Press Office


New R&D centres in Singapore


Newcastle University has announced plans to build on its legacy of pioneering research and development in Singapore with the creation of strategic Centres of Excellence.

At a launch event hosted by the British High Commission, Newcastle University International Singapore (NUIS) also revealed its intention to use the Centres to build talent and deepen its industry partnerships with leading companies such as Keppel and GlaxoSmithKline.

Keppel CEO Mr Choo Chiau Beng said at the launch, “After just a few years of being in Singapore, Newcastle University has demonstrated the extraordinary things possible when academia and industry are synergised. Its ground-breaking research has driven innovation and technological development, earning Newcastle a fine reputation amongst leading industry players in Singapore. In terms of education and training, students of the Keppel-MaritimeONE scholarship programme have benefited immensely from Newcastle’s first-rate degrees. I congratulate Newcastle on its plans to expand its presence through the launch of Centres of Excellence and I look forward to its future collaboration with Keppel.”

Since its establishment in 2009, NUIS has undertaken ground-breaking industrial research and provided Singapore with knowledgeable human capital in partnership with Singapore’s Economic Development Board and Workplace Development Agency. From marine engineering to computing and food manufacturing, NUIS has also established strong research partnerships in Singapore. It has worked with industry leaders such Danone, SMD, Singapore Maritime Institute, Nestle, Singapore Heart Foundation and ST Electronics. NUIS also undertakes high-calibre research with polytechnics and institutes including Nanyang Technological University and A*Star. NUIS secured SGD4 million funding in the last 12 months alone for the activities of its 34 academic staff in Singapore.

Following the launch event, NUIS will be seeking the right partnerships to help Singapore reach its economic and technological aspirations through translational research and human talent. The new Centres, the number of which will be finalised in the near future, will be based on Newcastle University’s research strengths, many of which are advantageously aligned with Singapore’s strategic challenges and industrial ambitions in the areas of science, health, computing, maritime and engineering.

The Dean of NUIS Professor Eshan Mesbahi said: “Singapore is turning itself into a regional hub for global advancement of science and engineering, and Newcastle has been at the heart of this through partnerships with leading local companies and research institutions. By establishing these Centres of Excellence, Newcastle University is solidifying its model of bridging the gap between academia, industry and government to help create a backbone of talent for Singapore’s future.”

In addition to research, NUIS works in close partnership with Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) to deliver 7 science and engineering degree programmes in which over 600 students are enrolled. NUIS has produced almost 350 marine technologists alone since 2009. NUIS has also announced intentions to develop research scholarship schemes to enhance its scholarly activities and to increase its talent offering to Singapore industry. NUIS has offered 25 PhD scholarships to all polytechnic and SIT staff, out of which 11 have already started their research work with supervisors based in Singapore and Newcastle.

Subject areas for these scholarships and the research of NUIS Centres of Excellence will likely include: Advanced Materials and Chemical Processes; Ageing, Nutrition and Health; Bio-fouling and Marine Technologies; Business and Logistics; Cloud Computing; Cancer, Genetics and Stem Cells; Electrical Power Systems; Smart Power Grids; Molecular and Cell Biology; Neurorehabilitation; Neuroscience and Nanotechnology; Transport infrastructure and Railway Research; Water Treatment and Purification.

Newcastle University has had strong ties to Singapore for many decades before 2009, mainly in the education and training of the country’s brightest minds. Many of Singapore’s Newcastle University alumni from the UK have gone on to become leaders in the public and private sectors.

published on: 7 November 2013