Biotechnology in Singapore

  • Robert T. Yuan

Summary

Singapore has enjoyed a high rate of economic growth for the past two decades. In the Far East its per capita GNP is second only to that of Japan. Its traditional manufacturing industries have come under increasing competitive pressures and its labour costs have risen. Although Singapore has a free-market economy, the government has taken measures to create an environment favourable to high-technology and service industries. One particularly important area is biotechnology, but Singapore has suffered from an inadequate science base and a lack of biology-related industries. The single most important step taken by the government is the creation of the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) at the National University of Singapore (NUS). With a major recruitment effort for an international staff, as well as the building of an excellent modern facility, it is hoped that the IMCB will become one of the best biological research centres in the region. The Science Council of Singapore has also established the Singapore Science Park, which is located next to the university.

The view of the government is that multinational companies are unlikely to introduce new technologies into the country, and its policies have been directed towards the establishment of new biotechnology companies, preferably in collaboration with foreign partners. The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) provides both investment and tax incentives to such new companies and, in addition, provides support for the training of workers in new disciplines. Four new biotechnology companies are presently in operation, two of them in the area of diagnostics and two in agriculture. Three of these companies involve joint ventures with American partners. In order for them to succeed, they have to be able to market successfully their new products in the regional market because Singapore is too small to provide a domestic market. Access to the regional market has been much more difficult than originally envisioned.

Keywords

Fermentation Hepatitis Europe Petroleum Lipase 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. (1).
    Foreign Economic Trends and Their Implications for the United States, American Embassy, Singapore, September 1986.Google Scholar
  2. (2).
    1985/1986 Annual Report, Economic Development Board, Singapore.Google Scholar
  3. (3).
    The Economist, 22 November 1986.Google Scholar
  4. (4).
    Singapore: Science and Technology, Science Council of Singapore, June 1986.Google Scholar
  5. (5).
    Singapore: can the littlest tiger restore its roar?, High Technology, November 1986.Google Scholar
  6. (6).
    Singapore, Facts and Figures, 1986.Google Scholar
  7. (7).
    1985/1986 Annual Report, Science Council of Singapore.Google Scholar
  8. (8).
    National Survey of R&D Expenditure and Manpower, 1984/1985, Science Council of Singapore.Google Scholar
  9. (9).
    Research and Development Assistance Scheme, Summary of Approved Grants, Science Council of Singapore, February 1987.Google Scholar
  10. (10).
    Narendran, Dr Mohan, Science Council of Singapore, personal communication, March 1987.Google Scholar
  11. (11).
    Nga, Prof. Been Hen, Department of Microbiology, National University of Singapore, personal communication, March 1987.Google Scholar
  12. (12).
    Koon, Dr Teoh Wah, Department of Chemical Engineering, National University of Singapore, personal communication, March 1987.Google Scholar
  13. (13).
    The Economist, 16 August 1986.Google Scholar
  14. (14).
    Tan, Dr Chris, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, personal communication, March 1987.Google Scholar
  15. (15).
    Agrotechnology Services, Economic Develop Board, Singapore, March 1987.Google Scholar
  16. (16).
    Ngiam, Dr Tong Tau, Primary Production Department, personal communication, March 1987.Google Scholar
  17. (17).
    Beecham Group plc Annual Report, 1985/1986.Google Scholar
  18. (18).
    Sanderson, Mr John, Beecham Pharmaceutical Pte. Ltd, personal communication, March 1987.Google Scholar
  19. (19).
    Tan, Mr James, Spectramed Medical Products (S) Pte. Ltd, personal communication, March 1987.Google Scholar
  20. (20).
    Washington Post, 1 July 1985.Google Scholar
  21. (21).
    Lim, Mr Jiu Kok, Diagnostic Biotechnology Pte. Ltd, personal communication, March 1987.Google Scholar
  22. (22).
    Khong, Dr Peck Wah, Singapore Biotechnology Pte. Ltd, personal communication, March 1987.Google Scholar
  23. (23).
    Financial Times, 3 September 1986.Google Scholar
  24. (24).
    Financial Times, 2 January 1987.Google Scholar
  25. (25).
    Straits Times, April 1984.Google Scholar
  26. (26).
    Heaney, Mr Donn, Everbloom Technology Pte. Ltd, personal communication, March 1987.Google Scholar
  27. (27).
    Tan, Dr K.K., Everbloom Technology Pte. Ltd, personal communication, March 1987.Google Scholar
  28. (28).
    Gambrill, Mr Brian, Plantek International, personal communication, March 1987.Google Scholar
  29. (29).
    The Economist, 31 May 1986.Google Scholar
  30. (30).
    Far Eastern Economic Review, 6 March 1986.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Robert T. Yuan 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert T. Yuan

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations