Singapore Spent S$5 Billion On R&D Last Year

SINGAPORE, Dec 21 (Bernama) — Singapore, which is nurturing its next generation of scientific talent, has hit the S$5 billion mark on its spending on research and development (R&D) last year.

At 2.39 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), the city-state is on the way to meeting the target of three percent by 2010, the Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) said Friday.

The agency said in a statement that private sector R&D expenditure accounted for 66 percent (S$3.3 billion).

A*STAR is Singapore's lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and talent and it actively nurtures public sector research and development in biomedical sciences, physical sciences and engineering.

According to the agency, the gross domestic expenditure on R&D continued to outpace GDP growth of 8.1 percent last year, increasing by 9.3 percent from S$4,582 million in 2005 to S$5,010 million.

The gross domestic expenditure as a percentage of GDP rose from 2.36 percent in 2005 to 2.39 percent, it said.

The agency also said that Singapore's research talent base continued to expand and the total research scientists and engineers manpower pool increased six percent to 26,436 in the same year.

It added that the significant increase in R&D activities last year had also led to a healthy growth in patenting activities in Singapore in which patent applications grew 28 percent to 2,036 from 1,594 in 2005.