PM Lee: R&D has benefitted S'pore

PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE'S research and development (R&D) efforts have paid off with start-ups more than doubling in the last decade from 24,000 in 2005 to 55,000 last year, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday evening.

He was speaking at the official opening of Fusionopolis Two, a new $450 million three-tower complex, located at one-north's R&D hub.

Among other R&D efforts, Mr Lee added that the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) has undertaken over 7,400 industry projects that have catalysed more than $1 billion in industry R&D investments and partnered both global leaders and local enterprises.

These R&D efforts have also led to improvements in the daily lives of Singaporeans, such as ongoing research projects studying how urban design can reduce urban heat or the Smart Nation programme which will see how technology can be applied in the areas of transportation, healthcare and education.

With the launch of Fusionopolis Two, the research and innovation hub will see four more public research institutes joining two that are already located at Fusionopolis One.

This will enable an integration of all the capabilities needed to support the future of manufacturing efforts, Mr Lee said.

Mr Lee urged enterprises and institutions to stay hungry and bold, in order to make this R&D and innovation hub a success. He said that "we need ideas, initiative and a strong network of enterprises and institutions driven by the spirit of research and entrepreneurship".

He added that Singapore's advantage is that it is able to bring all the pieces together - such as regulation, infrastructure and network planning - and working with the population to experiment on the innovations.

Mr Lee said that self-driving vehicles, if developed successfully, could help Singaporeans by bringing them to the nearest bus interchange or MRT station. Their use could solve commute problems and ease congestion on the roads.

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