Singapore launches national S$25 million, 5-year Synthetic Biology R&D Programme

Posted on: 23/01/2018

The National Research Foundation Singapore has announced that it will launch a Synthetic Biology R&D Programme.

Synthetic biology, or the engineering of microbial systems for the enhanced production of natural products, has the potential to replace current methods of chemical synthesis and extraction from natural products, which are highly laborious, expensive, and often produce low yields. With a global push towards sustainability and a reduction in dependence on oil, a bio-based economy built on research and innovation in the biological sciences could transform manufacturing processes, health and nutrition, and grow new industries with high quality jobs.

The National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF) has announced that it will launch a Synthetic Biology Research and Development (R&D) Programme to advance the nation’s synthetic biology research agenda and expertise, as part of efforts to promote a bio-based economy built on deep science capabilities.

The programme will integrate and ensure holistic development of synthetic biology capabilities in Singapore, including the translation of research outcomes for clinical and industrial use. NRF will invest an initial $25 million over five years into the Synthetic Biology R&D Programme. Under the programme, NRF will fund research projects under three research areas identified in discussion with international experts, academics, government agencies and industry players:

  • Establish a proprietary national strain for commercialisation.
  • Develop a Synthetic Cannabinoid Biology Programme to deliver life-saving therapeutics derived from the cannabis plant in a sustainable manner.
  • Deliver industry relevant projects, in particular the production of rare fatty acids, which have important applications in the pharmaceutical industry.

You can find out more here.

If you would like to discuss opportunities and support mechanisms for innovation in synthetic biology and biotechnology please contact a member of KTN’s Biotechnology Team.


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