Posted: April 1, 2010

Nature ranks A*STAR 7th in Asia-Pacific for research publications

(Nanowerk News) The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is the seventh most prolific agency in the Asia-Pacific region, in terms of the total number of research papers published in the prestigious Nature Publishing Group’s portfolio of Nature-branded journals in 2009, according to the Nature Asia-Pacific Publishing Index. The Index, which tracks annual research output published from 13 countries and 429 institutions in Asia-Pacific, placed A*STAR ahead of top universities in China and Australia, including Tsinghua University, Peking University, Australian National University and University of Queensland. Topping the list by institution ranking was Japan’s University of Tokyo.
Publications from A*STAR reflected the wide spectrum of deep capabilities in A*STAR research institutes, such as chemistry, bioinformatics, cancer research, genomics and genetics, signal transduction pathways, stem cell research, materials engineering and nanotechnology. In the past 12 months, A*STAR scientists published a total of 19 papers in eight Nature-branded journals, which included Nature, Nature Cell Biology, Nature Chemistry, Nature Genetics, Nature Materials, Nature Methods, Nature Nanotechnology and Nature Reviews Cancer.
Mr Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman of A*STAR, said, “These data are indicators of the strong growth in output of top quality basic scientific research from Singapore and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. They reflect the high standards of scientific research upheld by A*STAR comprising world class scientists, excellent research infrastructure and world class research. With continued focus and sustained efforts by A*STAR and other public sector research institutes and local universities, we are confident that Singapore can become a key global R&D hub in Asia.”
The Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) was one of A*STAR’s most prolific research institutes published in Nature in the past 12 months2. Commented IBN Executive Director, Professor Jackie Y. Ying, “Here in Singapore, we are very fortunate to have a great deal of flexibility with research resources from A*STAR. Unlike in many institutions, we do not have to devote an enormous amount of time on looking for funding or writing proposals. This enables us to focus our energy towards conducting the research itself. Our priority is to think strategically to pursue research that would lead to significant and lasting impacts on society. At IBN, we distinguish ourselves by creating innovative platforms at the interface of science, engineering and medicine. We aim to not only publish well, but also to have commercial success with our new technologies.”
By country rankings, Singapore came in fifth overall, out-performing India (sixth) and New Zealand (seventh). The total number of papers published3 in Nature journals by Singapore’s scientists in 2009 saw more than a 12-fold increase from only two articles published in 1998. Heading the 2009 list of countries was Japan, followed by China, Australia and Korea.
The Nature Asia-Pacific Publishing Index, which tracks research output published from countries and institutions in Asia-Pacific (including India and Australasia), is updated weekly by downloading a 12-month window of data from, the online platform for Nature journals, and offers insight and analysis into the performance of these nations and territories.
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 nine consortia & centres, 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.
Source: A*STAR