Scientific cooperation between France and Singapore
For 15 years, the development of scientific research in Singapore has contributed to the deepening of relations between France and Singapore. Over the last 10 years, the Institut Français de Singapour (IFS) has supported scientific cooperation in all areas, from the funding of small projects to the creation of six joint laboratories between Singaporean and French institutions , with five already established on the island. More than 160 bilateral research projects have also been funded by the IFS and its partners. In addition, a MoU was signed by the French National Agency for Research (ANR) and its Singaporean counterpart, the National Research Foundation (NRF) to fund ambitious collaborative research projects.
In 2014, more than 500 students benefited from exchange agreements between Singapore and renowned French schools or universities for semester exchanges, double degree studies or training by French industries.
The Franco-Singaporean cooperation in scientific research and higher education was in the spotlight in February as several delegations from French universities and research institutes were present in the city to sign or renew not less than 8 agreements of partnership and cooperation.
The National Center for Scientific Research, The Pierre and Marie Curie University, the University Joseph Fourier and the Mines-Telecom Institute were at the SinFra’2015 public conference on “Inclusive smart cities and digital health” in order to extend the French-Singaporean laboratory IPAL (Image and Pervasive Access laboratory, UMI CNRS), in partnership with the National University of Singapore (NUS) and I²R-A*STAR (Institute for Infocomm Research of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research). Two new laboratories, the BII-A*STAR (BioInformatics Institute) and the University of Toulouse were linked up with IPAL on that occasion.
From February 4th to February 6th, French researchers and manufacturers participated in the “French-NTU Renewable Energy Workshop”, where they were able to discuss renewable energy issues with the ERI@N of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Strategic axes of research for the two countries were identified and will be strengthened by existing collaborations or new projects in order to construct a strong axe of cooperation on this topic.
The ONERA (National Office of Aerospatiale Studies and Research) was also present in Singapour to reinforce ties with its Singaporean partners in the french-singaporean research laboratory SONDRA.
In adition, a delegation from COMUE Sorbonne University (Community of Universities including Paris II, IV, VI and INSEAD) met key Singaporean actors in the research field such as Yale-NUS, NTU and A*STAR Graduate Academy and signed new partnerships with them to boost student exchanges. Meanwhile, a delegation from Sorbonne Paris-Cité (including Paris III, V, VI, XII and Sciences Po Paris) forged a partnership with NUS which has, since 2009, enabled financing in joint projects in research or training.
Highlighting the important partnerships signed last month, Ambassador Benjamin Dubertret called for a deepening of this cooperation. The upcoming visit by Singaporean President Tony Tan to France and the Voilah! Festival in Singapore will be the perfect occasions to answer this call. Eminent scientists, such as former astronaut Claudie Haigneré, will visit Singapore during the festival, conferences will be organized and a science fair will give the opportunity to the young Singaporean community to discover more about how the future of our nations is developed in research laboratories.