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Is Singapore The Next Global Innovation Hub?

$19 Billion budget to pump into science and technology sectors of Singapore will allocated by the government for the next 5 years.

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Singapore’s $19 Billion plan to fund the science and technology sectors will make the country a go-to destination for global innovation and entrepreneurship, says Professor Gerard George, dean and professor at the Lee Kong Chian School of Business at Singapore Management University.

Singapore Innovation Hub (Source: StraitsTimes)

Many in the research community also reacted positively to the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2020, announced by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The budget was 18 percent higher than the previous $16.1 Billion five-year plan.

This is to make sure that researchers will compete for funding as well as to yield more results in a knowledge based and innovation driven society. The plan also supports strengthening of the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by focusing commercialization of technology and scaling it up for global markets, says Professor George.

Singapore Innovation Hub (Source: SMU)

Collaborations from research institutions will cater the development of innovative solutions and technologies. As an example, the National University of Singapore’s Engineering Dean, Professor Chua Kee Chaing has been promoting collaborative projects with the National University Health System since the early 2000’s. The partnership involves collective efforts of engineers, scientists and clinicians as a multi-disciplinary research.

Also, Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) Chief of Staff and Vice-President of Research, Professor Lam Khin Yong, noted the $2.5 billion set aside to previously unanticipated emerging topics. This is to provide a horizon of identifying new areas for research such as satellite development, new materials, green technology and renewable energy.

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Moreover, NTU’s Assistant Professor Cheong Siew Ann added that many of Singapore’s challenges are complicated that the “most obvious solutions could lead to unintended consequences”. He proposed that the new field of science like complexity science could offer novel solutions. He also suggested to grow and establish NTU as the complexity science hub in Asia.

Singapore Innovation Hub (Source: NTU)

Even overseas experts praised the RIE2020 in allocating more budget on research. It will be an attractive opportunity to others as well, especially that there comes a time that other countries are budget cutting their research sectors. Professor Robert Brown, President of Boston University and a member of the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council (RIEC), also commended the government’s commitment to research by saying that it was a tremendous job trying to implement the plan and being self-critical about it.

The RIE 2020 will focus on funding four cores of technological domains – Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, Health and Biomedical Sciences, Services and Digital Economy and Urban Solutions and Sustainability.

With a geared up Singapore, a lot of technological and innovative advances will surely arise

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