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Singapore: Asia's hub for biotechnology and clinical research

Jun. 22, 2017

Over the last 20 years, Singapore has successfully established a solid foundation for scientific innovation.

As part of a national strategy to become the Asian hub for biotechnology research and development, the multi-ethnic city-state actively promotes advanced clinical research, innovation, and enterprise. It also offers world-class intellectual property protection.

The Singapore government has established an integrated research ecosystem giving biotechnology companies easy access to multidisciplinary capabilities.

As a result, Singapore is now Asia's fastest growing bio-cluster. In 2015, 65% of the overall growth of manufacturing outputs were from Singapore's biotechnology sector alone.

Singapore's support for biotechnology and clinical research

Singapore's drive to establish itself as the Asian hub for biotechnology research and development has resulted in the creation of a multitude of research institutes.

Singapore established the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) as a statutory board of the Singapore Ministry of Health on April 1, 2001. The purpose: to provide an environment of innovation, ensure global standards of safety and quality and define new regulatory frameworks to pursue cutting-edge research in regulatory sciences.

  • To support clinical trials, the Singapore government has established two major organizations. The SingHealth Investigational Medicine Unit focuses on supporting early-phase clinical trials. The Singapore Clinical Research Institute is dedicated to later-stage clinical trials.
  • To recruit globally established clinician investigators the country offers the Singapore Translational Research Investigator Award organized by the Ministry of Health's National Medical Research Council (NMRC).
  • The Bioinformatics Institute was set up in July 2001 to focus research on theoretical approaches applied to aid the understanding of biomolecular mechanisms.
  • The Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences was set up in 2007 to deal with clinical research studies and the use of innovative technologies and approaches to promote the health and human capacity of Singapore.
  • Biopolis, a major bio-cluster, was set up as a key project of the JTC Corporation (a state-owned real estate corporation and statutory board under the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore). Back in October 2013, Biopolis had 38 private biomedical corporations, 10 public research institutes, and over 2,500 researchers from more than 70 countries. Biopolis is still growing today, promoting the biomedical industry and providing unparalleled experimental equipment, diagnostic equipment, and conference facilities.

Singapore's outstanding infrastructure, fit for biotechnology and clinical trials

Singapore's biomedical industry is considered to be the next driving force of the economy.

With its national strategy in full swing, both public and private sectors working together and research institutes proactively inviting top-level researchers from around the world, Singapore's biomedical industry is formidable.

With an outstanding infrastructural setup, Singapore is the ideal place for biotechnology research and clinical trials.

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