New centre launched to help Singapore firms research and develop product materials

A new centre was launched on Tuesday to focus on the research and development of materials that can benefit local businesses.

The $7 million Materials Centre of Innovation aims to help 450 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) over the next three years.

Researchers at the centre can assist SMEs in creating new products for sale, offering alternative solutions, or customising materials to suit different functions.

The centre has been operational since September last year and is located at A*Star's Institute of Material Research and Engineering (IMRE).

It has ongoing projects with several businesses including pipe cleaning company HVS Engineering. HVS Engineering is using the centre's help to improve the heat and shock resistance of its products so it can expand into the oil and gas industry.

Mr Alex Chow, the managing director of HVS Engineering, said: "We were not able to source for the right materials or engage in the necessary research and development required for the job.

"With the knowledge gained from A*Star IMRE's researchers and support from Spring Singapore's innovation and capability voucher, we were able to find a solution within a month."

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck, who launched the centre on Tuesday, said SMEs can approach the centre's researchers for projects involving materials design, analysis and detection.

"By making advanced materials technology easily available to SMEs, the centre is expected to benefit a wide variety of SMEs across different industries," he added.

This is the seventh centre of innovation set up by Spring Singapore and its partners.

The other centres provide assistance to businesses in supply chain management, food innovation and resource, and electronics, among others.

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