Getting more bang for the R&D buck

Singapore’s considerable investment in research has brought many tangible benefits, with recent applications such as locally developed Covid-19 test kits and new artificial intelligence programmes. The challenge now is to extract even greater value

Professor Wang Linfa of Duke-NUS Medical School with a Covid-19 test kit – cPass – invented by a team he led. PHOTO: DUKE-NUS MEDICAL SCHOOL
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Singapore has built up a strong research and development (R&D) base, thanks to sustained investment over many years. A total of $25 billion will be committed to research, innovation and enterprise (RIE) under the Government's latest five-year plan, or RIE2025, from this year to 2025.

The benefits derived from R&D have also been substantial, such as in the national effort to combat Covid-19. The scaling up of Covid-19 testing capability here owes much to locally developed test kits. Diagnostic innovations from Singapore laboratories were quickly translated into clinically validated, mass-manufactured test kits through close collaboration between research institutions, healthcare providers and local medical technology manufacturers.

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