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According to the Economic Development Board (EDB), the chemicals and chemical products sector contributed S$56 billion of the manufacturing output in 2014, a significant rise from S$50 billion in 2013. Global megatrends, such as urbanisation, ageing population, sustainability and the rise of Asia, implore the need to explore new applications and materials, ensure energy savings and cost optimisation in processes, and shift focus to provide products and services to the Asian Market. Also, as one of the world’s leading energy and chemical industry hubs, Singapore will continue to move up the chemicals value chain – from refining, to petrochemicals and now to specialty chemicals. The Asian specialty chemicals market is expected to reach S$360 billion by 2015. 

 

1. Personal Care Programme

The Personal Care Programme targets to build core capabilities and to develop platform technologies to support product centric innovations in personal care in the areas of encapsulation and delivery, polymers and surfactants, natural product chemistry and modelling and simulation, to support collaboration with industry. The work also complements research in upstream skin biology at BMRC.

 

2. Nanoimprint Foundry

A*STAR’s Nanoimprint Foundry aims to bridge the current gap between the laboratory and the manufacturing floor and to drive widespread and real-world use of nanoimprint, the proposed A*STAR provide a one-stop center by developing nanoimprint solutions by assisting partners in:

  • Conception and Design of New Products;
  • Development of Large Area Processes;
  • Prototyping, Batch Processing and Pilot Production; and
  • Development of solutions to technical obstacles in the value chain

To enable the production of end user applications, the A*STAR Nanoimprint Foundry has partnered equipment makers, mold makers and materials suppliers: these are collectively known as value chain companies.

 

3. Controlled Release and Encapsulation Technologies

CoreNet is a new initiative to bring together companies and scientific professionals with a common interest in by providing a networking platform for technological advancement and to seed opportunities for research cooperation.

At present, there are 7 member companies. Besides ICES,  other institutes involved are currently NUS, NTU and IMRE, with the potential to expand to other institutes such as IBN.

CoreNet organizes seminars, roundtable discussions and offers dedicated training in the area of encapsulation and controlled release.

  • IMRE

A*STAR's Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) is a research institute with a unique combination of R&D capabilities, commercial partnerships and strategic alliances. IMRE’s rich pool of research activities are organised under five thrusts, namely, Ceramic Materials, Metallic Materials, Molecular Materials, Polymeric Materials, and Materials Processing & Characterisation.

  • ICES

Established in 2002, the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES) has set-up the laboratories, pilot facilities, and the necessary infrastructure to carry out a world class research programme in chemistry and chemical engineering sciences. ICES has the capabilities to cover the range of activities from exploratory research to process development, optimisation and problem solving.

Procter & Gamble

Procter & Gamble (P&G) and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) entered into a strategic partnership to jumpstart P&G’s innovation expansion in Singapore and strengthen P&G’s R&D presence in Singapore. The company signed a Master Research Collaboration Agreement (MRCA) with A*STAR in 2013 to span five years’ of research partnerships with Singapore’s vast network of over 25 research institutes, medical institutions and the academe.

LION

LION Corporation, one of Japan’s largest multinational companies will be working with A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) to develop safer, anti-odour and anti-bacteria household products that eliminate the use of harmful biocides. The company signed a Research Collaboration Agreement (RCA) with IMRE to develop this technology. This agreement is the first of its kind for LION in Singapore. 

“LION has been promoting its international operations with a focus on Asia, and we have been keeping our eye on Singapore as a regional R&D hub. A*STAR’s IMRE, a research institute with first-rate polymer technologies, has a good reputation and has collaborated with a variety of companies around the world. Therefore, LION is confident that this research collaboration with IMRE will lead to an enhancement of LION’s own technological capabilities and development of innovative products.”

Dr Toshio Kakui, Director and Executive Officer of LION Corporation