Singapore’s science and technology sector to get a boost

Bukit Panjang Plaza before extension works wit...

Bukit Panjang Plaza before extension works with HDB housing in background. Bukit Panjang, Singapore. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Singapore’s science and technology sector is set to get a big boost — with three new programmes and funding of some S$330 million.

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s science and technology sector is set to get a big boost — with three new programmes and funding of some S$330 million.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is also the chairman of the Research, Innovation, and Enterprise Council (RIEC), announced this at the council’s seventh meeting on Friday.

The annual meeting is attended by members made up of cabinet ministers as well as top scientists and industry leaders from Singapore and around the world.

“Ultimately, R&D has to improve peoples’ lives — (with) new drugs, healthier and safer living environment, better paying jobs, and our research needs to be translated into innovation and value,” said PM Lee.

Therefore, S$200 million will be set aside for the Innovation Cluster Programme to boost tie-ups among businesses, researchers and the government. It aims to bring ideas from areas of research such as diagnostics, 3D printing, water, and speech and language technologies more quickly to the market.

Singapore also hopes to woo back top Singaporean scientists working overseas.

Professor Low Teck Seng, CEO of the National Research Foundation, said: “We know that there’s a diaspora of Singaporeans out there who’ve established themselves as top-notch scientists, academics.”

RIEC’s deputy chairman, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, said: “So now those who’ve been away the last 10, 15 years, who’ve developed their own research labs, their own research capabilities abroad, we want to see how we can attract them back or at least, build up our connections with them.”

Another S$130 million will be set aside to beef up Singapore’s cyber security.

PM Lee said: “We are a connected, IT-dependent economy. Everybody is online all the time, all our systems are online all the time.

“One malfunction, as you have seen recently in Bukit Panjang, causes disruption to many people’s work, lives, conveniences. Malfunction is one thing, security is another thing.

“All you need is one bad cyber attack averted and you’ve paid back all the research you’ve put into that. Nobody can say our system is safe, that we don’t need to secure it, and nobody can break it.”

The plans will be rolled out in the next five years.

Source: Channel News Asia



Categories: Economies, Innovation, Universities

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