Japanese multinational to start-up prototyping centre in Singapore research institute

Current R&D success with A*STAR’s IMRE prompts Nitto Denko to invest more in Singapore by building a prototyping centre, which will be incubated at local research institute.

Nitto Denko Asia Technical Centre (NAT) will be expanding its Singapore base to include a prototyping centre in Singapore. The centre will be pioneered at A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) under a unique Lab-in-RI[1] programme. NAT can leverage on existing infrastructure, research expertise, and save cost on facilities and equipment while working to establish the new prototyping centre.

The decision for the new centre stems from IMRE’s successful R&D project with NAT on optical waveguide devices, which are cheaper to manufacture and are more sensitive. NAT now wants to explore the biosensing applications of these devices and put them into a new range of low-cost, easy-to-use, home-based, consumer biosensors.

“The optical waveguide devices that were developed will give us the opportunity to create version 2.0 biosensors for future homes”, said Dr Su Xiaodi, a Senior Scientist who heads the IMRE research team. She will be working with NAT to put the devices into home-based biosensors that allow users to monitor their health with greater frequency and care, in the comfort of their home, and between visits to the doctor. The targeted users are those with health conditions that could change rapidly or require immediate attention.

“IMRE has been a credible partner since our initial collaboration in 2008, and we would like to continue to draw on IMRE’s intellectual resources and excellent facilities to further our R&D activities in Singapore”, said Dr Visit Thaveeprungsriporn, Director of NAT.

“The new sensor demonstrates how materials science research can benefit even the biomedical industry”, said Prof Andy Hor, IMRE’s Executive Director. “The setting up of the new prototyping lab in IMRE is a testament to our expertise and shows how industrially-relevant research institutes can be”.

Nitto Denko is one of Japan’s leading diversified materials manufacturer and a major producer of optical films used in LCD TVs. It invested S$10 million in setting up the Nitto Denko Asia Technical Centre (NAT) in Singapore to work on organic electronics research in 2008.

The IMRE-Nitto Denko team will begin R&D development at the new prototyping centre in February 2011 with a prototype expected to be available in early 2012.

– END –

For media enquiries, please contact:
Ms Jofelyn Lye
Senior Officer, Corporate Communications
for Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE)
3, Research Link
Singapore 117602
DID +65 6874 8349
Mobile +65 9647 2577
Email lyejml(at)scei.a-star.edu.sg

Ms Juliana Chua
Sr. Business Analyst, Business Development
for Nitto Denko Asia Technical Centre (NAT)
3 Fusionopolis Way
#05-21 Symbiosis, Singapore 138633
Tel +65 6467 7782
Email juliana_chua(at)gg.nitto.co.jp

For technical, business and membership enquiries, please contact:
Dr Su Xiaodi
Senior Scientist
Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE)
3, Research Link
Singapore 117602
DID +65 6874 8420
Email xd-su(at)imre.a-star.edu.sg

Mr Colin Leong
Industry Development Manager
Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE)
3, Research Link
Singapore 117602
DID +65 6872 7732
Email colin-leong(at)imre.a-star.edu.sg

Annex A – A*STAR Corporate Profiles

About the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE)
Established in September 1997, IMRE has built strong capabilities in materials analysis, characterisation, materials growth, patterning, fabrication, synthesis and integration. IMRE is an institute of talented researchers equipped with state-of-the-art facilities such as the SERC Nanofabrication and Characterisation Facility to conduct world-class materials science research. Leveraging on these capabilities, R&D programmes have been established in collaboration with industry partners. These include research on organic solar cells, nanocomposites, flexible organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), solid-state lighting, nanoimprinting, microfluidics and next generation atomic scale interconnect technology.

For more information about IMRE, please visit www.imre.a-star.edu.sg

About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is the lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and talent for a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation-driven Singapore. A*STAR oversees 14 biomedical sciences, and physical sciences and engineering research institutes, and seven consortia & centres, which are located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis, as well as their immediate vicinity.

A*STAR supports Singapore's key economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. It also supports extramural research in the universities, hospitals, research centres, and with other local and international partners.

For more information about A*STAR, please visit www.a-star.edu.sg.
About Nitto Denko Asia Technical Centre
Nitto Denko Asia Technical Centre Pte Ltd was set up in September 2008 at Singapore’s largest multi-disciplinary R&D hub, Fusionopolis, to manage the Integrated Organic Optoelectronic Sensing Device Project – three concurrent research projects with the Data Storage Institute, Institute of Materials Research & Engineering and Nanyang Technological University, to advance the field of organic electronic device development.


[1]Lab-in-RI – A laboratory based in one of A*STAR’s research institutes (RIs) in which the RIs provide partners with infrastructure and framework at an early stage of their R&D projects, allowing companies to jumpstart their R&D activities in Singapore.

Published: 23 Feb 2011

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