Science and Technology [fr]


Franco-Singaporean scientific cooperation: flourishing relationship

For 15 years, Franco-Singaporean relations have been on the rise following the development of scientific research in Singapore. During the last 10 years, Singapore has seen the creation of four UMIs (International Mixed Units) out of the six UMIs and one LIA (International Associated Laboratory) in Southeast Asia. Numerous other projects are ongoing or being created and many internationally well-known French scientists work in Singapore, whether on a long- or short-term basis.

Since 2014, the regional office of the CNRS (the French National Center for the Scientific Research) for ASEAN is based in Singapore, showing the importance of scientific cooperation between France and Singapore. Also, a new Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the French National Agency for Research (Agence Nationale de la Recherche or ANR) and its Singaporean counterpart, the National Research Foundation (NRF) to fund Franco-Singaporean collaborative research projects.

Franco-Singaporean laboratories and bilateral scientific agreements

International Mixed Units (UMI)

UMI IPAL – Image Pervasive Access Lab

IPAL is a Singapore-based Franco-Singaporean joint research laboratory created in 1999, to focus research on the indexing of images by their content and the analysis of signal processing. IPAL became a UMI of the CNRS in 2007 and renewed its status for four more years from February 2011.

IPAL counts six different partners: from Singapore, the NUS (National University of Singapore) and A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research); from France, the CNRS, “Université Joseph Fourier (Grenoble)”, “Institut Télécom” and UPMC (Paris). The last two partners came on board in February 2011.

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UMI CINTRA – CNRS International-NTU-Thalès Research Alliance

CINTRA is a Franco-Singaporean international joint laboratory with three major partners, namely the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Institute for Engineering and Systems Science (Nanyang Technological University (NTU)) and Thalès, the French electronics giant and global leader in aerospace, space, defense, security and transportation. CINTRA’s focus is on nanopackaging, multifunctional materials & devices, and microwave photonics.

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UMI BMC3 - BioMechanics of Cell-Cell Contact

This UMI was created in 2014, having been converted from the former International Associated Laboratory (LIA) CAFS (Cell Adhesion France-Singapore). This UMI was jointly established by the CNRS and the National University of Singapore (NUS)’s Mechanobiology Institute of Singapore, a Centre of Excellence funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF).

Mechanobiology is the study of the mechanics of cell-substrate and cell-cell contact at the molecular, cellular and tissue level. The UMI uses an interdisciplinary and multi-scale approach to understand the coupling between the mechanics, the spatial organisation of proteins and the biological properties of cell contacts.

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UMI Merlion MajuLAB
This laboratory was also created as an UMI in 2014, evolving from its former status as the LIA FSQL (France-Singapore Quantum Physics and Information Laboratory). It involves four partners: the CNRS, the university Sophia Antipolis, the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

This UMI will leverage the strengths and capabilities of the laboratory partners and bring together different research groups from NUS and NTU to conduct advanced and interdisciplinary research in a wide range of areas, including quantum physics, quantum information, quantum computing, 2D materials and soft condensed matter, nanoscale physics and laser physics.

For further information:

International Associated Laboratory (LIA)

The Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN) was opened in 2008 with a funding of €80 M for five years. Since then, strong cooperation with France in the area of immunology was built up, thanks in part to Professor Philippe Kourilsky, SIgN’s past Executive Director.

In May 2009, an Associate International Laboratory conducting research work on malaria was set up in collaboration with the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM). It involved a French team headed by Dr. Dominique Mazier from France, a Singaporean team led by French scientist, Dr. Laurent Rénia, and another team from the university Pierre et Marie Curie. Dr Laurent Renia was officially named Executive Director of SIgN in 2014, thus further reinforcing ties with France.

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SONDRA (Supélec ONERA NUS DSO Research Alliance) is a joint laboratory, established in 2004, involving ONERA, Supélec (Ecole Supérieure d’Electricité - France), National University of Singapore (NUS) and DSO, Singapore’s research agency for defense. This laboratory, based in France, is focused on advanced electromagnetic concepts and radar technologies.

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Research agreements

There are many ongoing cooperation projects between France and Singapore involving laboraries, companies, agencies and public institutions:

CNRS, CEA, ERI@N, IRSN, Veolia, NTU, UTT, NUS, SUTD, INSERM, CNES, UPMC, A*STAR, SERI, USPC, ANR, NRF, EDB, INSERM, ONERA, Dassault Systèmes, EDF, HDB, Science Center, Sciences Po Paris, PSA, Airbus, Alstom, Total, GDF-Suez, HEC, Sorbonne Université, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Université Paris-Saclay, SMU, ESSEC, CentraleSupélec …

Call for proposals

Merlion programme

The PHC Merlion Program is a joint French-Singaporean collaboration, managed by the Institut Français de Singapour, in partnership with Singaporean institutions to encourage and support new scientific research development between French and Singaporean laboratories, through funding the scientists’ trip exchanges. There are three different funding opportunities:

  • Merlion Project: Funding of missions between France and Singapore for researchers, post-doctoral and doctoral students involved in a joint research project.
  • Merlion Workshop: Co-organising a workshop based on a common theme, to be held in either France or Singapore, with the aim of eventually leading to a bilateral research agreement.
  • Merlion Ph.D: Funding of stays in France and in Singapore of up to 6 months per year (maximum 3 years) for Ph.D students from a Singaporean or French partner laboratory.

For further information:

ANR – NRF call for proposal

The joint bilateral grant call between the National Research Foundation (NRF), Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore and Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR), France, is a national level collaboration between Singapore and France for French-Singapore collaborative research projects. The grant call seeks to strengthen the collaboration between French and Singaporean research communities in areas of mutual interest in order to achieve world-class scientific and technical results, leading to new and innovative technologies.

Selected projects must reflect a high degree of collaboration between both the French and Singaporean partners in planning, development and execution. Collaborating investigators must be mutually engaged throughout the course of the project.

The projects submitted for the ANR-NRF Joint Grant Call must focus on basic research into “materials, nanotechnologies and nano systems”.

For further information:

Scientific Reporting

A collection of articles and reports in French about science and technological activities in Singapore and Franco-Singaporean cooperation is available online for free.

For further information (in French):

Dernière modification : 20/06/2019

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