New Singapore-French nanotech lab opens at NTU
- Unique joint set-up by a research centre, a university and a private organisation
Just two months after the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) signed the Memorandum of Understanding in Paris with the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Thales Group of Companies to set up a joint research laboratory, the three parties are meeting again in Singapore to inaugurate the CNRS-International-NTU-Thales Research Alliance (CINTRA) Laboratory at NTU.
Located at the Research Techno Plaza, the CINTRA Laboratory aims to harness the latest in science and technology to develop innovations in nanotechnologies for computing, sensing and communications applications.
Over the next two years, about 50 Singapore and French researchers will work on critical issues and challenges faced by existing technologies in the microelectronic and photonic industries, promising innovations to meet future commercial as well as defence and security needs.
Examples of such application-driven challenges include the development of enabling technologies such as an imaging chip to process and display real-time multi-dimensional information, and a low-power signal processing chip capable of super high-speed performance of a trillion bits (terabit) per second or more.
Strengthening the collaborative R&D relationship between Singapore and France. Front row, from left: His Excellency Mr Olivier Caron, Ambassador of France to Singapore; and Dr Su Guaning, President NTU. Back row, from left: Mr Pierre Guillon, Director, Institute for Engineering and Systems Science, CNRS; Mr Patrick Plante, Chief Executive Officer, Thales Technology Centre Singapore; Professor Bertil Andersson, Provost NTU; and Professor Dominique Baillargeat, Director CINTRA.
His Excellency Mr Olivier Caron, the Ambassador of France to Singapore, who was the guest-of-honour at the inauguration ceremony, said: “The R&D and innovation landscapes have changed, and are no longer confined to simple projects that can be defined, funded and conducted within single companies, universities or research institutions. It is no longer possible to progress in a major field of scientific research without the cooperation and strong commitment of different actors coming from different regions of the world.”
“France and Singapore have long ago started this process of collaborative work and mutual aid, launching different research projects and tightening the R&D relationships between both countries," said Mr Caron. “This current alliance is unlike most of the others – it brings together a research centre, a university and a private company in the same location. Academia, fundamental research, applied research, and technology transfer are considered in this union. This model should not only drive breakthroughs in innovation but should also result in bringing these innovations to the market.”
NTU President Dr Su Guaning said: “NTU is acknowledged as a University that seeks to be relevant to the needs of industry, innovating and pioneering new application areas while building on our staff’s core competencies. We seek to be nimble, listening closely to the research trends while responding to the needs of the industry.”
“We are indeed grateful to CNRS and Thales for the confidence that they have shown in NTU. Together with CNRS’ strength in research and Thales’ experience in the global market, we shall make the CINTRA Laboratory an example of how upstream research can turn into successful commercial products and applications in a most unexpected way,” said Dr Su.
Mr Jean-Jacques Gagnepain, Adviser to the CNRS President on International Affairs, said: “CNRS salutes the impressive commitment that NTU has granted to our joint laboratory, the Unité Mixte Internationale CINTRA.”
“Within these superb, well-designed and ergonomic premises that we visited today, we feel all the more certain that the joint efforts of our scientists will allow NTU, Thales and CNRS to produce far-reaching research results, concepts and inventions. It is our joint ambition to lift the bottlenecks that currently block existing microelectronic and photonic research,” said Mr Gagnepain.
Mr Patrick Plante, Chief Executive Officer of Thales Technology Centre Singapore, said: “Thales reaffirms its strong commitment to the Unité Mixte Internationale CINTRA and is proud to be one of the three pillars of this unique joint collaboration between academic, research and industry partners outside of France.”
“Our long-standing relationship with the prestigious NTU of Singapore established since the creation of our joint research lab Thales@NTU, as well as our long-valued partnership with the largest fundamental research organisation in Europe, CNRS, will be significantly reinforced, and we trust that our complementarities will lead CINTRA to excellence in developing cutting-edge technologies. In this research-friendly environment at NTU, CINTRA will fly the flag for French-Singapore advanced research on nanotechnologies and nanophotonics,” said Mr Plante.
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