News Details | 29-Jun-2009

EDB pumps S$16 million to train 150 integrated circuit designers over 5 years

  • Post-graduate scholarship is aimed at students in the schools of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (NTU) and Electrical and Computing Engineering (NUS)

The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) is investing S$16 million into a new initiative to encourage postgraduate students to specialize in integrated circuit (IC) design.  The Integrated Circuit Design Postgraduate Scholarship (ICPS) aims to train 150 IC designers for the semiconductor industry.  IC design has been identified by the EDB as a key enabler for existing electronics applications as well as for newer areas, such as green electronics and bioelectronics.

1. Under this ICPS, EDB will work with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and National University of Singapore (NUS) to reach out to postgraduates in the schools of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (NTU) and Electrical and Computing Engineering (NUS) to take up the specialization after their undergraduate studies. 

This scholarship will provide 100% sponsorship to 150 postgraduate students over 5 years.  The sponsorship will cover components such as research and course fees, as well as stipends. The scholars will also have attachment and training opportunities with local companies engaged in IC design activities.

2. Mr Damian Chan, Director of Electronics, EDB, shared that Singapore currently has a vibrant semiconductor ecosystem comprising about 40 IC design houses, 14 wafer fabrication facilities and 20 assembly and test plants.  In particular, six out of the world’s top ten fabless companies have IC design activities in Singapore.  In 2008, EDB attracted 14 new semiconductor product development projects which created 335 R&D jobs, including IC design jobs.  In 2009, despite the global economic downturn, there continues to be strong interest in setting up or growing IC design activities in Singapore.

3. With the increasing need for miniaturization, multifunctionality, and energy efficiency in electronics devices, designing ICs becomes even more complex and there is an increasing demand for IC designers with postgraduate training. “IC design is a knowledge-intensive and innovation-intensive activity which is a critical part of the semiconductor value chain. The ICPS will help to address Singapore’s IC design talent needs by nurturing high quality IC designers”, said Mr. Chan.  

4. “The world’s advanced economies are all underpinned by high-technology, high-growth and high value-add.  The School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at NTU will continue to place great emphasis on nurturing and building skilled talent for the continuing growth of our electronics and semiconductor industry.  This ICPS initiative by EDB builds on NTU’s strengths in IC design and demonstrates a continued focus on research that meets real-world needs”, said Professor Chan Kam Hin, Chair of NTU’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

5. Said Professor Lawrence Wong, Head, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, NUS: “In the IC design field, students need to develop sufficient depth in their knowledge before they can embark on innovative design. To cultivate well rounded IC designers, it is essential to have a strong background on devices, processes, and modeling coupled with familiarity of Electronic Design Automation tools to design circuits in application domains, such as digital communications and signal processing. In NUS, not only do we provide design-centric IC design modules with strong emphasis on practical hands-on projects that are relevant to the industry, but we also offer many cross-disciplinary modules that are important for IC design training. This EDB initiative will encourage more students to pursue research careers in IC design and further strengthen Singapore’s knowledge and innovation capabilities and competitiveness.”

6. The EDB is currently in talks with schools and companies to kick-start the ICPS initiative and is optimistic about its role in helping to boost the electronics sector in Singapore.  The ICPS is fully funded by EDB with courses from NTU and NUS.

Interested applicants, please contact the following for more information:

Associate Professor Ho Duan Juat
School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Division of Circuits and Systems, NTU
Phone: 6790 5409

Heng Chun Huat
Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, NUS
Phone: 6516 1628

Media Contacts:
Ms Khor Mi Mi
Assistant Head
Communication, EDB
Tel 6832 6229
Mobile 9474 3035

Hisham Hambari
Assistant Director
Corporate Communications Office, NTU
Phone: 6709 6447

Ms Monica Khoo
Office of Corporate Relations
Tel: 6516 5125

Ms Lo Tien Yin
Senior Manager
External Relations Office, Faculty of Engineering
Tel: 6516 4436

About Nanyang Technological University 

About the Singapore Economic Development Board
EDB is the lead government agency for planning and executing strategies to enhance Singapore’s position as a global business centre and grow the Singapore economy.  We dream, design and deliver solutions that create value for investors and companies in Singapore.  In so doing, we generate economic opportunities and jobs for the people of Singapore; and help shape Singapore's economic future.

‘Host to Home’ articulates how EDB is sharpening its economic development strategies to position Singapore for the future.  It is about extending Singapore's value proposition to businesses not just in helping them improve their bottom line, but also in helping them grow their top line.  EDB plans to build on existing strengths and add new layers of capabilities to enable Singapore to become a ‘Home for Business’, a ‘Home for Innovation’ and a ‘Home for Talent’.

For more information on how EDB can help your business, please visit

About National University of Singapore (NUS)
A leading global university centred in Asia, the National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore’s flagship university which offers a global approach to education and research, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise.

NUS has 14 faculties and schools across three campuses. Its transformative education includes a broad-based curriculum underscored by multi-disciplinary courses and cross-faculty enrichment. Over 30,000 students from 100 countries enrich the community with their diverse social and cultural perspectives.

Well-known for its research strengths in engineering, life sciences and biomedicine, social sciences and natural sciences, NUS shares a close affiliation with 22 university-level, 16 national-level and more than 80 faculty-based research institutes and centres. The University also strives to create a supportive and innovative environment to promote creative enterprise within its community.  

For more information, visit

Share Article