Research and Development efforts to drive Singapore’s economic growth have been boosted by the country’s government that has pledged a total of S$19billion (US13.18 billion.)
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the money would be directed towards research in Science and Technology in order to address national challenges and to develop the abilities of local businesses. Lee Hsien Loong is also the Chairman of the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council (RIEC).Cabinet Ministers and global science and tech leaders sit on the council.
According to RIEC, S$16.1 billion was allocated between 2011 and 2015. This year, S$19billion has been allocated up to the year 2020, marking an 18% increase from the previous allocation.
Prime Minister Lee said at the Government announcement that because of this allocation, significant contributions should be noted in the local economy by creation of jobs and national initiative support in smart nation and SkillsFuture. Prime Minister Lee also said the investment in R&D should improve Singapore’s urban landscape in order to become more sustainable. He added “And it helps our workers thrive amidst technological changes and globalization.”
Singapore already has a competitive edge in technology, and the plan over the next five years for National Research Fund (NRF), who manage the fund, is to tap technology and develop capabilities in others that it will require.
A statement from the NRF stated “We will build on the investments made to date, and sharpen our focus on growing private sector R&D capabilities and nurturing high growth innovative enterprises that leverage technology, to turn these investments into products, services and solutions that create better economic and societal outcomes for Singaporeans”
The five year plan centers on four key areas, namely health and biomedical sciences, the services and digital economy, urban living and sustainability and advanced manufacturing and engineering.