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​NTU partners two Japanese institutions in biomedical materials and data science research

Published on: 01-Dec-2016

Agreements sealed during state visit to Japan by Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam


Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) is stepping up research ties with Japan with new partnerships in the emerging fields of biomedical materials and data science.


The agreements were inked today in Tokyo, Japan, witnessed by Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Japanese Prime Minister Mr Shinzo Abe. Dr Tan is on a state visit to Japan to mark the two countries’ 50 years of diplomatic ties.


NTU is partnering Nippon Shokubai, a leading global chemical company from Japan, in a S$2 million research collaboration that aims to develop new biomedical materials such as polymers that can release multiple drugs over time.


Polymers are biocompatible materials that are used in a range of biomedical applications, including heart stents and valves, scaffolds to regrow tissue, and for drug delivery.


In the second agreement, NTU is partnering Kobe University, one of the oldest and largest national universities in Japan renowned for science and business for research projects in the emerging field of data science.


An interdisciplinary research field which extracts knowledge and insights from large datasets, data science has practical applications in areas such as business, e-commerce, healthcare and infocomm technology.


NTU Chief of Staff and Vice President (Research) Professor Lam Khin Yong who signed the two agreements on behalf of NTU, said the new partnerships are a milestone for the growing scientific collaboration between NTU and Japan, a country renowned for cutting-edge research in science and engineering.


“Singapore and Japan are facing similarly challenging issues such as healthcare solutions for an aging population, but we are also at the forefront of developing technological solutions that can improve the lives of people,” said Prof Lam.

“Our collaboration with Kobe University and Nippon Shokubai deepens the already warm ties that NTU enjoys with Japanese academic, research, and industrial institutions. The new partnerships bring together NTU’s strong track record of applied research and industry collaboration with the innovation and technology expertise of our Japanese partners.”


Kobe University President Professor Takeda Hiroshi emphasised the memorable nature of the agreement and expressed his excitement for future cooperation between the two universities.


“NTU – a top university both in Asia and in the world – is the first Singaporean institution with which Kobe University initiates a university-wide academic cooperation. We have already been conducting joint research in such areas as economics and the natural sciences, and I am thrilled at the prospect of further innovating our research and education with such a capable partner.”


In addition to joint research projects, the MOU with Kobe University will also cover academic cooperation, including student exchange for study, internships and research; as well as joint intensive short courses and joint research workshops. For student exchange, up to 6 students will go on exchange annually at each university.


Managing Executive Officer and Member of the Board for Nippon Shokubai, Mr Yojiro Takahashi said, “Nippon Shokubai has decided to launch new research collaboration with NTU to start and accelerate R&D activities in Singapore. Nippon Shokubai has been producing and marketing Acrylic Acid and its deliveries in Singapore since 2004.”


“With this new collaboration, we expect, Nippon Shokubai can have further collaboration opportunities with Singapore’s leading edge research activities that will accelerate innovations and inspire new ideas. We’ve decided to dispatch researchers to the collaboration laboratory at NTU Singapore. They will work with NTU researchers throughout the collaboration at NTU that will stimulate them to think globally and to have the sense of Open Innovation. We expect them to become future research ambassadors between Singapore and Nippon Shokubai.”


The research tie-up between NTU and Nippon Shokubai will seek to develop new

functional polymers using an innovative metal-free method invented by Associate Professor Atsushi Goto from NTU’s School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.


Professor Ling San, Dean of NTU’s College of Science, said more companies and research institutes are discovering that fundamental science research have huge impact when translated to real world applications.


“NTU has in the last few years established itself as one of the world’s leading universities renowned for its science and technology. This is especially in the areas of big data and chemistry, which has huge impact on many sectors, such as in the biomedical and manufacturing industries critical for Singapore’s economy,” Prof Ling said.


“For instance, the new research partnership with Kobe University will help to educate and expand exposure for our students and faculty, widen access to new datasets for developing big data capabilities which in turn benefit students in data analytics programmes.”




Media contact:


Lester Kok


Corporate Communications Office

Nanyang Technological University​



About Nanyang Technological University


A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.


NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).


Ranked 13th in the world, NTU has also been ranked the world’s top young university for the last two years running. The University’s main campus has been named one of the Top 15 Most Beautiful in the World. NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.


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