News Details | 16-Aug-2011

New medical innovations set to come from NTU-NHG collaboration

$500,000 set aside to fund 10 projects over two years

A drug-delivering balloon which can help to alleviate blood clots formed in the arteries below the knees may soon be a reality.

Presently not available anywhere, such a medical device may help prevent a condition often faced by diabetics that may lead to gangrene which requires an amputation of the foot in severe cases.

This may be one of ten innovative projects carried out in collaboration between Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the National Healthcare Group (NHG) to improve patient care.

 A Memorandum of Understanding for the NTU-NHG Innovation Seed Grant was signed today (16 Aug 2011), with a total of $500,000 to be invested by NTU and NHG over the next two years to support medical research projects. The first joint project is expected to kick off this November.

The agreement was signed in Tan Tock Seng Hospital by NTU’s Professor Janie Fouke, Dean of the College of Engineering, and NHG’s CEO Professor Chee Yam Cheng.  Witnessing the signing were Professor Stephen Smith, NTU’s Vice President for Research and Dean, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, and Professor Philip Choo, CEO of Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

This joint collaboration marks a milestone for NTU and NHG. The scale and complexity of research today challenges clinicians, scientists and engineers to search beyond the confines of their own individual disciplines to seek multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary models with the aim of finding the best solutions to solve biomedical mysteries and challenges.  This may systemically result in the invention of new medical devices, clinical practices and streamlining of processes.

For the NTU-NHG Innovation Seed Grant, each project will be led by a Clinical Principal Investigator from NHG’s Institutions, namely Tan Tock Seng Hospital,  Institute of Mental Health, NHG’s Polyclinics, and National Skin Centre, and a Co-Investigator to be led by a Professor from one of the six schools within NTU’s College of Engineering.
This push to facilitate multi-disciplinary research between NHG’s Clinicians and NTU’s Scientists and Engineers is aligned with the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine’s plans for its medical students and researchers to improve patient care, delivery and outcomes. 

NTU’s Professor Janie Fouke said, “Innovation is often found at the interstices of disciplines, where two or more persons from different expertise pool their resources and experience in deriving a solution for a difficult problem. This joint initiative is timely, given that NTU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, with the National Healthcare Group as its main clinical training partner, is soon to be completed by 2013. Indeed the new medical school is meant to take advantage of NTU’s key strengths in engineering and business, with the aim of producing highly-rated clinicians and creating an impact in healthcare innovation and the system as a whole.”

NHG’s Professor Chee Yam Cheng, said, "The NTU-NHG Innovation Seed Grant is an excellent first step towards creating a research environment comprising a multi-disciplinary team of clinicians, scientists and engineers to finding solutions to complex biomedical problems and challenges.  While it is not possible to create such an environment overnight, a step-by-step approach with strong management support from NTU and NHG is essential to its realisation. The potential for medical innovation and improvement in healthcare delivery is immense especially in the areas of diagnostics, therapeutics and medical devices.”

NHG and NTU will jointly set up a Review Committee to assess research proposals and award the research projects.

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Media contacts

Lester Kok (Mr)
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: 6790 6804

Lim Phay Ling (Ms)
Deputy Director
Corporate Communications
National Healthcare Group
Tel: 6496 6261

 About National Healthcare Group

The National Healthcare Group (NHG) is a leader in public healthcare in Singapore, recognised at home and abroad for the quality of its medical expertise and facilities. Care is provided through an integrated network of nine primary healthcare polyclinics, acute care hospitals, national specialty centres, innovative virtual specialty centres and business divisions. Together they bring a rich legacy of 340 years of medical expertise to our philosophy of patient-centric care.

By designing accessible and seamless healthcare services around patient needs, NHG ensures that patient care is fully coordinated within the cluster and is also extended to high level collaboration with other healthcare providers at home and abroad.

NHG’s vision of “Adding years of healthy life” is more than just about healing the sick. It encompasses the more difficult but infinitely more rewarding task of preventing illness and preserving health and quality of life. With some 10,000 staff, NHG aims to provide care that is patient-centric, accessible, seamless, comprehensive, appropriate and cost-effective.

More information is available at

About Nanyang Technological University 


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