Singapore will also continue to fortify its support for locally-based enterprises as well as improve the connection between innovators and investors, he said.

As Singapore is highly reliant on software and information technology infrastructure, cybersecurity threats pose significant challenges to the industry, said NRF and the NUS in a separate joint statement. The SGCSC will promote greater awareness, adoption and translation of cybersecurity technologies. Meanwhile, SINERGY aims to consolidate Singapore’s capabilities in synthetic biology and harness synergies across industry sectors.

The latest initiatives build on Singapore’s long-term commitment to R&D. The Republic launched its first National Technology Plan in 1991 and have made significant investments since: For the five years to 2020, S$19 billion will be set aside for research, innovation and enterprise, an 18 per cent increase over the previous five-year plan, the Government said in January.