Institutions in Singapore, Korea partner on biochemical research

By Erin Voegele | October 07, 2013

The Singapore-based Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s (A*STAR) Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences and the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH) have announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate in biomass-to-chemicals research.

According to information released by the institutes, the collaboration will include joint academic meetings between, symposia and research and development initiatives. In addition, A*STAR and KITECH have indicated that the MOU will focus on building complementary expertise in chemical and bio-catalysis for the development of novel biobased chemicals and polymers. The partnership also aims to foster greater cooperation between researchers at A*STAR and KITECH with regard to the technological innovation of green chemical routes.

“This partnership is a testament of global collaboration in the field of biomass. We look forward to the exchange of ideas and to advance the research so that the R&D capability and global networking will be greatly strengthened," said Kwon Hyouk-chun, vice-president, KITECH.

A statement released by the two research institutions also notes that the biobased chemicals industry offers a valuable economic opportunity for Singapore and Korea to renew their chemical industries and maintain their advantage in the chemical industry.

"We are excited about the collaboration as we see much synergy among the research institutes. It is an immense opportunity to further our research and deepen our capabilities in biomass research with skilled scientists and technical expertise. This partnership will enable us to develop new processes with the right skills to grow this industry with economic and societal outcomes for Korea and Singapore," said Keith Carpenter, executive director, ICES.