Precision engineering sector to get a boost through innovations and partnerships

A*STAR Collaborative Commerce Marketplace launched to encourage growth of precision engineering R&D and business eco-system.

Singapore — Call it the LinkedIn for local manufacturing businesses. To encourage business collaborations and interactions between multi-national corporations (MNCs), small and medium enterprises (SMEs), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) research institutes, and institutes of higher learning, the A*STAR Collaborative Commerce Marketplace (ACCM) was launched today.

The ACCM was one of four new initiatives announced at the Precision Engineering Centre of Innovation (PE COI) Annual Conference 2016. Graced by Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), Mr S. Iswaran, the event was organised by A*STAR's Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), in collaboration with the Singapore Precision Engineering and Technology Association (SPETA).

The four new initiatives aim to up the competitiveness of local precision engineering companies by developing their capabilities.

The ACCM e-portal highlights the capabilities of local SMEs, so MNCs can easily source for prospective suppliers in Singapore. The platform also allows SMEs to gain insights to the needs of MNCs. Through this network, companies with similar interests can better connect with each other, and to A*STAR research institutes or universities that can help them bridge technology gaps. The ACCM is open to all government agencies, suppliers and industry partners.

Details of the ACCM are in Annex A.

A new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SIMTech and SPETA also allows the association’s members to accelerate and scale-up their adoption of technology. Through this collaboration, SPETA members can benefit from SIMTech’s expertise in technology road-mapping and capabilities upgrading. Members would also benefit from SIMTech’s Manufacturing R&D Certificate Programme, and Singapore Workforce Development Agency funded courses offered by SIMTech. They would also gain access to SIMTech’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, potentially reducing capital-intensive investments in equipment.

Details of the MOU and SIMTech’s schemes can be found in Annex B.

Dr Lim Ser Yong, Executive Director of SIMTech said, “With the fast changing manufacturing landscape, the alliance with SPETA enables large-scale building of future-ready capabilities for PE companies to stay relevant. With its vast pool of member companies constantly looking for opportunities to grow their businesses, SPETA is an ideal platform for fast and mass adoption of technologies by local PE manufacturing companies to upgrade their competencies and capabilities. SIMTech is forging more of such partnerships with other trade associations to reach out to more companies in other manufacturing sectors.”

Mr Jeremy Fong, Chairman of SPETA, said, “For many years, SPETA has worked with SIMTech to support local Precision Engineering companies. To further help local companies retain and improve their positions in this competitive global industry, SPETA and SIMTech have found new areas for collaboration. Today's MOU signing marks a significant milestone, cementing an elevated partnership where both SPETA and SIMTech can leverage on each other’s strengths to reach out and help local SMEs upgrade and venture into high value-added sectors.”

A joint R&D collaboration between SIMTech and Applied Materials, Inc. has also been created to develop key technologies in additive manufacturing.

The partnership aims to enable metal 3D printing of parts that can function in rigorous operating environments, such as semiconductor manufacturing. The collaboration combines Applied Materials’ leading expertise in materials engineering and manufacturing with SIMTech’s additive manufacturing technology competencies, strong pre- and post-processing capabilities and infrastructure to support additive manufacturing projects.

Mr. Russell Tham, Corporate Vice President and Regional President South East Asia, Applied Materials said, “Applied Materials is well-positioned to contribute towards the adoption of additive manufacturing technologies. We are pleased to have had successful partnerships with A*STAR and its various institutes and we are excited to embark on this new partnership with SIMTech. Together, we look forward to innovating and creating value through new technologies that can strengthen Singapore’s competencies in this growing market.”

To grow additive manufacturing capabilities among SMEs, SIMTech also signed an MOU with five SMEs under a new additive manufacturing Collaborative Industry Project (CIP) initiative. This will enable participating SMEs to tap into SIMTech’s additive manufacturing expertise and facilities to accelerate their adoption of additive manufacturing technology. It also equips the companies with capabilities to venture into new manufacturing sectors and become qualified suppliers, creating a healthy local eco-system for high value manufacturing. Details and quotes from some of the participating companies can be found in Annex C.



Annex A – Details of the A*STAR Collaborative Commerce Marketplace

Annex B – SIMTech-SPETA MOU and SIMTech’s Industry Programmes

Annex C – SIMTech’s Additive Manufacturing of Metal and Polymer Collaborative Industry Project

For media queries and clarifications, please contact:

Edith Lim
Senior Officer, Corporate Communications,
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Tel: +65 6826 7617
Email: [email protected]

About the Precision Engineering Centre of Innovation (PE COI) and the 2016 Conference

The PE COI, set up jointly with SPRING Singapore in 2007 and hosted at A*STAR SIMTech, is a dedicated centre to develop enabling technologies for innovation in materials, products, processes, operational and business models. Since June 2007, PE COI has initiated more than 60 collaborative industry projects, completed over 490 industry projects and 160 consultancies as well as organised over 260 events which reached out to almost 10,800 participants. Specific industry initiatives have been rolled out for the PE companies to participate in R&D with the MNCs they serve.

The PE COI Annual Conference 2016 is organised by SIMTech in collaboration with SPETA, and also supported by Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and SPRING Singapore.

About the A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech)

The Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) is a research institute of the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). SIMTech develops high value manufacturing technology and human capital to contribute to the competitiveness of the Singapore industry. It collaborates with multinational and local companies in the precision engineering, electronics, semiconductor, medical technology, aerospace, automotive, marine, logistics and other sectors.

For more information, please visit:

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, please visit:

Annex A

The A*STAR Collaborative Commerce Marketplace

The ACCM aims to be a central data portal for the Singapore government agencies to help the local manufacturing sector. It provides the manufacturing industry with an avenue for business opportunities as it gains insights of MNCs’ or customers’ requirements and also acts as a platform to address technological shortfalls.

The ACCM is the result of an international partnership between A*STAR and Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), University of Warwick. A*STAR’s SIMTech has contributed its vast and experienced knowledge of the industry while A*STAR’s Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) has enhanced the original source code from WMG’s West Midlands Collaborative Commerce Marketplace to further develop the e-portal to better suit Singapore’s industrial dynamics.

Participated by government agencies, Research Institutes (RIs), MNCs and SMEs, the ACCM is an integrative portal that documents the capabilities of local manufacturing companies and technologies provided by A*STAR RIs for MNCs to effortlessly match their requirements with local manufacturing suppliers.

ACCM facilitates relationship building across local suppliers, MNCs and government agencies by creating greater business opportunities and partnerships across different sectors. It encourages companies to collaborate amongst themselves and with A*STAR RIs. After identifying the technology gaps of companies through the portal, it enables companies to engage A*STAR RIs and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) to assist them to bridge technology capabilities. It provides an interactive platform for the RIs and companies to network, encouraging them to interact and form interest groups. The portal is open to all government agencies, and A*STAR partners to increase industry engagements and achieve greater economic goals.

Annex B

MOU between SIMTech and SPETA

Under this MOU, the areas of collaboration include:

· Strategic technology-related planning through A*STAR’s Enhanced Operation Technology Roadmapping (OTR) Programme

· Capabilities-upgrading through consultancy and transfer of SIMTech’s technology

· Manpower upgrading and technology transfer through A*STAR’s Technology for Enterprise Capability Upgrading (T-UP) Programme

· Knowledge transfer through Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) funded courses offered by SIMTech and Manufacturing R&D Certificate Programme

· Access to State-of-the-Art Manufacturing Facilities in SIMTech to reduce capital-intensive investments in equipment that are required by industry on a less frequent basis

SIMTech’s Industry Programmes (as mentioned in MOU):

Enhanced Operation and Technology Roadmapping (OTR)

SIMTech assists companies to identify long-term future drivers that will potentially impact them and develop a plan to introduce technologies that are relevant and of strategic importance to the company’s business success. The technology roadmap provides a ‘big’ overview of the technology required to meet the various business and market needs for the next two to five years. This ensures that any technology introduction is relevant to the company and will have positive impact on its business.

Following OTR’s success, an enhanced version was launched in July 2015. Dedicated Market and Competitive Intelligence modules are included in the Enhanced OTR to ensure industry decision makers are adequately informed of the future trends before venturing into a new market or technology investment. The Enhanced OTR is promoted to the industry through various associations such as Singapore Precision Engineering and Technology Association (SPETA).

Technology for Enterprise Capability Upgrading (T-UP)

The Technology for Enterprise Capability Upgrading (T-UP) is one of the assistance schemes under A*STAR’s Growing Enterprises with Technology Upgrade (GET-Up) Programme. In each T-Up project, a suitable SIMTech researcher will be seconded to the company to assist them in enhancing R&D for a period of up to two years.

The scheme helps local enterprises identify critical technologies and build in-house R&D capabilities relevant to their operations, build a culture of innovation and creation in local enterprises, and forge collaborations between A*STAR research institutes and the local enterprises to effect technology transfer for increase in productivity and competitiveness.

About Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) Courses

All SIMTech’s training courses are conducted in close collaboration with the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA). These courses draw extensively on SIMTech’s in-house cutting-edge manufacturing knowledge, which is established through years of industrial collaborations, industry experience and research, backed by state-of-the art manufacturing facilities.

About the SIMTech Manufacturing R&D Certificate Programme

The SIMTech Manufacturing R&D Certificate Programme is a two-year programme to help fresh engineering graduates jump-start their R&D careers. The programme trains R&D engineers for the manufacturing sector. Trainees will go through structured training in three major aspects: Work Skills, Research Tools & Methodologies and Technologies domain. Each trainee will be expected to carry out a R&D project and be attached to a manufacturing company to gain industrial experience.

Annex C

SIMTech’s Additive Manufacturing of Metal and Polymer Collaborative Industry Project


Additive manufacturing technology uses a direct layer-building approach from computer-aided design files. It has the potential to produce components of almost any shape or geometry. This CIP will enhance companies’ competency in additive manufacturing, allowing them to explore new business opportunities and attain growth.


· To demonstrate process capability from design and process optimisation, material preparation and handling, as well as product processing secondary operations

· To provide a platform for quicker adoption of additive manufacturing technology by leveraging SIMTech’s know-how and facilities


There will be demonstrations and hands-on sessions on Virtual Design and Simulation, Additive Manufacturing Technologies, Post-Processing, Characterisation Studies and Product print jobs for learning.

Quotes from some of the Participating Companies

3D Matters Pte Ltd

Mr Matthew Waterhouse, CEO of 3D Matters Pte Ltd said:

“Additive manufacturing, is rapidly moving from a niche market and becoming a viable alternative, and sometimes a support to, conventional manufacturing processes. This is already leading to profound changes in the way many things are designed, developed, produced, and supported. As an end-to-end 3D Printing solutions provider for Oil & Gas, Construction, Advertising, Engineering and Maritime Industries, 3D Matters’ primary business requires us to keep up with the latest additive manufacturing technologies development and to be constantly upgrading our staff skill-sets. Through this CIP, we are not only able to stay relevant to the industries we serve, we can also enhance our offerings by tapping on SIMTech’s expertise and resources for our research and development work.”

3D Matters is one of the longest established additive manufacturers in South East Asia with a strong track record of helping clients enter and grow their 3D printing needs. The company is now in its next wave of growth, developing its one-stop shop to support their clients through all stages of 3D printing, from diagnostic and consulting, design capture, to printing and finishing.

Diamond Aviation Pte Ltd

Mr Melvyn Lim, Director of Diamond Aviation Pte Ltd, said:

“Additive manufacturing is increasingly gaining significant interest in many industries, including aerospace, as it can create products in complex geometries with different material properties. We took part in the CIP as we get to learn more about the technology through both theoretical and hands-on sessions. This allowed us to better understand how we utilise the technology to enhance our design and manufacturing capabilities in providing solutions and seize new business opportunities from within and outside the aerospace sector.”

Diamond Aviation is a technical management and parts distribution company. The company provides consignment stocking, repair management services, outright procurement, and exchanges for components, APUs, and engines. They support both fixed and rotor wing parts and provide scrap review, consulting and parts solutions to help customers save time and money.

Published: 12 May 2016

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Websites: Original article from Agency for Science, Technology and Research