Singapore and China ink agreement on science, technology and innovation

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat meets China's Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang, who is on a four-day official visit to Singapore, on Dec 30, 2019. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - Singapore and China have renewed their commitment to work together on research relevant to both nations.

On Monday (Dec 30), Singapore'sNational Research Foundation (NRF) and China's Ministry of Science and Technology (Most) signed an implementation agreement on cooperation in science, technology and innovation.

The five-year agreement builds on the existing Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology, signed between both countriesin 1992.

Said NRF's chief executive officer, Professor Low Teck Seng: "This (new agreement) represents a renewed commitment between Singapore and China, to continue looking for opportunities to work together in areas of science and technology where there is mutual interest such as in sustainability and the environment, and urban sciences."

The NRF said that under the agreement, there will be a stronger focus on the translation of science and technology research and development through joint innovation and enterprise activities.

There will also be a renewed emphasis on science, technology and innovation cooperation in conjunction with broader cooperation projects between Singapore and China.

The agreement outlines new ways to build closer cooperation between both communities, such as through policy exchanges on the advancement of science, technology and innovation, interaction between scientists, and more opportunities to test technologies with the support of each other's government agencies, said the NRF.

The foundation added that these efforts would be built on existing collaborations between Singapore and China in science and technology.

Monday's agreement was signed by the NRF's deputy chief executive officer, Dr Cheong Wei Yang, and director-general for Most's Department of International Cooperation, Mr Ye Dongbai.

The signing took place on the sidelines of a meeting between Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who is also chairman of NRF, and China's Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Wang Zhigang.

Mr Wang, who is on a four-day official visit to Singapore, had called on Mr Heng to discuss science and technological developments, and reaffirm the joint commitment for closer ties between the two countries.

Singapore and China have a history of cooperation on science, technology and innovation matters.

The Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation was formed between the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) and Most in 1993, and the Joint Research Programme was launched in 1998.

Since then, A*Star and Most have co-funded 62 joint research projects on topics ranging across various scientific fields, such as smart city technologies, sustainable or new energy, and cancer sciences.

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