​NTU-GlobalFoundries Research Partnership Agreement Signing Ceremony

Published on: 21-Oct-2019

Speech by

Professor Subra Suresh
President, Nanyang Technological University

NTU-GlobalFoundries Research Partnership Agreement Signing Ceremony

GlobalFoundries Singapore
GFS Fab 2 Lobby Room 160 Nanyang View, Singapore 639673
Thursday, 21 Oct 2019, 2:00pm


Mr Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Finance and Chairman of the National Research Foundation,

Ms Chan Lai Fung, Chairman of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR),

Mr Ang Kay Chai, Senior Vice President and General Manager of GlobalFoundries Singapore,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,


Good morning. It is a wonderful day to be celebrating a new phase in NTU's relationship with GlobalFoundries Singapore, one of the world's leading semiconductor companies.

Micro-electronics and semiconductors are an important pillar of Singapore's manufacturing sector that accounts for about a fifth of the nation's GDP.

Armed with advanced manufacturing technologies and with over 5,500 employees in Singapore, GlobalFoundries is the world's third largest foundry that manufactures millions of semiconductor wafers annually. With a total funding of S$120 million, this collaboration is NTU's largest corporate research partnership to date. It is significant as its results will shape the future of manufacturing technology.

This exciting partnership between NTU and GlobalFoundries aims to develop non-volatile memory solutions, which are an important form of semiconductor technology in electronics manufacturing. Non-volatile memory enables one to store data long term without a supply of power. It lays the foundation for emerging and future innovations that leverage on the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. These are also research areas in which NTU's strengths are widely recognised globally. So, there are synergies between NTU and GlobalFoundries that make this partnership an ideal fit.

For example, our joint research team will develop a non-volatile memory solution known as Resistive Random-Access Memory, or ReRAM for short. ReRAM heralds the future of electronic memory technologies that are essential for a wide variety of electronics, and even electronic vehicles. ReRAM is an ideal future solution for electronics, due to its high potential for larger storage densities, fast read and write speeds, low power usage and low production costs. Industrialists and technopreneurs also envision that ReRAM will soon be deployed in future consumer technologies, such as smartphones and wearables. Our collaboration will also look into other areas, such as circuit design for next-generation smart devices, and chip packaging for advanced IoT applications.

These projects will be trialled and test-bedded at the NTU Smart Campus, where other advanced technologies are being developed in partnership with industry. These partnerships enhance Singapore's vibrant research ecosystem, while leveraging NTU's strong track record in translational research.

More importantly, this partnership between GlobalFoundries and NTU will produce a strong pipeline of talents, some of whom will become the next generation of tech leaders skilled in future-ready advance manufacturing. This will ensure that Singapore's manufacturing sector will continue to power the nation's future economic progress, and fuel Singapore's efforts to achieve its Smart Nation vision that seeks to better leverage technology in the economy, government and society.

NTU-Industry partnerships drive innovation

This partnership is the latest in NTU's long list of successful and strategic collaborative research endeavours with industry, in line with Singapore's strategic Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 Plan to develop a knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy and society.

On the NTU Smart Campus, we have more than 200 industry partners. NTU is working with leading multinational companies such as Alibaba Group, HP Inc., Delta Electronics, Volvo Buses, and Rolls Royce, on various cutting-edge projects ranging from AI and big data analytics, to autonomous vehicles, advance manufacturing and robotics. These are areas that are poised to have a profound impact on society in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

All these examples are testament to NTU's strong focus in translating research excellence into practical innovations that are not only industry-relevant, but also beneficial to society and beyond.


In closing, I would like to thank our partners GlobalFoundries and the National Research Foundation, for their tremendous support and dedication in shaping the future of manufacturing with NTU. I would also like to thank DPM Heng Swee Keat for taking time off his busy schedule to grace this momentous occasion. Finally, I would like to thank and congratulate all the NTU faculty and staff, for their hard work and dedication, which has made today's event a huge success.

Thank you.

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