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Singapore and Australia to collaborate on medical research

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Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to promote exchange in health and medical research between the two countries over the next three years. As part of the MOU, the two organisations will commit a total of AUD$3.5 million to a grant which will fund collaborative research projects between Singaporean and Australian groups in areas such as emerging infectious diseases, regenerative medicine, non-communicable diseases, infomatics and nanotechnology. Scientific symposia will be run to establish research collaborations across Singapore and Australia. This will provide a platform for researchers from both countries to share their latest research and network. The first scheduled symposium will be in Australia in 2012. A*STAR Chairman, Mr Lim Chuan Poh said the agreement with NHMRC is a reflection of the growing scientific relations between the countries’ institutions. "A*STAR and NHMRC share a common vision to drive cutting-edge scientific research, geared for producing discoveries and innovations that will benefit our citizens and society at large," he added. "I am confident that we will build on this to forge even more meaningful and impactful collaborations." The two institutions will facilitate research exchanges for postdoctoral fellows between Singapore and Australia, enabling the exchange of scientific data and providing scientists with exposure and training in new research techniques. Singapore has had an MOU in the past with the Australian Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research in 2009 and two symposia co-organised with the Australian Academy of Sciences in Energy and Stem Cells which produced collaborations involving researchers from multiple Singaporean institutes. NHMRC CEO, Professor Warwick Anderson, said: "Through these international collaborations we will be better placed to bring together the best international research to fight health challenges today and into the future."

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