Singapore and Europe forge deeper ties in the life sciences through milestone cooperation agreement

As an EMBC Associate Member State, Singapore gains access to all of EMBO’s activities, providing its scientists with the opportunity to interact with and benefit from the best scientists in Europe. The agreement brings together major players in Singapore’s biomedical research scene, namely the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), the National University of Singapore (NUS), and Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Scientists can apply to all of EMBO’s programmes, such as long-term fellowships for postdoctoral researchers, short-term fellowships, courses and workshops, as well as the EMBO Young Investigator Programme. At the same time, Europe will benefit from closer interaction with the outstanding scientists in Singapore’s research community. Greater cooperation between nations will help catalyse new discoveries and deliver world-class solutions for global issues.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Singapore as the first EMBC Associate Member State,” said Professor Maria Leptin, Director of EMBO. “Since it was founded, EMBO has viewed cross-country cooperation as an essential foundation for the growth of science. The scientific community in Singapore, with its strengths in research and technology development, is a perfect partner for the exchange of expertise and we look forward to further collaboration in the years ahead.”

Mr Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), who signed the agreement on behalf of the Singapore Government, said, “Singapore has benefitted greatly from the partnership with one of Europe’s foremost organizations in the life sciences. We look forward to building on our collaborations and driving more impactful and innovative healthcare outcomes together with Europe as the first non-European EMBC Associate Member State.”

Professor Gerrit van Meer, President of the EMBC, remarked: “All member states enthusiastically welcome Singapore as the first Associate Member State of the EMBC. We look forward to working closely together to help support the work of talented researchers worldwide.”


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Notes to Editor:

Singapore’s admission as an EMBC Associate Member State builds upon its 2011 agreement with EMBO, which provided new opportunities for researchers in Singapore to engage their European counterparts in inter-disciplinary scientific collaborations over three years. The 2011 agreement saw strong participation by researchers from both Europe and Singapore, with two of A*STAR’s researchers, Associate Professor Bruno Reversade from the Institute of Medical Biology and Dr Florent Ginhoux from the Singapore Immunology Network, receiving the EMBO Young Investigator Award, and five other scientists awarded EMBO Long-Term Fellowships to work in prestigious European centres. Dr Malin Jonsson Boezelman and Martin Linster were awarded EMBO Long-Term Fellowships to conduct research in Singapore. EMBO workshops have been held in Singapore annually and were well attended by both Singapore and European scientists.

Following the EMBO Gold Medallist Symposium held in Singapore in May 2015, an EMBO workshop on ‚Telomeric Chromatin and Telomere Fragility’ has been planned in Singapore this December. Past EMBO workshops in 2013 and 2014 have focused on ‘Complex Systems in Immunology’, and ‘Cell Plasticity & Nuclear Dynamics,’ respectively.

For media queries and clarification, please contact:
Ms TANG Xin Ning
Senior Officer, Corporate Communications
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Tel: +65 6826 6452

Dr Barry WHYTE
Head, Public Relations & Communications
European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)
Tel: +49 6221 8891 108

About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore’s lead public sector agency that spearheads economic oriented research to advance scientific discovery and develop innovative technology. Through open innovation, we collaborate with our partners in both the public and private sectors to benefit society.

As a Science and Technology Organisation, A*STAR bridges the gap between academia and industry. Our research creates economic growth and jobs for Singapore, and enhances lives by contributing to societal benefits such as improving outcomes in healthcare, urban living, and sustainability.

We play a key role in nurturing and developing a diversity of talent and leaders in our Agency and Research Institutes, the wider research community and industry. A*STAR oversees 18 biomedical sciences and physical sciences and engineering research entities primarily located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis.

For more information on A*STAR, please visit

About EMBO
EMBO is an organization of more than 1700 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences. The major goals of the organization are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and help build a European research environment where scientists can achieve their best work.

EMBO helps young scientists to advance their research, promote their international reputations and ensure their mobility. Courses, workshops, conferences and scientific journals disseminate the latest research and offer training in techniques to maintain high standards of excellence in research practice. EMBO helps to shape science and research policy by seeking input and feedback from our community and by following closely the trends in science in Europe.

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