Temasek Laboratories@NTU 10th Anniversary Technology Showcase

Published on: 14-Jan-2014

Welcome Address by

Professor Bertil Andersson
President, Nanyang Technological University


Nanyang Executive Centre (NEC), Auditorium, Level 2
Wednesday, 15 January 2014, 9.30 am


Guest of Honour, Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Social and Family Development & Second Minister for Defence
Prof Quek Tong Boon, Chief Defence Scientist, Ministry of Defence
Distinguished Guests,
Fellow Colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning and a very warm welcome to NTU. Today marks an important milestone as we commemorate the 10th Anniversary of Temasek Laboratories at NTU (also known as TL@NTU).
NTU’s strong partnership with MINDEF, DSTA and DSO National Laboratories dates back more than 25 years. The road towards the establishment of TL@NTU began in 1988 with MINDEF and NTU jointly funding small scale defence-related exploratory projects.

Through the years, the collaboration and joint funding expanded to include the opening of numerous laboratories and research centres, such as the Radar Laboratory in 1995 and the Protective Technology Research Centre in 1998. In 2000, NTU and MINDEF signed a memorandum of understanding on defence-related research and the Temasek Laboratories at NTU (TL@NTU) was established in 2003.

This strong partnership between NTU and MINDEF has yielded much invaluable mutual benefits to both parties. Since 2003, there have been more than 120 on-going defence and security technology projects, with our research centres and labs securing funding of about S$130 million.

TL@NTU has certainly come a long way over the past decade. From a small lab with only 3 research programmes and 10 scientists in 2003, it has steadily grown to 15 research programmes and 200 researchers and staff today.

Many of its completed projects have transited to useful research outcomes for DSO National Laboratories in defence applications. Our scientists have also gain recognition for their hard work in the past years. For example, in 2007, a joint team from NTU and DSO won the Defence Technology Prize for the R&D Team award for their outstanding technological contributions in the area of Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits (ICs).

In the area of advanced materials, we have also built up deep expertise spanning a broad range of areas including advanced composites, polymer foams and protective materials. These materials are useful not just for defence, but also for important industries such as aerospace, oil & gas, and manufacturing.

Much of the credit for the Laboratory’s efforts in this area can be traced back to the second director of TL@NTU, the late Professor Ma Jan. Prof Ma provided strong leadership to TL@NTU, and he also contributed immensely to NTU in the areas of material science, both as a brilliant scientist and as the Chair of NTU’s School of Materials Science and Engineering. In recognition of his contribution to defence science and his successful research collaborations with TL@NTU, our High Speed Dynamics Laboratory was renamed the Ma Jan High Speed Dynamics Laboratory in his honour last year. The lab provides an important focal point for NTU’s research and development in composite and ceramic armour materials for use against various ballistic threats.

Most recently, the team led by Associate Professor Gan Chee Lip, the current director of TL@NTU, together with a collaborator from MIT, achieved a breakthrough in bendable ceramics, and their research was published in the renowned journal Science. This stands as another testament to NTU’s strengths in research.

New Office of Research and Technology in Defence and Security

Today, I’m pleased to announce we are advancing our strong partnership even further, with the establishment of NTU’s new Office of Research and Technology in Defence and Security. This new Office will spearhead NTU’s new strategic thrust into the area of Defence and Security Research and Technology, consolidating NTU’s expertise and capabilities in this vital sector. Our aim is to create a new peak of research excellence in defence science and facilitate the development of key in-country defence and security capabilities. 

Our new Office will bring under its wing NTU’s defence and security-related laboratories and centres, including TL@NTU. It will also serve as a key interaction point with MINDEF and we will continue to work closely with MINDEF to strategically identify future critical research areas, capabilities and educational opportunities.

Dual-purpose research programmes, involving research that has both defence-related and non-defence applications will also feature prominently.


In closing, I wish to express my appreciation to the management team and the research scientists for all your contributions and many sterling accomplishments.  My heartfelt appreciation to the Founding Director of TL@NTU, Dr Shang Huai Min, who served from 2003 to 2009; and also to the late Professor Ma Jan, who took the helm from 2009 to 2012 and helped shape TL@NTU to become the research powerhouse it is today.

I look forward to many more fruitful collaborations and partnerships with MINDEF, DSTA and DSO in the years to come.
Thank you.    

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