Ex-EDB executive vice-president named National Research Foundation chief

Mr Beh Kian Teik (left), who is currently NRF's deputy CEO, will be taking over from Professor Low Teck Seng. PHOTOS: NATIONAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION

SINGAPORE - The former executive vice-president of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), Mr Beh Kian Teik, will be appointed as chief executive officer (CEO) of the National Research Foundation (NRF) from Aug 6.

Mr Beh, 49, who is currently NRF's deputy CEO, will be taking over from Professor Low Teck Seng.

Announcing this on Monday (July 25), the NRF said that as deputy CEO since July 1, 2020, Mr Beh has been responsible for reviewing, developing and implementing the national research, innovation and enterprise (RIE) strategies and governance frameworks, and growing and sustaining a vibrant RIE ecosystem here.

Prior to joining the NRF, in his previous role in EDB, he oversaw EDB New Ventures, and worked closely with entrepreneurs to create early stage ventures in Singapore.

He was also responsible for EDB's activities in innovation and industry incubation and led efforts to foster industry-science linkages.

In 2010, he was also the founding director of the Singapore Biomedical Sciences Industry Partnership Office, where he worked with scientists and industry partners in research and development projects requiring the capabilities of multiple Singapore agencies in basic sciences and clinical research.

Prof Low, 66, will be returning to the National University of Singapore, where he was previously dean of the Faculty of Engineering, as senior vice-president of sustainability and resilience from Aug 8.

He will also be taking on the role of adviser to NRF, where he will continue to provide guidance on issues relating to science, technology and research.

Thanking Prof Low, Ms Chan Lai Fung, permanent secretary for national research and development, said he made many contributions at the NRF, including driving the development and implementation of three national RIE plans.

"As CEO, he has strengthened the agency's scientific oversight and programme management, policy coordination, as well as funding and grant governance capabilities," she added.

The NRF said Prof Low is well respected in the scientific research fraternity, having demonstrated leadership in both academia and research management.

"Since he joined NRF in July 2012, he has moved many strategic initiatives and gained much traction to drive Singapore's RIE agenda," it added.

The NRF noted that Prof Low steered the development of many national strategies for science and technology initiatives such as the future of microelectronics, national quantum strategy and synthetic biology programme.

He supported the set-up of more than 10 technology consortia, including the Singapore Cybersecurity Consortium, the Singapore Membrane Consortium and the Cooling Energy Science and Technology Singapore Consortium.

The NRF said: "Prof Low's leadership, as well as strong networks with industry leaders in many sectors in Singapore, has enabled NRF to leverage these networks to drive national RIE efforts... NRF thanks Prof Low for his very significant contributions to the agency over the last 10 years."

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