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SYNOPSIS

Over the last 25 years, Singapore has strategized and implemented a series of national plans in developing research and innovation in both the public and private sectors, which has enabled the nation to upgrade its national research resources and capabilities in Science & Engineering from a third world to a first world status in selective areas. Its indigenous Innovation and related Enterprise creation effort by exploiting deep research has also started to see some early, promising results.  In order to further strategize and plan for “What’s Next”, it is timely to review the policies/strategies taken by Singapore since 1991 and the results achieved. A summary will first be given in this Lecture. We shall then discuss which policies/strategies could be continued, enhanced or adapted, and what new policies/strategies may be introduced in future to help Singapore overcome new challenges and capture new opportunities as it sustains the long journey towards a high level of indigenous Innovation and Enterprise creation. The current strategies of MNC partnership, human talent development, and growing tech-driven local enterprises would likely be continued and enhanced. The new strategies could include initiating effort to equip the research talent pool with new capabilities in technology and innovation management skills, and initiating the development of Frugal, Disruptive R&D and Innovation programmes based on the new paradigm of “Think Local, Act Global” for capturing the high growth emerging markets. The goal is to accelerate the pace of developing Singapore towards the status of an Innovation Creation Nation.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Professor Hang Chang Chieh received the Ph.D degree in Control Engineering from the University of Warwick, England, in 1973.  From 1974 to 1977, he worked as a Computer and Systems Technologist in the Shell Eastern Petroleum Company (Singapore) and the Shell International Petroleum Company (The Netherlands).  Since 1977, he has been with the National University of Singapore, serving in various positions including being the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering.  From 1994 to 2000, he served as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University in charge of research.  From 1991 to 1999, he served as Deputy Chairman, National Science & Technology Board. From 2001 to 2003, he was seconded to Agency for Science, Technology and Research to serve as its Executive Deputy Chairman.  Since 2004, he has resumed his academic career in the National University of Singapore.  His current appointments include Executive Director, Institute for Engineering Leadership and Head of Division of Engineering and Technology Management, Faculty of Engineering.

Prof Hang received the 2000 National Science & Technology Medal for his leadership and contributions to science and technology development in Singapore.  He was elected a Fellow of IEEE in 1998 and a Foreign Member of the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK in 2000. He served as the founding Chairman of Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) from 2001 to 2009.  Currently, he serves as non-executive Chairman of three high-tech companies in Singapore.

 

PROGRAMME

7:00 pm Opening address by Prof Chua Soo Jin, Chair of the NUS Engineering Lecture Series
7:05 pm Lecture by Prof Hang Chang Chieh
7:45 pm Q&A
8:00 pm End

 

 

 

 

REGISTRATION

Please click here to register. All are welcome. Admission is free.

 

SYNOPSIS

A road less travelled: My greatest childhood pleasure was exploring the longkangs of Singapore for fish and frogs. I was also captivated by Rediffusion master story-teller Lei Dai Sor’s tales of the Monkey King’s exploits in Journey to the West. They fired up my imagination and ignited my hope that I might one day live such an adventure.

Little did I know that this love of adventure would take me on a journey of discovery and learning, one which is still continuing five decades later. My journey began in North America where I spent 30 years, then back to Singapore, to the Middle East and now in China. I have seen how technology shapes and is shaped by culture and society, how jobs are created, how people live, how cities grow while some decline, and how the life cycle of products and companies is shortening. 

Universities are seats of inquiry and learning where critical thinking and creative activity are prized. My initiation into this world came about during my first meeting with my PhD advisor at Harvard. He challenged me: “If you wish to be my student, I expect to learn new things from you too.”

Americans celebrate individual initiative and hard-won success. This distinctive culture, indomitable optimism and confidence underpin the start-up culture, result-oriented meritocracy and the vitality and drive that permeate Silicon Valley. 

Pacific Century: Fueling the dynamism of the Pacific Century is talent circulation, entrepreneurial capitalism and the enormity of the Pacific market, particularly American and Chinese markets. China’s investment in science and technology – building blocks of an innovation economy – will reach US levels in the coming years. It is the global economy’s mainstay and its modernization is a major engine of growth worldwide.

The next decades will open fresh vistas and opportunities for investment and access to talents, technologies and markets through new models of transnational ventures, such as One Belt One Road initiative, collaborative R&D and technology commercialization. These promise to accelerate economic growth in Asia-Pacific and beyond. 

How can we ride this sea change? What traits and experiences will help our younger generation venture beyond safe harbors to ride the changing tide? What mental maps and mindsets can help us transcend boundaries of place, identity and norms as well as bridge diverse cultures and perspectives? Will global minds and Singapore hearts be critical factors for Singapore to flourish in the coming decades? 

 

BIOGRAPHY

Professor Shih Choon Fong is currently University Professor at the National University of Singapore, where he was formerly President (2000–2008). He also served as Founding President of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia (2008–2013).  He has advisory roles with Peking University, Legend School, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Saudi Aramco, among others. He serves on the judging panel of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering and is a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and US National Academy of Engineering. In 2007, Prof Shih received the inaugural Chief Executive Leadership Award for Asia Pacific from the Council for Advancement and Support for Education. 

Drawing from his experiences abroad, Prof Shih promoted NUS as a research-intensive university with an entrepreneurial dimension, modernized the undergraduate curriculum and introduced the modular system, increased overseas students exchange programs, and strengthened international engagements. He was a key driver for the formation of the International Alliance of Research Universities, and led the Association of Pacific Rim Universities for several years.

Prof Shih received his professional diploma in engineering from Singapore Polytechnic and MS and PhD from Harvard University. In the 70’s thru the 90’s, he worked at AS&E (an MIT spin-off) and General Electric R&D before joining Brown University. 

Prof Shih divides his time between China, Singapore and US, where he is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

 

PROGRAMME

7:00 pm Opening address by Prof Chua Soo Jin, Chair of the NUS Engineering Lecture Series
7:05 pm Lecture by Prof Shih Choon Fong
7:45 pm Q&A
8:00 pm End