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​New National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) To Boost Singapore’s 3D Printing Ecosystem

Published on: 21-Sep-2015

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to lead the new cluster, in partnership with National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)
 
Singapore – The formation of a new National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) will boost Singapore’s efforts in enhancing the nation’s 3D printing ecosystem. The new cluster was announced at TechInnovation by Guest-of-Honour Mr S. Iswaran, Minister in Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry.
 
The manufacturing sector accounts for about 18 per cent of Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and with continuous technology upgrades and restructuring, the sector will continue to be a key driver in Singapore’s future economic growth. NAMIC seeks to harness, strengthen and expand on Singapore’s existing Additive Manufacturing capabilities as an integrated hub and position Singapore as a world leader in this technology.
 
NAMIC will be a catalyst for innovation by integrating research expertise and working with key partners to enhance the products, processes and services for the manufacturing sector in Singapore. The cluster will also translate research knowledge into commercial applications for industry. It will establish a joint fund to support these translational projects between research institutes and the industry members. Research facilities among the three initial partners at NTU, NUS and SUTD will be made available across the cluster network. This cluster is also open to research performers from other public Research Institutes as well as Institutes of Higher Learning.
 
In addition to offering expertise and research facilities at NTU, NUS and SUTD for translational projects, it will also help companies with the commercialisation of intellectual property, including access to incubators for start-ups and spin-offs. Companies in Singapore can also tap on the resources and expertise of this new cluster, to accelerate the adoption of 3D printing technology into their businesses.
 
NTU to lead and create opportunities for collaboration and commercialisation
 
NAMIC will be led by NTU, through its innovation and enterprise arm, NTUitive. The new cluster will comprise of three additive manufacturing translation and capability development research centres. They are: NTU’s Singapore Centre for 3D Printing, NUS’s 3D Printing initiative for medical technologies and SUTD’s Digital Manufacturing and Design Centre.
 
Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU’s Chief of Staff and Vice President (Research), said the launch of the new cluster builds on the good work and investments which NTU and the public agencies have made, to develop world-class research capabilities in our local institutes of higher learning.
 
“The new cluster will translate the knowledge and intellectual property developed at centres, like NTU’s Singapore Centre for 3D Printing, into commercial innovations for the industry,” Prof Lam said. “This is a key national initiative that brings together all the local research institutes, to jointly advance the field of Additive Manufacturing and promote its adoption in our local enterprises.”
 
Dr Lim Jui, Chief Executive Officer of NTUitive, said: “We are very excited to be leading this national effort, given NTU’s strengths and world-leading expertise in engineering and manufacturing. Such a progressive and integrated approach will also serve to attract additional activity and investments in the years to come, establishing Singapore as a global 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing hub.”
 
Dr Lily Chan, CEO of NUS Enterprise, said: "NUS has developed strong capabilities within the Additive Manufacturing space. In particular our NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Faculty of Engineering are working on various projects applicable for biomedical devices. We look forward to being part of NAMIC to help commercialise these innovations and bring new products to market that benefit society.”
 
Professor Martin L. Dunn, the Associate Provost for Research at SUTD said “SUTD is delighted to partner with NTU and NUS in NAMIC - it has the potential to significantly accelerate the Additive Manufacturing ecosystem development in Singapore and position Singapore as the world leader.  NAMIC is a unique and ideal platform that will help rapidly translate academic Additive Manufacturing innovations from our International Design Centre and new Digital Manufacturing and Design Centre to commercial and societal impact.
 
Supporting the growth of Singapore’s Additive Manufacturing industry
 
Additive Manufacturing is one of the four key technology areas identified for development under the $200 million Innovation Cluster Programme (ICP) announced by Prime Minister Mr Minister Lee Hsien Loong in October 2013. The programme is led by SPRING Singapore and National Research Foundation (NRF), by the Research, Innovation & Enterprise 2015 (RIE2015) Sub-committee on Innovation & Enterprise.
 
In the past decade, through the efforts of NRF and Singapore’s Economic Development Board, investments have been made to develop world-class research capabilities in Additive Manufacturing within the different institutes in Singapore.
 
Recent developments have seen functional prototypes and end-use parts built through 3D printing technologies and these have found applications in the commercial space. NAMIC will build upon these efforts and focus on sectors where Singapore has developed capabilities with competitive advantages. These sectors include:
1)    Aerospace, Marine and Offshore
2)    Precision Engineering
3)    Medical Technology
4)    Building and Construction
5)    Design

Mr Edwin Chow, Group Director for Industry Development and Innovation & Start-ups, SPRING Singapore, said, “Companies can benefit from the R&D output of Additive Manufacturing. This could include commercialising new materials, equipment or in optimising current manufacturing processes. NAMIC will pool relevant capabilities, infrastructure and equipment together to offer companies access to the available R&D resources and support the growth of the industry. Additive Manufacturing will play a prominent role in the future of manufacturing and we want our start-ups and SMEs to be ready alongside MNCs as this technology matures”
 
To accelerate the adoption of Additive Manufacturing, NAMIC will also partner well-known industry partners, comprising multinational companies and local firms.
 
Mr Ken Foo, Director of Corporate Development Emerging Markets at Autodesk, said: “We're on the brink of the biggest change in how things are designed and made since the industrial revolution.”
 
“As the world leader in 3D design software, Autodesk is pushing the boundaries of design technology, additive manufacturing and 3D printing ecosystem. We are strongly aligned to the objectives of the NAMIC, and look forward to collaborating closely to accelerate the adoption of addictive manufacturing in Singapore and to foster home-grown innovation.”
 
Mr Sean Looi, General Manager of Creatz3D Pte Ltd said, “At Creatz3D we deliver products and solutions to help companies with their Additive Manufacturing needs.”
 
“NAMIC will provide the local ecosystem with access to skilled manpower and resources and the ability to engage with experts on projects that have meaningful outcomes to their business. We believe that this will significantly assist local SMEs create new and innovative capabilities and ultimately create new value for themselves and the Singapore economy. We look forward to working with NAMIC and local SMEs in their Additive Manufacturing journey.”
 
Mr David Yeow, CEO of TechXcel Pte Ltd, the Engineering Accelerator subsidiary of NTUitive, said: “We are committed to integrating the local additive manufacturing ecosystem and provide a platform for companies to leverage this new technology.”

“The new cluster has a unique role to play in coordinating overall Additive Manufacturing efforts in R&D, aligned with the needs of the local industry. What this would mean for business and consumers is that they will be able to see 3D printing innovations appear in the market much sooner.”

***END***

Media contact:
Lester Kok
Senior Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: 6790 6804
Email: lesterkok@ntu.edu.sg
 
 
About Nanyang Technological University
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 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 on 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).
 
A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.
 
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.
 
For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg 
 
About NTUitive
NTUitive is Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) innovation and enterprise company that manages the University’s intellectual property, promotes innovation, supports entrepreneurship and facilitates the commercialisation of research.
 
NTUitive is the interface between research and the business world. It involves working with faculty across diverse technology areas to take discoveries from a multitude of disciplines to seek applications for them in products, services and jobs of tomorrow. One of the most important roles of NTUitive is to commercialise the research coming out of the University and grow its brand worldwide. NTUitive works with the inventors to find commercial applications and with industrial partners to bring these inventions, through licensing, to market.  The NTU subsidiary also helps, when relevant, with spinout company formation to take these innovative technologies to market and generate social and economic impact.
 
As an established start-up incubator, it also assists entrepreneurial faculty and students create new businesses to take their technologies/ideas to market. It provides start-ups with access to early-stage funding, market development, mentoring support and start-up facilities within the Innovation Centre at the University. NTUitive manages the Innovation Centre, the nexus of the I&E ecosystem at NTU. It is a mix of work and social space to incubate and nurture start-ups; the place to be for like-minded individuals to work, network, share synergies and create alliances to enhance their value proposition. 
 

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