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Singapore government announces $13.2 billion support for R&D in next 5 years

Staff writer |
A plan of 19 billion Singapore dollars ($13.2 billion) aimed at supporting Singapore's research and development efforts over the next five years was announced by the city state's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday.

Lee also unveiled Research Innovation Enterprise 2020 Plan (RIE2020), the sixth roadmap for research and development, which he thought is important for Singapore's future, and will contribute a lot to the country's economy as well as creates many opportunities and jobs.

The funding represents an 18 percent increase from RIE2015's 16.1 billion Singapore dollars ($11.2 billion) and has been the biggest budget up to now, Channel NewsAsia reported.

Lee also pointed out that the funding will focus on four domains, namely, advanced manufacturing and engineering, health and biomedical sciences, services and digital economy as well as urban solutions and sustainability.

According to the Straits Times, the funding works out to be about 4 billion Singapore dollars ($2.78 billion) annually when spread over 2016 to 2020. The health and biomedical sciences sector gets the largest share, or 21 percent of the overall amount, followed by advanced manufacturing and engineering with 17 percent.

Except the four areas, the funding will also be used to programs that cut across all sectors. These programs come up to 8 billion Singapore dollars ($5.57 billion), including academic research, manpower, and innovation and enterprise.

A funding of 2.5 billion Singapore dollars ($1.74 billion) will be set aside for "white space" research, an over 50 percent increase when compared with that in RIE2015. This funding is dedicated to emerging areas of research in the next five years.

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