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Imperial College London’s Tech Hub in Singapore

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A public institution and a science-focused university, the Imperial College London has inaugurated its first overseas research and innovation centre in Singapore. The establishment of Imperial Global in Singapore reflects the university’s commitment to strengthening ties between the UK and Singapore, fostering a dynamic hub for scientific breakthroughs, technological advancement, and collaborative research initiatives.

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This pioneering venture builds on the longstanding strategic partnership between Imperial College London and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore). Imperial’s scientists will collaborate closely with academic, industry, government, and third-sector partners in Singapore, marking a new chapter in international research collaboration.

The centre’s inaugural research programme, IN-CYPHER, is a groundbreaking S$20 million initiative in partnership with NTU Singapore, aimed at enhancing the security of medical devices and health data. Leveraging Imperial’s expertise, this programme seeks to position Singapore as a global leader in health cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI) for healthcare.

Situated at the National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF) Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE), the centre provides state-of-the-art laboratories for Imperial staff and PhD students, facilitating collaborative projects with Singapore’s top universities and institutes.

The location at CREATE, an international research campus and innovation hub, underscores Imperial’s commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge exchange on a global scale.

The strategic focus of the centre extends beyond immediate research goals. Imperial envisions utilising the Singapore-based hub for various initiatives, including entrepreneurship programmes, startup accelerators, student placements, and technology-driven breakthroughs for societal benefit.

As the centre spearheads research projects addressing global challenges such as pandemic preparedness, climate change, the transition to net-zero, and AI, it establishes itself as a pivotal player in Southeast Asia’s scientific and technological landscape.

Professor Luke Ong, Distinguished University Professor and Vice President (Research) at NTU Singapore, stressed the enduring strategic partnership and successful collaborations between NTU and Imperial College London. The latest initiative capitalises on NTU’s interdisciplinary research approach, particularly in addressing healthcare challenges and leveraging strengths in AI and cybersecurity.

Professor Hugh Brady, President of Imperial College London highlighted the timeliness of the initial focus on medical device and health data security, emphasising its significance in improving patient outcomes and ensuring health system integrity.

The collaboration between Imperial College London and Singapore has a rich history, marked by milestones like the establishment of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) in 2010 and the virtual NTU-Imperial Health, Sustainability, and Technology Hub in 2022.

The latter focuses on collaborative research in scientific research and development to address pressing global challenges. Imperial’s engagement in Singapore extends to the realms of pandemic preparedness and response, business education through the Singapore Green Finance Centre, and active participation in Singapore’s vibrant academic community.

The inaugural research project of the new centre, focused on improving the cybersecurity of medical devices, addresses critical concerns as technology in healthcare advances. With the award of a S$20 million grant, Imperial and NTU Singapore aim to develop innovative solutions to protect implantable active devices and enhance the data protection of connected wearables and healthcare systems.

This proactive approach aligns with the evolving landscape of healthcare technology, emphasising security in the collection and storage of personal data. Imperial College London’s strategic expansion into Singapore represents a synergy of academic excellence, technological innovation, and global collaboration.

The centre not only advances scientific frontiers but also cements the university’s role as a catalyst for positive change in the international research landscape. As Imperial continues to host and engage with the Singaporean academic community, the new research hub stands poised to make transformative contributions to the realms of healthcare, technology, and societal well-being.


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