Cutting Edge Research in Biomedical Sciences and Physical Sciences Engineering

The Chemicals, Materials and GreenTech Cluster

  • Oversees the Institute of Chemicals & Engineering Sciences (ICES) and Institute of Materials Science and Engineering (IMRE);
  • Manages the Urban and GreenTech Programme (UGTO) in A*STAR; and
  • Scopes and coordinates programmes in the areas of chemicals, materials and greentech


Major Programmes in the Area of Chemicals


Specialty Chemicals

Specialty Chemicals are chemicals differentiated by performance specifications and sold in low volumes. The sector can be further split into market-directed and functional segments. Globally, the Specialty Chemicals sector is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.42%, reaching a market size of US$612 billion by 2025. Within this sector, Asia Pacific is expected to be the largest and fastest growing market, generating a CAGR of 6.35% and commanding 45% of the global market share by 2025. This is largely driven by the megatrends in Asia Pacific such as a growing population and rising middle class, and increasing urbanisation.

The prioritised Technology Focused Areas under the Programme are:

  • Chemical Synthesis of Molecular Switches;
  • Design & Synthesis of Polymer Structure;
  • Target Release & Delivery;
  • Intelligent Formulations;
  • Performance Modelling; and
  • Characterisation and Analysis
Oilfield and Chemicals Lab Programme

Oilfield Chemicals Laboratory Programme

The Oilfield Chemicals Laboratory seeks to close the gap between the synthetic and physical chemistry expertise for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) and the application knowledge that is required for testing oilfield chemical formulations on geological samples from oil fields in lab scale experiments. This research programme supports Singapore’s strategy to develop leadership in oilfield chemicals as this specialty chemicals sector gravitates towards the Eastern Hemisphere where new reserves of oil and natural gas are being developed in recent years. A*STAR seeks to develop capabilities in the design, synthesis, and formulation of surfactants, water soluble polymers and additives to enhance the recovery rate of oil from oilfields during the decline phase.

The opening of the oilfield chemicals lab took place in May 2016, and the lab now has fully developed capabilities in: Core flood experiments under reservoir conditions, polymer and surfactant flooding, advanced interfacial and rheological analysis, nano-EOR, paraffin wax deposition and inhibition studies, crude oil analysis and multiphase flow visualization.

Major Programmes in the Areas of Materials


Accelerated Materials Development for Manufacturing

The Accelerated Materials Development for Manufacturing (AMDM) programme aims to speed up the pace of materials innovation by utilizing machine learning and artificial intelligence with high performance computing and robotics/automation.The programme closes the materials innovation loop through linking the three pillars of discoveries: 1) Synthesis; 2) Process optimization and 3) Rapid characterisation and diagnosis. The programme is uniquely positioned to leveraged upon Singapore's infrastructure and expertise in high performance computing, autonomous research and machine learning.

The AMDM programme is currently focusing on five different fields of materials science:
Flow synthesis; 
Formulation and wet chemistry;
Thermal and thermoelectrics;
Integrated circuit defect detection; and
Soft magnetic materials and high entropy alloys.

Polymer Matrix Composites Programme (PMCP)

The PMCP strives to bring together and coordinate continuous carbon fibre reinforced polymer composites (CFRPs) related expertise across Singapore’s research ecosystem to cooperatively engage industry collaborators and partners. The aims of the programme are twofold: to build up our R&D capability in CFRPs, particularly thermoplastic CFRPs; and to nucleate and grow composite manufacturing activities in Singapore and the region, becoming a regional centre for research supporting the application of composites in ASEAN and global markets in the future.

Structural Metals And Alloys Programme (SMAP)

The SMAP has the key objective of developing a world class advanced metallurgy research capacity that covers the entire spectrum of structural alloy engineering within the scientific landscape of Singapore. The programme covers topics ranging from solidification processing of new alloys to secondary processing of them; conducting detailed studies of the effect of microstructure on mechanical as well as corrosion properties; surface engineering; and using such knowledge to design alloys that offer even higher performance not only in terms of strength and toughness, but also in terms of reduced densities and increased fatigue reliability.

Major Programmes in the Area of GreenTech