SINGAPORE - Eighty-six students were awarded Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) scholarships at a ceremony at Biopolis on Monday (July 10).
The A*Star scholarship programme, which was launched in 2001, is part of the Government's continuous effort to develop a steady pipeline of highly skilled scientific talent.
Under this programme, students can undergo scientific training at local and international universities. The scholarship is awarded for undergraduate, PhD and post-doctoral studies.
Last year (2016), 109 scholarships were awarded.
More than 700 students have completed their PhD or post-doctoral education under the scholarship programme.
During the ceremony on Monday, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong stressed that research and development (R&D) plays a key role in building a knowledge-driven and innovative economy.
He noted that last year, the Government announced a $19 billion Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE 2020) plan to support research, innovation and enterprise activities over the next five years.
Four areas that have been prioritised under the RIE 2020 plan are advanced manufacturing and engineering; health and biomedical sciences; urban solutions and sustainability; and services and digital economy.
These are areas where there are national needs, economic opportunities, as well as areas in which Singapore has developed capabilities, Mr Gan added.
He said: "The future of advanced manufacturing and engineering lies in the integration of various technology components into a highly efficient manufacturing process."
Mr Ganadded that human talent was the most important factor in the R&D landscape.
"It is therefore important that we continue to build a solid local talent base to drive science and innovation in Singapore to ensure our continued success," he said.