The National University of Singapore (NUS) will be partnering the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) to establish the NUS College in Stockholm. This is NUS's first college in Europe and fourth college located at leading entrepreneurial hubs around the world.
An MOU signing ceremony between NUS and KTH held on the afternoon of Tuesday, 17 May 2005 at KTH's Valhallavagen campus in central Stockholm. The agreement will be signed by the Presidents of both universities and the ceremony will be graced by Dr Tony Tan, Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in-Charge of Universities. Others attending the ceremony include officials from both universities and the business leaders of partner companies in Stockholm.
Specially selected students will work at technology-based start-up companies in the Stockholm region, while studying entrepreneurship and technology-related courses conducted by KTH and the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship (SSES). SSES is a joint initiative of several Swedish institutions including KTH, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm School of Economics and the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design. Among the pioneer group of participating partner companies in this programme are FormPipe AB and Attana AB.
Mr. Rikard Akhtarzand, Managing Director of FormPipe Software AB said, "NUS offered us an intern who is versatile enough to do both software development and marketing. Jason Quek will be immersed in the entrepreneurial culture of our company and play a role in helping us grow. We are glad to be able to leverage on this NUS-KTH partnership as it will offer excellent research and business collaboration opportunities. Our company also plans to ride on this highly unique programme to explore new business opportunities as we view Singapore and NUS as the gateway to rest of the markets in the Asian region."
Mr. Jason Quek, 3rd year undergraduate from NUS School of Computing said, "I am exhilarated by this opportunity to experience first-hand what makes Sweden such a great place for innovations and businesses. Now I will seize the opportunity to contribute positively to FormPipe as it enters a highly exciting growth and development phase. This one-year stint will be an invaluable learning experience for me and over the longer term, I will be able to complement the exposure gained in Sweden with my knowledge of Singapore to explore possible business opportunities for my internship company."
Mr. Samir Fostock, Business Development Director at Attana AB shared, "Being a start-up company founded by a very young team, we relate to the entrepreneurship education objective of the NUS Overseas Colleges programme and are excited to be playing a role in building the next generation of global entrepreneurs. Technology research and development is a critical aspect of our business and this programme will offer opportunities for us to leverage on the NUS research infrastructure through research collaboration with our student intern."
Founded in 1827, KTH is Sweden's oldest and most reputable technical university and accounts for approximately one-third of Sweden's capacity for undergraduate and post-graduate engineering studies and technical research. A world leading institution in several fields of research, KTH is renowned for its excellent academic programmes and achievements. Plans are in the pipeline for KTH to collaborate with NUS to set up a similar overseas college in Singapore.
Professor Shih Choon Fong, NUS President, said, "KTH is a highly reputable and forward-looking technical university in Sweden under the visionary leadership of its President Professor Anders Flodstrom. NUS, which is celebrating its centennial anniversary this year, is proud to be associated with KTH, a distinguished institution with an even longer history of academic excellence stretching over 175 years. The signing of the MOU with KTH marks a significant milestone in NUS' commitment to provide innovative educational and entrepreneurial opportunities to our students in a boundaryless, intellectual environment. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with KTH in the years ahead."
KTH President Anders Flodstrom said, "At KTH, NUS is known as a world class university with an extremely well developed, entrepreneurial spirit, with which KTH exchange students and faculty have experienced many positive collaborative projects. I believe that joint efforts such as this one with NUS are in the new international spirit of creating close functional networks between universities with similar visions and objectives."
Sweden, home of multinational companies such as Volvo and Ericsson has undergone some amazing economic transformations. According to the 2003 IDC/World Times Information Society Index (ISI), Sweden was ranked the world's number one IT nation for 4 consecutive years from 2000 to 2003.
The strong ICT presence is highly evident at the Kista Science City where some of the internship companies will be located. There are some 400 IT companies located there with approximately 65,000 people working in the Kista Science City area. Established companies like Nokia, Ericsson and Sun Microsystems, and the many start-ups located at Kista Science City will provide the NUS undergraduates with valuable opportunities to network with entrepreneurs and industry experts alike.