Singapore will be honouring Professor Edward Holmes, Deputy Chairman, Translational and Clinical Science Group (A*STAR) and Executive Chairman of the National Medical Research Council (NMRC) with the Honorary Citizen Award for his valuable contributions to Singapore.
2 The award is the highest form of recognition bestowed by the Singapore Government for outstanding contributions by individuals to the country’s growth and development. It is conferred on those who have made a significant impact in the areas of business, science and technology, information communications, education, health, arts and culture, sports, tourism, community services or security. (Please refer to Annex A for more on the Honorary Citizen Award.)
3 Mr Wong Kan Seng, Deputy Prime Minister and Co-ordinating Minister for National Security, said, “Professor Holmes has been deeply committed to, and involved with, helping Singapore build its biomedical sciences sector since 2006. He has also been a principal architect of Singapore’s Translational and Clinical Research (TCR) infrastructure. His efforts in building up Singapore’s TCR capabilities have set the stage for us to reap social and economic benefits for the country. It is our pleasure to present him with this award for his valuable contributions.”
About Professor Edward Holmes
4 Professor Edward Holmes, a world-renowned academic leader in translational and clinical research (TCR), has been deeply committed towards helping Singapore build its biomedical sciences sector. In 2006, Singapore embarked on a biomedical sciences initiative which placed focus on building internationally competitive TCR capability. The critically important strategic thrust involved the conceptualisation, formulation, implementation and coordination of a complex series of initiatives and programmes. Under Professor Holmes’ able and meticulous leadership, the TCRCoordinating committee developed many programmes that are critical to Singapore’s TCR efforts.
5 One of Professor Holmes’s most essential contributions to Singapore is the establishment of the Singapore Translational Research Award and Clinician Scientist Awards, which has successfully attracted and supported top clinician-scientists to Singapore; as well as a range of training schemes which help nurture a robust pipeline of researchers in TCR.
6 As Professor Holmes developed Singapore’s biomedical industry, he tapped on his wide network and worked closely with the Economic Development Board (EDB) to engage both companies as well as the international media. This in turn served to showcase Singapore’s capabilities in translational clinical research and encourage companies to forge partnerships with our scientific community. His joint effort with EDB has anchored public-private partnerships such as the Roche Translational Medicine Hub and GSK Academic Centre of Excellence in Singapore. Professor Holmes’ deep involvement in shaping these collaborations has been instrumental in building up Singapore’s TCR capabilities. For more on Professor Holmes, please refer to Annex B.
7 On being conferred the Honorary Citizen Award, Professor Holmes said, “This is a great privilege for me. Building up the biomedical R&D landscape in Singapore has been a tremendously fulfilling journey, and I am excited to be on board for the next phase of development as Singapore strives to become Asia’s Innovation Capital. I am thankful for the outstanding colleagues I have met in this country, and hope to make further breakthroughs in the establishment of R&D as a key pillar of growth here.”
8 Said A*STAR Chairman, Mr Lim Chuan Poh, “Ed has demonstrated both scientific and administrative excellence in his various appointments and tasks within A*STAR and as part of the BMS EXCO. His experience and dedication have been crucial to Singapore’s rapid growth as a biomedical R&D hub. Over the years, he has also proven to be a great colleague, and a trusted friend. He is truly deserving of this honour, and I offer him my heartiest congratulations.”
9 Permanent Secretary for Health Ms Yong-Ying-I noted, “Ed has played a pivotal role in driving Singapore’s BMS effort forward, with speed and effectiveness. He conceptualised and rolled out major schemes to support our doctors to conduct research, as well as programmes that have shown strong potential to improve cost-effective care for Singaporeans and develop commercialisable applications. Beyond his deep expertise and experience, his skilful and sensitive diplomacy have made him a vital bridge between the basic and clinical research communities. Over the years, Ed has been generous in sharing information and contacts which have been of great value to Singapore. I can think of no more fitting a recipient than Ed.”
10 President S R Nathan will present the Award to Professor Edward Holmes at a ceremony held at the Istana (4 April 2011). Previous Honorary Citizens include Nobel Prize recipient Dr Sydney Brenner, Siemens AG Chairman of its Supervisory Board Dr Heinrich von Pierer, Tan Sri Frank Tsao Wen-King of IMC Group, Tata Chairman Mr Ratan Tata and Mr Jeroen Van Der Veer, retired Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell plc.
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