1. A*STAR’s biomedical scientists and researchers will come on board the GET-Up Programme to boost the capabilities of small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) in the biomedical sector. They will bring with them valuable expertise in areas like drug discovery, bioengineering and bioinformatics which, in tandem with the spectrum of science and engineering capabilities already on offer, will provide more holistic R&D support for local SMEs. The announcement was made by Mr S Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry, at A*STAR’s GET-Up Event today.
2. The expansion of the GET-Up Programme will see more than 600 biomedical research scientists from A*STAR biomedical research institutes eligible for secondment to SMEs under a scheme that has been dubbed ‘T-Up’.
3. The first biomedical researcher to be seconded under T-Up this year, Dr Emilie Bard-Chapeau, Assistant Principal Investigator from A*STAR’s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, will help Curiox Biosystems, an SME that develops and commercialises innovative assay platforms, optimize its technology for a range of new assays.
4. Said Mr Cheong Siah Chong, Executive Director, Curiox Biosystems: "I am excited to have Dr Emilie Bard, a top-notch biologist, at Curiox. Dr Emilie comes with vast experience and domain knowledge, which will address the technological gap Curiox is painfully facing today. Thanks to the T-Up programme available through A*STAR, a young company like Curiox can access high-level talent like Dr Bard.”
5. The GET-Up Programme is a whole-of-government effort involving A*STAR, the Economic Development Board, IE Singapore and SPRING Singapore that provides technological assistance to SMEs to enhance their competitiveness and improve their productivity. Since its launch in 2003, the GET-Up programme, which stands for Growing Enterprises through Technological Upgrade, has assisted over 370 companies to leverage research and innovation for growth.
6. Since the T-Up scheme’s launch, 361 researchers were seconded from A*STAR’s science and engineering research institutes and local polytechnics to over 200 SMEs, providing a broad range of R&D expertise in areas such as precision engineering, material sciences and infocomm sciences.
7. Said A*STAR Chairman, “The GET-Up Programme has contributed to growing local SMEs in the engineering, electronic, infocomm and chemical clusters. With the expansion of the T-Up scheme to include biomedical researchers from A*STAR, we can reach out to the increasing number of biomedical sciences start-ups and SMEs to provide R&D expertise that will enable them to develop new products and services, become more competitive, and contribute to Singapore’s growth.”
Researchers and Scientists Awarded for their Contributions to SMEs
8. The event also saw A*STAR researchers and scientists, formerly seconded under the T-Up scheme, recognised for their part in assisting local enterprises to grow through research and innovation. The four winners of the T-Up Excellence Award, namely Dr Alastair Trigg, Dr Chong Chin Soon, Ms Chan Lai Peng and Ms Ho Sook Yin, were nominated by the SMEs for their exceptional contributions to the company during their stint.
9. Dr Trigg from A*STAR’s Institute of Microelectronics helped SETSCO to expand its testing capabilities to include microelectronics failure analysis, enabling it to tap into a growth area which led to a 50% increase in relative revenue in this area of business. Dr Chong and Ms Chan from A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) helped a then fledging start-up, D-SIMLAB Technologies, design and develop its first working prototype software. They also used their optimisation and simulation capabilities to improve the software’s performance. Ms Ho Sook Yin, formerly from SIMTech, was seconded to Resin & Pigment (R&P). Through this T-Up project, R&P widened the range of materials and scope of services offered to their customers which has enabled the company to achieve more business growth in specialty compounding, and address more regional markets like those in China and India.
10. Dr. Peter Lendermann, CEO and Co-Founder, D-SIMLAB Technologies said, “The T-Up has been an excellent mechanism to carry over best R&D practises from the research lab to a commercial product development environment. Both Chong and Lai Peng have helped us maintain the momentum and bring our lab prototype much closer to commercial application”. More details of the T-Up Excellence Award Winners in Annex A.
AGENCY FOR SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND RESEARCH (A*STAR)
Annex A – T-Up Excellence Award Winners
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About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is the lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and talent for a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation-driven Singapore. A*STAR oversees 14 biomedical sciences and physical sciences and engineering research institutes, and six consortia & centres, located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis as well as their immediate vicinity.
A*STAR supports Singapore's key economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. It also supports extramural research in the universities, and with other local and international partners.
For more information about A*STAR, please visit www.a-star.edu.sg.