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SINGAPORE-UK PARTNERSHIP AIMS TO GROW LOCAL MEDTECH INDUSTRY
Singapore, 30 May 2013: The Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), a research institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), and the University of Leeds of United Kingdom inked a Memorandum of Understanding today. The alliance aims to collaborate on the R&D of innovative medical devices in mutually identified areas such as lab on chips, medical implants and implantable devices which include innovative joint replacements and biological scaffolds for cardiovascular and musculoskeletal tissue regeneration to improve quality of life.
2. Leveraging on SIMTech’s core capabilities in manufacturing research to develop technologies relevant to the future needs of the medical devices manufacturing industry, this partnership stimulates Medtech innovations to help grow the medical device industry in Singapore. The Medtech industry is a growing market for the local precision engineering and components manufacturers. When equipped with the relevant capabilities, these industry clusters can diversify into the Medtech industry. As such, these sectors and medical professionals are expected to benefit from the co-operation and knowledge transfer.
3. The Singapore Medtech sector targets to achieve S$5 billion in manufacturing output by 2015, having grown from S$1.5 billion in 2000 to about S$4.3 billion in 2011. Over the same period, its manpower base more than doubled from about 4,000 to 9,000. The combination of an ageing population and growing affluence are fuelling the demand for high quality Medtech products. This presents tremendous opportunities for the local precision engineering companies and global Medtech companies to extend their presence in Singapore to address the healthcare needs in this region. Singapore is home to more than 30 Medtech companies which have set up commercial-scale plants to produce medical devices for the regional and global markets. In addition, all of the top 10 Medtech companies have their regional headquarters in Singapore, from which to drive business expansion in Asia (Source: Singapore Economic Development Board, 2012).
4. The collaboration with the University of Leeds, well known for its research in medical and biological engineering, will help to fill the gap between material and engineering research to translate research outcomes from the lab to manufacturing readiness. It will also boost the exchange of experience, knowledge and information; engagements of specialists / students for study and consultation and interactions between academia/researchers in both institutions. Funding opportunities, shared use of facilities, academic collaboration and joint organisation of scientific events will also be explored.
5. Dr Lim Ser Yong, Executive Director of SIMTech commented, “The collaboration is a synergistic platform to translate medical science breakthroughs and innovations to effective and affordable medical devices by leveraging on engineering and manufacturing research capabilities of both institutions. With SIMTech’s precision engineering and high value manufacturing capabilities coupled with a strong industry partnership track record, the institute is able to optimise its integrated technology capabilities in process, automation and manufacturing systems to grow the local Medtech industry.”
6. Professor John Fisher, Director of the Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering at the University of Leeds commented “We have seen a significant increase in demand for medical devices that is driven by the needs of the ageing population and an expectation for increased reliability and performance. The collaboration with SIMTech provides an excellent opportunity to support the development of medical devices that will more clinically and cost effectively match implant function and therapy to patient need. The Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering at Leeds University is well positioned with the world’s largest pre-clinical simulation facilities to determine the long-term performance of medical implants and an extensive experience of successful research translation and exploitation. This provides a highly complementary platform for long-term collaboration with colleagues at SIMTech.”
Ms Lee Swee Heng
for Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology
(65) 6793 8368
Samples of SIMTech-developed polymer lab on chips
About University of Leeds
The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise showed the University of Leeds to be the UK's eighth biggest research powerhouse. The University is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK and a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. The University's vision is to secure a place among the world's top 50 by 2015.
For more info: www.leeds.ac.uk
About Medical Technologies, IKC, at the University of Leeds
Based at the University of Leeds in the UK, the Medical Technologies Innovation and Knowledge Centre is funded by the UK Research Councils, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, and the Technology Strategy Board.
The Medical Technologies IKC is founded around Europe’s largest integrated multi-disciplinary medical engineering centre, the Institute of Medical & Biological Engineering (iMBE). It is home to more than 250 researchers working across 10 departments.
Medical Technologies deliver innovation right across the medical technology spectrum - from implantable devices through to regenerative therapies that can be enhanced with autologous stem cells. The centre focuses on technologies that have viable and feasible routes to commercialisation and supports these through an approach that reduces late failure and cost.
For more info: www.medical-technologies.co.uk
About 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 innovative-driven Singapore. A*STAR oversees 14 biomedical sciences, and physical sciences and engineering research institutes, and seven 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.
For more info: www.a-star.edu.sg
About the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech)
The Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) is a research institute of the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).
SIMTech develops high value manufacturing technology and human capital to contribute to the competitiveness of the Singapore industry. It collaborates with multinational and local companies in the precision engineering, electronics, semiconductor, medical technology, aerospace, automotive, marine, logistics and other sectors.
For more info: www.SIMTech.a-star.edu.sg
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