According to the Economic Development Board (EDB), the chemicals and chemical products sector contributed S$78 billion of the manufacturing output in 2015, a significant rise from S$56 billion in 2014. 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.
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 global specialty chemicals market was valued at $828.9 billion in 2015, and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5% during 2016 - 2022. In 2015, Asia-Pacific held the largest share (39.7%) in the global specialty chemicals market with a market size of $340.4 billion. The specialty chemicals market in the region is anticipated to witness the highest growth at a CAGR of 7.2% during the forecast period.
1. 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.
2. 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. More information on CoreNet.
EXAMPLES OF INDUSTRY COLLABORATION
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 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
Market reports have indicated that the global cumulative smart grid market is expected to surpass $400 billion worldwide by 2020, with an average compound annual growth rate of over eight per cent. Within this market, Southeast Asian countries are expected to invest $13.6 billion in smart grid infrastructure between 2014 and 2024. According to Frost and Sullivan, Singapore possesses advanced SCADA systems to detect electricity supply disruptions automatically at transmission and distribution level whenever they occur. This makes the nation an ideal location to leverage new technologies to bring the capabilities of its power grid to the next level, in which A*STAR needs to play a role.
SINGAPORE BATTERY CONSORTIUM
Battery technologies are key to global advancements toward improving connectivity, mobility and sustainability as the significant energy densities of rechargeable batteries first enabled portability and now allow the integration of renewable energy into a nation’s electricity grid. With increasing global momentum for decarbonisation, this presents economic opportunities for companies in Singapore who commit to sustained investments in R&D.
The Singapore Battery Consortium brings together industry, academia and the public sector to collaborate and exchange ideas to advance battery technologies in Singapore. The consortium will focus on battery materials synthesis, cell and module production, battery management systems, and battery recycling.