S'pore, EU team up on ICT research

Singapore has inked an agreement with the European Union to cooperate in ICT research and development, tapping on expertise from both public and private sectors.
Written by Vivian Yeo, Contributor

Singapore has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the European Union (EU) to drive collaboration in ICT research and development.

The MOU was signed Friday in the island-state by the EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media Viviane Reding, and Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang, according to a media statement.

The signing provides a broad framework for partners from Europe and Singapore to link up and cooperate on infocomm R&D, according to the statement. Entities involved could include businesses, public and private research institutes, universities and other R&D organizations.

"The MOU will facilitate more ICT research collaborations between Europe and Singapore, which may in turn open up more commercialization opportunities for companies from both sides to ride along the economic upturn and beyond," said Lim.

"There is great synergy and compatibility between Europe and Singapore," Reding noted in the statement. "It helps to build the competitive advantage of both Europe and Singapore in the area of ICT and this will certainly lay the foundation for the economies of Europe and Singapore for when the global economy recovers from this recession."

Over in Europe, the ICT sector has been allocated 1 billion euros (US$1.3 billion) under the EU's Economy Recovery Plan. This is in addition to the existing EU funding program for ICT research, which will spend 9 billion euros (US$11.5 billion) between 2007 and 2013.

Similarly, the Singapore government has committed spending, particularly in the area of media and digital entertainment. On Thursday, it announced a S$250 million (US$162.9 million) boost that includes research and development (R&D) programs. Also, in January, it pledged S$230 million (US$149.8 million) to the Singapore Media Fusion fund to support local enterprises export their work overseas.

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