Keppel Corporation (Keppel) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) announced the founding of the Keppel-NUS Corporate Laboratory, in collaboration with the National Research Foundation (NRF), Prime Minister's Office, Singapore. The laboratory, which will be based at the NUS Faculty of Engineering, will be established with an investment amount of S$75 million.
The launch of the Keppel-NUS Corporate Laboratory was graced by Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Teo Chee Hean, who is also Chairman of NRF.
The Keppel-NUS Corporate Laboratory is the second laboratory to be established under the NRF's Corp Lab at University scheme, which is established to support Singapore's autonomous universities in their conduct of industry-relevant research with companies as partners.
Keppel, which has been working closely with NUS Engineering for more than 10 years in the field of offshore engineering, is the first local company to establish a laboratory of this scale, in collaboration with a Singapore university. The move signifies a deeper collaboration between the industry and academia. In the long term, the Corporate Laboratory aims to nurture engineering students for the offshore industry, providing opportunities for talented and motivated students to get hands-on experience with valuable exposure to the practical needs of the offshore industry.
The Keppel-NUS Corporate Laboratory will create a synergistic industry-university partnership to pursue three main research thrusts which are centered on Future Systems, Future Yards and Future Resources to meet the future challenges of the offshore industry. Its vision is to be a global technology center of excellence in the pursuit of resources in a safe and responsible manner from harsh environments and ocean beds, preserving and sustaining our environment. Its mission is to undertake R&D through Keppel's core competencies and NUS' research expertise for solutions to Deepwater, Arctic and other fields.
Leveraging on the expertise of NUS research centers such as the NUS Center for Offshore Research & Engineering (CORE) and NUS Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI), as well as Keppel's research unit Keppel Offshore & Marine Technology Center, the Corporate Laboratory will develop capabilities and technologies to maintain Singapore's position as a global leader in the offshore and marine industry.
Professor Low Teck Seng, Chief Executive of NRF, said, "This collaboration is an inflexion point because it is the first time a local MNC is investing a substantial amount of money to engage a university in both the breadth and depth of research. This corporate laboratory will capitalize on Keppel's expertise in the offshore and marine industry, as well as the research and technological capabilities that our universities have built over many years. The Corp Lab at University scheme is a proactive approach to catalyze the translation of research into accrued benefits for Singapore."
Professor Chan Eng Soon, cochairman of Keppel-NUS Corporate Laboratory and Dean, Faculty of Engineering at NUS, said, "The establishment of the Keppel-NUS Corporate Laboratory will provide a unique platform to build synergy between industry and academia. It will certainly create a culture for thinking out of the box in addressing real world problems. As it is imperative that we leapfrog ahead in innovation and technology towards expanding Singapore's investment in the offshore industry, we need to nurture engineer leaders and experts capable of going beyond frontiers in coming out with holistic solutions for complex challenges of the future. The Keppel-NUS Corporate Laboratory will help us achieve this. I am very glad that Keppel is partnering us in this venture. I am also grateful to the National Research Foundation for its generous support."
Michael Chia, cochairman of Keppel-NUS Corporate Laboratory and Managing Director (Marine and Technology), Keppel Offshore & Marine, added: "Keppel's participation in this initiative is in line with our aim to leverage technology and innovation to be the Provider of Choice and Partner for Solutions to the global offshore & marine industry. We have built a global reputation for innovative offshore solutions over the years, and we firmly believe that this core competency, strengthened by the research expertise of academic institutions like NUS and supported by the Singapore Government, will help sustain our leadership position as we grow into the future."