Posted: January 18, 2010

France and Singapore to jointly develop nanotechnology and information communication science technologies

(Nanowerk News) Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the French National Research Agency – ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche) on Friday announced the first bilateral Joint Call for Proposals (JCP) in the areas of Nanotechnology and Information Communication Science & Technologies.
This joint activity is facilitated by the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Ms. Yena Lim, Managing Director of A*STAR, and Ms. Jacqueline Lecourtier, General Director of ANR to foster French-Singapore collaboration in scientific research.
The MOU will provide the opportunity for scientists from France and Singapore to jointly develop technologies of mutual interests through three annual calls, and to participate in joint seminars and symposia to share the latest scientific information and materials. Under the auspices of the MOU, the Joint Funding Scheme will provide funding for up to three projects per grant call, and projects can last up to three years.
ANR and A*STAR will each contribute up to €500K (S$1M) per grant call. Research teams from public research organisations from France, and research teams from public research institutes from Singapore are eligible to jointly apply for this grant.
French Ambassador to Singapore HE Olivier Caron states, “Scientific cooperation between France and Singapore has started long ago with renowned joint labs established in both our countries. The agreement between two state-of- the-art and successful institutions for funding research is a major milestone in building higher and higher a sustainable R&D cooperation between our two countries.”
Said General Director from ANR, Ms Jacqueline Lecourtier: “The partnership with A*STAR adds to the bilateral cooperations of ANR with international research funding agencies and meets the objective to extend the ANR’s collaborations outside Europe.
The signature of such an agreement is also an opportunity to reinforce the relationships between France and Singapore, a country with a strong scientific and technological potential, on topics of common interest that are key for the research development: nanotechnologies, information communication science & technologies and biomedical sciences.”
Said Managing Director, A*STAR, Ms Yena Lim, “This MOU will pave the way for greater scientific and technological exchanges between Singapore and France. It will foster stronger links between the research communities in both countries, promote excellence in science, and create deep-lasting impact in our societies through ground-breaking research in science and technology.”
The MOU builds on the healthy scientific interactions between Singapore and France since the 1990s, in particular two initiatives with A*STAR involvement.
The Image & Pervasive Access Lab was set up in 1998 as a special overseas French National Scientific Research Center (CNRS) laboratory to manage collaborative research projects among CNRS, School of Computing (SoC) of the National University of Singapore (NUS), Joseph Fourier University (France) and the Institute for Infocomm Research (I²R) of A*STAR.
The Lab aims to bring sustainable benefits to both French and Singaporean Infocomm, Media and Engineering research communities. To date, researchers from IPAL have published more than 25 papers and presented their findings at more than 120 international conferences and workshops.
A*STAR is also involved with the Merlion programme that was launched in 2005. The Merlion programme is an initiative administered by the French Embassy in Singapore that provides support for joint scientific & technological projects and related PhD studies between Singapore and France. 68 projects and eight PhD candidates have been selected for support in the four Calls that have been held since.
To develop science cooperation programmes between France and Singapore, the French Embassy in Singapore also supports the attachment of two liaison officers at A*STAR research institutes, one at I2R and another at the Singapore Immunology Network (SigN).
About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is the lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and talent for a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation-driven Singapore. A*STAR oversees 14 biomedical sciences, and physical sciences and engineering research institutes, and seven consortia & centre, which are located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis, as well as their immediate vicinity.
A*STAR supports Singapore’s key economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. It also supports extramural research in the universities, hospitals, research centres, and with other local and international partners.
About the French National Research Agency (ANR)
The French National Research Agency- ANR- was created in 2005 to enhance channelling of funds to project-based research.
The agency reaches out to both public and private research bodies within the framework of a mission that has two primary objectives:
  • to strengthen the development of knowledge through high-level projects in all research areas;
  • to encourage both knowledge transfer and foster interaction between public and private laboratories through the development of public-private partnerships.
  • The ANR funding is based on a call for proposals procedure and an independent peer review selection process open to foreign experts, which guarantees the excellence of the selected projects.
    Key figures
    2008 budget: € 839 M
    5856 proposals are submitted for funding in all areas of science among which 1334 are funded for a 3-year duration. In 2008, 8% of funded projects were co-funded with international funding agencies.
    Applying to the first A*STAR-ANR Joint Call for Proposals
    For more information about applying to the above grant, please access the following links:
    Singapore-based researchers:
    France-based researchers:
    Source: A*STAR