Message from the Chairman and CEO

A*STAR continued to contribute as a strategic innovation engine for Singapore in FY2021.

Long-term R&D investments have enabled A*STAR to play our part to address national needs and generate new opportunities for growth. Strong scientific fundamentals help to drive an innovation pipeline to enhance Singapore’s economy, society, and future.

One key initiative in FY2021 was repositioning the Institute of Sustainability for Chemicals, Energy and Environment to support Singapore’s sustainability goals, including the Singapore Green Plan and Zero Waste Masterplan.

To support Singapore’s “30 by 30” food security goal of producing 30 per cent of Singapore’s nutritional needs locally by 2030, A*STAR partnered Temasek Foundation to set up the Food Tech Innovation Centre as an ecosystem platform to help novel food start-ups accelerate their product and process development.

In the area of improving health outcomes, the Genome Institute of Singapore and the Bioinformatics Institute are contributing their genomics and bioinformatic capabilities to support Singapore’s population cohort study, SG100K. This study will pave the way for faster diagnosis and targeted treatments through precision medicine.

Strong public-private partnerships continue to be key enablers in translating our science into impact. We contribute meaningfully to the innovation journeys of our industry partners, to assist them to go from technology to component to product. For instance, focused efforts were made in 2021 to stand up the A*STAR SIMTech Innovation Factory (SIF), in partnership with Enterprise Singapore, to support local companies in product innovation and development. In just over a year, SIF has helped a number of companies launch products into the market.

Together with our public sector colleagues, we continued to work on solutions to address national challenges.

Taking COVID-19 as an example, we partnered DSO National Laboratories to develop RESOLUTE, a direct PCR diagnostic kit for COVID-19. We were also part of a multi-agency team led by MOH to scale up national PCR testing capabilities. The Stronghold Diagnostics Lab, in partnership with NUHS and Temasek, worked tirelessly together with other public and private labs, to support the national testing effort. Working with the Health Sciences Authority (HSA), we also developed and implemented a COVID-19 vaccine lot release testing platform to ensure safe use of vaccines in Singapore.

The dedicated efforts of our researchers and scientists, together with our public sector colleagues, were recognised via several awards at the COVID Public Sector Transformation Awards Ceremony 2021, and the annual Firefly Awards.

Ultimately, people are at the heart of what we do at A*STAR. We are proud of what our staff have achieved and continue to be inspired by their passion to pursue impactful science that will create growth and enhance lives for Singaporeans. A*STAR continues to nurture top talent for the local R&D ecosystem through its scholarship programme, which has built a pipeline of over 1,700 R&D talents for Singapore since 2001.

As the lead public sector R&D agency in Singapore, we will continue to build deep capabilities to impact Singapore, Singaporeans, and Science.