Australia, Singapore commit to further scientific collaboration

(Nanowerk News) Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote exchange between the two countries in the areas of health and medical research.
Under the MOU, A*STAR and NHMRC will commit a total of SGD$4.5m to a joint grant call over the next three years. The grant will fund collaborative research projects between groups in Singapore and Australia, in areas such as emerging infectious diseases, regenerative medicine, non-communicable diseases, bioinformatics and nanotechnology.
A*STAR and NHMRC will co-organise scientific symposia to help establish research collaborations across Singapore and Australia. The symposia will provide a platform for researchers from both countries to share their latest research and to network with each other. The first symposium is scheduled to take place in Australia in 2012.
A*STAR Chairman, Mr Lim Chuan Poh, commented, "This agreement with NHMRC is a reflection of our growing scientific relations with Australian institutions in recent years. A*STAR and NHMRC share a common vision to drive cutting-edge scientific research, geared for producing discoveries and innovations that will benefit our citizens and society at large. I am confident that we will build on this to forge even more meaningful and impactful collaborations."
Professor Warwick Anderson, CEO of Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council said, "Formalising this agreement with A*STAR will open up new opportunities for Australian and Singaporean researchers to work together to tackle some of the significant health issue in our region. Through these international collaborations we will be better placed to bring together the best international research to fight health challenges today and into the future."
In addition, under the MOU, A*STAR and NHMRC will facilitate research exchanges for postdoctoral fellows between institutes in Singapore and Australia. This will allow the exchange of scientific data, as well as provide scientists with exposure and training in new research techniques.
Singapore's past engagements with Australian scientific institutions include an MOU with the Australian Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) in 2009, and two symposia co-organised with the Australian Academy of Sciences (AAS), in Energy and Stem Cells. The MOU with DIISR has produced collaborations involving researchers from multiple Singapore institutes, including A*STAR's Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) and Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC), Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, and National Heart Centre Singapore.
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 six consortia & centres, 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.
For more information on A*STAR, please visit
About the National Health and Medical Research Council
The National Health and Medical Research Council is the Australian Government's lead body for funding health and medical reseach. In 2010-11 the NHMRC , funded over AUD$700million of research in universities, health and medical research institutes and hospitals in Australia and through international collaborations.
Source: A*STAR