Friends and colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen
A very good morning to all of you.
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the second A*STAR’s Aerospace Technology Leadership Forum.
I am happy to see how this Forum has grown compared to 2 years ago and I thank all of you for your support, especially those who have made a special effort to fly in from overseas to be here today.
Let me also thank the speakers in the two panels today and I believe all of us will benefit from their insights during their presentations and panel discussions.
Aerospace Industry Landscape
The aerospace industry will continue to be a high-growth market despite current uncertainties affecting the global economy and much of this growth will come from the emerging economies.
For the commercial aerospace sector
, the forecast for revenue growth is around 20%, with projected deliveries of over 1,100 commercial aircraft.
In the Asia-Pacific region, China and India are the main growth markets while ASEAN countries like Vietnam and Indonesia are also expected to see fast growth.
It has been projected that this region will remain the largest contributor to the industry’s profit
Singapore as a Major Hub for the Aerospace Industry
Singapore, as a business and innovation hub in the centre of the Asia-Pacific region, is well-poised to support the growth of aerospace activities in the region and beyond.
In fact, Singapore has been a leading player in Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) for the Asia-Pacific, accounting for about a quarter of the market share.
The importance of the MRO sector is one of the reasons why Singapore chose to invest in developing the Seletar Aerospace Park (SAP).
This is an area that spans 320ha and is intended to host activities in MRO, manufacturing and assembly of engines as well as business and general aviation
The SAP adds to the infrastructural commitments that Singapore has made to reinforce our position as a major aerospace hub.
Since its development in 2007, the park has attracted strong industry interests.
Some of the companies that have set up facilities at the park include Rolls-Royce, ST Aerospace, Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company and Eurocopter3.
Besides MRO activities, Singapore is also growing its aerospace manufacturing. Singapore’s strong manufacturing base and skilled manpower provide the industry with the right conditions to locate their manufacturing activities here.
Rolls-Royce has set up its engine fan blade manufacturing facility at the Seletar Aerospace Park for the A380 and B787 engines, while GE Aviation has started producing high-technology engine components at its facility in Singapore
, besides undertaking engine components repair.
In fact, the Rolls-Royce Campus at Seletar will be officially opened by the Prime Minister this very afternoon.
Singapore’s Commitment to Research and Innovation
Singapore’s strength in science and technology and our commitment to R&D also provides the aerospace industry with a strong public sector research capabilities which companies can leverage upon as they build up their own research and innovation activities here.
EADS and Rolls-Royce, for example, have established their research and technology centres in Singapore.
This commitment to sustain and grow our R&D capabilities remain despite the global uncertainties.
Singapore is now in its fifth 5-year S&T Plan or what we call the Research, Innovation and Enterprise or RIE 2015 Plan which covers the period from FY 2011 to 2015.
The Singapore Government has committed S$16.1B to RIE 2015 which is equivalent to setting aside 1% of our GDP for public sector research.
This is a 20% increase from the 2006-2010 funding cycle and reaffirms R&D as a critical pillar of Singapore’s economic strategy.
A*STAR as a Partner for Aerospace Industry
In RIE 2015, “Enterprise” is a key focus of A*STAR’s science and technology plan.
As A*STAR develops and builds on our strength of advancing world-class scientific research, we believe that partnership with the industries is vital to our mission of delivering economic impact from the government’s investment in the Agency.
At A*STAR, we have a conducive research environment with a comprehensive suite of world class facilities and a rich diversity of research talent.
More importantly, through strong and aligned leadership by the scientific community, we are able to organise our research efforts to derive the greatest synergies from our spectrum of research capabilities to realise the innovations required to tackle the challenges of the industry.
A*STAR Aerospace Programme
A*STAR’s dedicated platform for partnering the aerospace industry has been the A*STAR Aerospace Programme which was launched in 2007.
From the four founding members, Boeing, EADS, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce, at the start of the Programme, we have since grown to a group of 18 members.
By bringing together MNCs and the local enterprises in a consortium, A*STAR has also facilitated the creation of an aerospace cluster and value-chain.
We have a good representation from aircraft manufacturers to propulsion leaders as well as aftermarket specialists, presenting a good profile of the value chain of the aerospace cluster.
Since the inauguration in 2007, A*STAR has executed more than 30 projects for our partners in the Aerospace Programme.
We started with just four projects at the Programme’s inception.
The launch of the fifth Programme Cycle this year has brought the total number of projects sponsored over the five years to 37.
As a testimony to the value of the research executed in the consortium, our industry partners have progressed the cooperation with our research institutes from the pre-competitive framework in the Aerospace Programme to bilateral collaborations where we were able to deliver solutions to meet their specific requirements.
For instance, the Institute for Infocomm Research or I2R had been working with Boeing since 2008.
In one project, I2R assisted the Boeing Network Enabled Manufacturing (NEM) team to apply the Sensor Infrastructure & Data (SID) platform successfully to 777 Airplanes production as part of an Intelligent Factory Alert System.
This system enables the mechanics to summon help from Ship Side Support teams at the instance they need it thereby eliminating unnecessary delay in contacting and searching for support personnel.
The system also incorporates various metrics and scorecard on response time, frequency and type of occurrences and other data to provide for continual system improvement.
A second example is a project launched in 2010 between the Institute for Chemical Engineering and Sciences or ICES and EADS.
The project is to investigate the conversion of algae oil to kerosene for jet fuel.
EADS, as a systems architect of airplanes, has an interest to foster research on biofuels, even though they are not directly involved in the energy business.
The collaboration with ICES contributes to EADS’s efforts in this area.
A third example is the collaboration between SIMTech and Rolls-Royce in manufacturing process automation and reliability to complement its own domain knowledge.
The research partnership has now been extended to manufacturing process development for the aerospace and marine sectors.
Since 2009, when SIMTech and Rolls-Royce set up a Surface Finishing Lab, they have further collaborated on over 75 projects.
There are many more examples but these three examples suffice to illustrate the win-win collaborations between our research institutes and the industry partners through both the Aerospace Programme and also the specific bilateral arrangements.
A*STAR looks forward to developing more such fruitful partnerships with all of you in the future.
To conclude, let me once again thank all of you for participating in this Forum. Through this Forum, I hope we can identify even more opportunities for A*STAR, our universities, other public research entities and the industry to develop even more meaningful partnerships and collaborations.
On our part, despite the uncertain times, we will continue to invest steadily in building up our capabilities and we welcome you to fully leverage on these investments.
With that, let me wish all of you a successful Forum ahead and a good week at the Airshow.
Thank you very much.