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Govt to invest S$150 million into Singapore's space R&D: Gan Kim Yong

SINGAPORE — The Government will be investing S$150 million into space research and development to develop Singapore’s space capabilities, Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong announced on Wednesday (Feb 9). 

Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong giving an opening address at the Global Space and Technology Convention 2022.

Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong giving an opening address at the Global Space and Technology Convention 2022.

Singapore

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SINGAPORE — The Government will be investing S$150 million into space research and development to develop Singapore’s space capabilities, Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong announced on Wednesday (Feb 9). 

Speaking at the Global Space and Technology Convention, Mr Gan said that the investment will be made by the Office for Space Technology and Industry — which oversees the country's space industry — and the National Research Foundation. 

This S$150 million will go into the Space Technology Development Programme, which seeks to develop Singapore’s space capabilities in areas such as aviation, maritime and sustainability. 

One project that is benefiting from this programme is the building of a microsatellite, which will fly at a low earth orbit and will carry the first Singapore-designed space camera. 

It is a joint effort by Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore, ST Engineering, as well as domestic space startups Aliena and Lighthaus Photonics. 

Separately, Singapore Space and Technology Limited (SSTL), the organiser of the convention, is setting up a commercial fund — said to be Asia’s first dedicated commercial fund for startups venturing into space research.

Funding for space companies typically comes from governments.

Mr Jonathan Hung, chairman of SSTL, said: “The new fund will help startups in the Space Accelerator Programme scale at warp speed, capitalising on the tremendous attention the industry is getting.

“In the same way that we have seen a lot of venture capital funds flooding into the technology space, we anticipate this will be mirrored in the space industry because of the heightened relevance and understanding of the sector.”

The commercial fund will be open to all space startups and the startups in SSTL's Space Accelerator Programme.

Started in 2020, the programme provides support such as mentorships and fundraising assistance for space startups here and abroad. 

It now supports 37 companies from 17 countries such as India, Japan and Singapore.

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