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Innovation key for S’pore to remain globally competitive: Minister Tan

Innovation is a key factor for Singapore to remain globally competitive, and the country's continued growth and prosperity depends on its ability to create innovative differentiated products and services that the world requires, said Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin.

SINGAPORE: Innovation is a key factor for Singapore to remain globally competitive, and the country's continued growth and prosperity depends on its ability to create innovative differentiated products and services that the world requires, said Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin.

Mr Tan was speaking at the 2014 A*STAR Scholarship Awards Ceremony on Friday (July 18).

He said that for a small country like Singapore, acquiring and nurturing human talent is a matter of survival. As such, the country has continuously made major investments in research and education.

"From 1997 to 2012, we have grown the pool of researchers in Singapore by sevenfold. Today, there are more than 39,000 researchers in our research institutes, universities and laboratories in both the private and public sector,” said Mr Tan.

He added that the A*STAR scholarships are an important part of this talent strategy as it grooms promising young individuals for careers in science. Since 2001, more than 1,300 A*STAR scholarships have been given out.

Nanyang Technological University graduate Ang Koon Hwee is an A*STAR scholarship recipient. His PhD research in the United Kingdom will focus on the growth process of new blood vessels to better treat cancer and cardiovascular disorders.

"When I was in Beijing doing my internship in a hospital, I saw many patients suffering from diseases pertaining to vascular problems, basically like cancer where there is an overproliferation of vessels, and so there's a drug that helps to inhibit the growth of blood vessels. By doing that, they're able to keep the size of the tumour small or receding,” said Mr Ang.

127 scholarships were presented by A*STAR this year.

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