Singapore a global hotspot for scientific excellenceBY RICHARD FLYNN
Over the past few decades the advancement of scientific technologies has enabled many researchers in the field of science to overcome specific hurdles that previously hindered discoveries in the areas of biopharmaceuticals and pharmaceuticals to medical devices and diagnostics. Personally, as a scientist working within research and development I relish the thought of faster, more reliable and ease of use systems that would make my job more definitive and straight-forward.
From my experience at Nanyang Technological University as well as from studying back in Ireland at University College Dublin, I can see the undeniable amount of potential career options available to individuals like myself in Asia, predominately in Singapore.
I am currently completing a Biotechnology Masters programme and feel that the international placement here in Singapore has helped me to understand how focused Asia is on its research pipelines. I applied for the Masters to get a broader understanding of the biotechnology industry not just in Ireland but worldwide.
Personally, I think Singapore is one of the global hotspots for R&D that arises from the considerable governmental backing of the sciences.
The issuing of grants to research teams has also spurred on the emphasis for practical research programmes within the country.
This offers a great platform for budding scientists as there is a direct focus on \ development of new drugs, diagnostic tests, therapeutic agents, medical devices etc.
This however not only applies to graduates and professionals of biotechnology but also to the areas of business, education, and hospitality, to name a few.
The validation and verification of results in scientific research historically faced significant technological and time consuming barriers at different stages.
However, recent developments in instrumentation as well as huge advances in both the sensitivity and specification of next generation technology have done much to remove these barriers.
This has led to a huge increase in the potential for scientific research to provide jobs and careers for scientific graduates and professionals alike. With this being said, Asia and especially Singapore have put a lot of emphasis on R&D over the last few years.
The importance of research, on a company and university level, paves the opportunity for innovation and growth of drug discovery/development strategies, as well as the generation of new therapeutic regimens and diagnostic techniques.
Singapore has established a strong focus on scientific and clinical excellence which is an attractive incentive for any aspiring researcher, like myself.
With Singapore being named one of the “Up and Coming” countries in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors, it has and continues to attract a variety of “High Profiled” companies to its shores. To put in context, today in Singapore, eight of the top 10 pharmaceutical and all of the top 10 medical technology companies have set up their regional headquarters here.
They include global companies such as Abbott, Bayer Schering Pharmaceuticals, GE Healthcare, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Quintiles, Roche, etc.
With the amount of these companies based within Singapore, the need for expertise within business is essential. Graduates of accounting, economics, management and marketing help companies to increase their productivity and promote their business on an international scale, which is fundamental to success in the biotechnology industry.
The prospect of these companies one day becoming future employers has enhanced the idea of sourcing out a career within Asia. The sheer vastness and diversity of companies located here shows clearly that job opportunities are an eye-catching possibility within Singapore.
It is also of huge significance that the Global Young Scientist Summit will be held here in January of next year. The five-day event will attract up to 400 young scientists from more than 20 countries worldwide. The focal point of GYSS culminates around the networking of youthful researchers with world-renowned leaders in the field of science, hence reinforcing the importance of scientific research within companies and universities in Singapore.
The possibility of gaining new contacts and connections with senior level researchers, for me, is invaluable and a must when actively seeking out a career within science. Their knowledge and experience can help guide and also open up new windows of opportunity for employment, and could even spark an interest in an area of science that one would never have even considered before. In my opinion, Singapore is an international oasis for both developing researchers and business entrepreneurs from Singapore and abroad.
To conclude, I find Singapore to be one of the universal centerfolds for R&D around the world and I cannot wait to see how the country develops over the coming years.