Mr Mike Idelchik,
Prof Low Teck Seng,
Mr David Utama,
Friends and Colleagues,
A very good afternoon to all of you.
Visited GE Global Research Centre last April at Niskayuna.
This was hosted by Michael Idelchik, VP Advanced Technologies, GRC and his colleague, Peter Serpentino, Head of Global R&D Life Sciences at GE Healthcare.
My delegation had a productive day and in the round up meeting with Michael and Peter, we agreed that there should be a follow up visit by GE to A*STAR to bring the discussion to a deeper level based on the identified areas of interest.
Last August, we also had a meeting with your Vice Chairman, John Rice, when he was in Singapore to attend the EDB IAC meeting.
We agreed that Singapore is well positioned to be Asia’s Innovation Capital under the Open Innovation Framework.
This was followed by a series of visits and meetings led by Tom Foo and Jonathan Murray over the last 4 months.
I am therefore very happy that all these efforts have now reached a meaningful milestone in the signing of this MOU between GE Global Research and A*STAR and I thank all those involved for your efforts in bringing this about.
GE, of course, is no stranger to Singapore and A*STAR.
You are already a member of the A*STAR Aerospace Program and acquainted with how we structure win-win public-private partnership.
You are also familiar with how we integrate our capabilities in a seamless way to work with our industry partners facilitated by a framework Master Research Collaboration Agreement.
And Michael has been a member of the NRF Scientific Advisory Board for 4-5 years and knows the commitment of the Singapore government towards R&D and how the R&D landscape has grown in Singapore over this period.
I am sure Mike will agree with me that the real test now is to go beyond this milestone event to develop a productive and sustainable relationship based on successful outcomes and results from the collaborations.
I should also mention to our friends and colleagues from GE that in a few days, the Chinese around the world will be welcoming the Year of the Dragon.
The Dragon, naturally, is the mightiest of all the Zodiac animals and associated with drive, risk-taking and success.
In Singapore, and I would not be surprised that this is so among the Chinese communities in other parts of the world, Dragon year is also when the birth rate shoots up.
In other words, Dragon Year is always a productive year.
So, we cannot have chosen a better moment to sign this agreement.