A Singapore government agency has signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi to set up a US$21 million (S$26 million) laboratory to develop and make advanced miniature electronic machines.
These ultra-tiny devices have a wide application including in the aerospace, consumer, health-care and automotive industries.
Called Mems (micro-electro-mechanical systems), the machines will focus on specific areas that address power issues and improve monitoring capabilities and sensitivities in high volume markets such as wireless sensor network and health care.
The collaborative agreement, known as the Abu Dhabi-Singapore Twin Lab, was inked on Tuesday between Abu Dhabi's Advanced Technology Investment Co and Singapore's Economic Development Board (EDB).
EDB chairman Leo Yip said the twin lab "will offer solutions that help the Mems industry shorten the overall time to market".
"This will in turn enhance the capabilities and attractiveness of Singapore as a choice location for Mems manufacturing," he said in a media statement.
Research work will begin next year and the initial collaboration is expected to run for three years with subsequent phases to be planned later.
Three institutions will be involved in the project: Abu Dhabi's Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MI), Singapore's Institute of Microelectronics and GlobalFoundries, a global semiconductor maker with facilities here.
The twin lab is a "virtual" set-up in that each of the three parties involved will carry out their research and work in their respective countries and labs.
A media statement said the Masdar Institute will develop novel device designs based on market requirements while the Institute of Microelectronics will execute the design concepts.
MI's president, Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, said: "We offer our expertise in fabless and fab-lite semiconductor technology and seek to achieve innovative solutions through our collaboration."
GlobalFoundries, which will act as the twin lab's programme manager, will then make the new devices.
Mr K.C. Ang, senior vice-president and general manager of GlobalFoundries Singapore, said: "This joint partnership will enable us to harness the two organisation's research capabilities to create innovative technologies and products that will strengthen our foundation in Mems manufacturing."
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