Scientists in Singapore and Europe will have new avenues for scientific interaction, following a cooperation agreement between EMBO, its intergovernmental funding body, EMBC, and the government of Singapore. The agreement will allow Singapore scientists to participate in EMBO training programmes and activities. It also means that EMBO workshops and lectures can take place in Singapore. This is the first cooperation agreement of its kind between EMBO, EMBC and Singapore.
“EMBO promotes and encourages the development of the life sciences within Europe and beyond. We welcome the opportunity to ensure the mobility of scientists between Singapore and Europe and we look forward to the scientific collaboration that this agreement will bring,” said EMBO Director Maria Leptin.
Chairman of the Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Mr Lim Chuan Poh, said that Singapore shared the same vision. “We are confident that this agreement will spur international collaborations in world-class scientific research, which will pave the way for new biomedical discoveries and global healthcare solutions.”
A*STAR represented Singapore in negotiations. The agreement brings together major players in Singapore’s biomedical research scene, namely A*STAR, the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
Under the agreement, scientists can apply for EMBO Short-Term and Long-Term Fellowships to work in Singapore or Europe. Scientists from Singapore can apply to the EMBO Young Investigator Programme, which provides outstanding young scientists with financial, academic and practical support to start up their first independent research laboratories.
Singapore and EMBO will also cooperate in the organization of an EMBO Workshop in Singapore, which will help to spark cross-disciplinary collaborations. The workshop organizers from Singapore and Europe can apply for funding for an EMBO Member or Young Investigator as plenary lecturer at their event. Other conferences in Singapore can also apply for the support of an EMBO Member or Young Investigator as speaker.
The cooperation agreement will run for three years.
The cooperation agreement builds on a growing series of exchanges between Singapore and scientists associated with EMBO. Key EMBO Members based in Singapore include NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson; A*STAR Chief Scientist, Professor Sir David Lane; Chairman of A*STAR’s Biomedical Research Council, Professor Sir George Radda; and NTU Professor of Biological Sciences and Chair of EMBO Council, Daniela Rhodes. Since 2005, there have been eight EMBO-funded events in Singapore, including a 2011 Plenary Lecture. In 2009, 12 EMBO Gold Medalists presented their work and held discussions with 300 researchers based in Singapore on a range of topics in developmental, cell and molecular biology.