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Press Briefing by Mr Philip Yeo, Chairman, NSTB

Briefing Notes


  • NSTB was established in January 1991

  • Primary mission was to raise the level of science and technology in Singapore

  • Implemented two 5-year plans : the National Technology Plan (S$2 billion, from 1991 to 1995) and the National Science & Technology Plan (S$4 billion, from 1996 to 2000)

NSTB's Mission

  • To develop and nurture human capital in scientific and engineering research.  We will accomplish this through collaboration with tertiary institutions in Singapore and abroad.

NSTB's New Focus

  • NSTB will focus on the development, nurturing and deployment of research and development manpower. We will build up post-doc, doctoral and other postgraduate manpower in selected areas of science and technology for the economy.

  • NSTB will strengthen linkages between the universities and the research institutes and centres (RI/Cs). Postgraduate students as well as post-docs in the universities can work on research projects in the RI/Cs. NSTB will also encourage more joint appointments of university professors and researchers in the RI/Cs.

  • NSTB will work with research institutes closely to ensure that trained research manpower and IPR are transferred to industry. This will enable Singapore to strengthen existing industries and develop new industries such as the biomedical sciences.

NSTB's New Structure

  • NSTB will be re-organised into 2 research councils, namely the Biomedical Research Council (BMRC) and the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) supported by a Policy and Administration Division. New Organisation Chart is attached as Annex.

  • The research councils will co-ordinate and manage public sector R&D from fundamental to applied research and across RICs and universities.

  • With the research councils, we now have a rigorous system of evaluating research proposals and to identify research priorities and needs.

  • The Councils will have closer management supervision of the research institutes and centres.  NSTB to Manage Directly about S$5 Billion of S&T 2005 Government


  • NSTB will implement the S&T 2005 plan [announced in October, 2000 by Minister (Trade and Industry)] with a budget of S$7 billion over the next 5 years.

  • About S$5 billion will be managed directly by NSTB to fund public research and postgraduate research manpower development; about S$2 billion will be sub-allocated by NSTB to EDB to support industrial R&D in companies through grants. NSTB will continue to provide the overall view of R&D expenditure at the national level, in both public and private sectors.

How will NSTB and EDB Work Together?

  • NSTB will focus on working with research institutes, universities, hospitals to develop research human capital and fund public research.

  • EDB will focus on companies to support R&D and innovation projects, and to fund new start-ups.

  • Research institutes will supply trained R&D manpower for industry. NSTB will allocate part of the S$7 billion budget to EDB to fund R&D projects in companies.

  • The overall goal is to achieve economic gains for Singapore.

Introduction of NSTB's Senior Management

  • Prof Hang Chang Chieh
    Executive Deputy Chairman, NSTB and Executive Director, Science & Engineering Research Council
    (Former Deputy Vice Chancellor, NUS)

  • Professor Louis Lim
    Executive Director, Biomedical Research Council
    (Former Professor, from the University of London)

  • Mr Koh How Eng
    Director, Policy and Administration Division
    (Concurrently the Director of Industry, Ministry of Trade & Industry)

  • Professor Andrew Nee
    Deputy Executive Director, Science & Engineering Research Council
    (Formerly, the Dean of Engineering, NUS)

  • Assoc. Professor Kong Hwai Loong
    Deputy Executive Director, Biomedical Research Council
    (Joining us on 1st March. Currently, Director of Singapore Genomics Program)
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