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Singapore PM Lee unveils SGD 19 bn R&D plan

Press Trust of India  |  Singapore 

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong today unveiled an ambitious USD 13.21 billion plan to support Singapore's research and development efforts over the next five years and secure the country's future through value creation.

The Research Innovation Enterprise 2020 Plan (RIE2020) seeks to support and translate research into solutions that address national challenges, build up innovation and technology adoption in companies, and drive economic growth through value creation.

The commitment of this plan at 19 billion dollars is 18 per cent more than Research Innovation Enterprise 2015 Plan's 16.1 billion dollars and is the biggest budget to date, according to local media reports.

Speaking at the launch of RIE2020, Lee said Research Innovation Enterprise will continue to be important to secure Singapore's future.

"It will contribute significantly to the economy and creates opportunities and jobs, supports national initiatives like Smart Nation, SkillsFuture, studies which we are doing under the Committee for the Future Economy, and it helps our workers to thrive amidst technological changes and globalisation," he said.

He added that it would improve healthcare for the population so seniors "live better and healthier lives" and transform the urban landscape for greater liveability and sustainability.

Lee also announced that the sixth five-year roadmap for research, innovation and enterprise will be more targeted in its funding approach, as the National Research Foundation (NRF) looks to capitalise on technology the country has a competitive advantage in, as well as build up capabilities in areas that are deemed to have a greater national need.

Elaborated the NRF, saying the latest roadmap is more selective and targeted in its support of R&D initiatives, even as it continues to find ways to capitalise from the latest advancements.

This is so as to focus efforts in areas where national need, economic opportunity and competitive capabilities intersect, as well as to create value from R&D investments, reported the Channel Asia from briefing by NRF, a department under the Prime Minister's Office that sets the national direction for R&D by developing policies, plans and strategies for research, innovation and enterprise.

The R&D will be in four primary technology domains: Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering; Health and Biomedical Sciences; Services and Digital Economy; and Urban Solutions and Sustainability.

The four domains seek to deepen the technological capabilities and competitiveness of Singapore's manufacturing and engineering sectors, advance human health and wellness, leverage the country's digital capabilities to raise productivity and meet national priorities, such as developing a reinforced cybersecurity infrastructure and system to fend off cyber threats.

First Published: Fri, January 08 2016. 17:13 IST