Singapore, South Korea agree on closer collaboration in biomed and med tech fields

(From left) Korea Health Industry Development Institute president Ko Kyung Hwa, Korean Health & Welfare Minister Moon Hyung Pyo, Senior Minister of State for Trade & Industry Lee Yi Shyan and Agency of Science, Technology and Research managin
(From left) Korea Health Industry Development Institute president Ko Kyung Hwa, Korean Health & Welfare Minister Moon Hyung Pyo, Senior Minister of State for Trade & Industry Lee Yi Shyan and Agency of Science, Technology and Research managing director Raj Thampuran at the signing of a memorandum of understanding in Seoul on Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013. -- PHOTO: A*STAR 

Two agencies in Singapore and South Korea have inked a pact to cooperate more closely in science and technology.

The memorandum of understanding, signed by Singapore's Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) and the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) in Seoul on Wednesday, aims to spur research and development in biomedical science and medical technology, said A*Star in a statement.

It also hopes to promote talent exchange and development and facilitate the commercialisation of joint projects between the two countries.

A US$5 million (S$6.2 million) research fund has also been set up as part of the partnership. The first grant call for the A*Star-KHIDI Joint Research Fund will take place next year, A*Star said.

There are also plans for KHIDI to set up a Biomedical Sciences Development Centre in Singapore, as well as to establish student exchange programmes between A*Star and South Korea's Dongguk University.

The signing of the agreement was witnessed by Senior Minister of State for Trade & Industry Lee Yi Shyan and Korean Health & Welfare Minister Moon Hyung-Pyo. Mr Lee is in South Korea with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is making an official visit to the country this week.