4 January 2010


CNRS, Thales, NTU open collaborative nanotech lab in Singapore

Just two months after Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) signed a memorandum of understanding on 7 October in Paris with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, the largest government research organization in France) and the Thales Group (which has the Alcatel-Thales’ III-V Lab joint venture near Paris) to set up a joint research laboratory, the three parties met again 16 December in Singapore to inaugurate the CNRS-International-NTU-Thales Research Alliance (CINTRA) Laboratory at NTU. Located at the Research Techno Plaza, CINTRA aims to develop nanotechnologies for computing, sensing and communications applications.

Over the next two years, about 50 Singapore and French researchers will work on critical issues and challenges faced by existing technologies in microelectronics and photonics, aiming to meet future commercial as well as defense and security needs, e.g. a low-power signal processing chip capable of super high-speed performance of a trillion bits (terabit) per second or more.

“The R&D and innovation landscapes have changed, and are no longer confined to simple projects that can be defined, funded and conducted within single companies, universities or research institutions,” said His Excellency Olivier Caron, the Ambassador of France to Singapore (guest-of-honour at the inauguration). “It is no longer possible to progress in a major field of scientific research without the cooperation and strong commitment of different actors coming from different regions of the world,” he added.

“France and Singapore have long ago started this process of collaborative work and mutual aid, launching different research projects and tightening the R&D relationships between both countries,” continued Caron. The new alliance brings together a research centre, a university and a private company in the same location. “Academia, fundamental research, applied research, and technology transfer are considered in this union. This model should not only drive breakthroughs in innovation but should also result in bringing these innovations to the market,” he added.

“Together with CNRS' strength in research and Thales’ experience in the global market, we shall make the CINTRA Laboratory an example of how upstream research can turn into successful commercial products and applications in a most unexpected way,” believes NTU president Dr Su Guaning. 

“It is our joint ambition to lift the bottlenecks that currently block existing microelectronic and photonic research,” commented Jean-Jacques Gagnepain, adviser to the CNRS president on international affairs.

“Thales reaffirms its strong commitment to the Unité Mixte Internationale CINTRA and is proud to be one of the three pillars of this unique joint collaboration between academic, research and industry partners outside of France,” said Patrick Plante, CEO of Thales Technology Centre Singapore. “Our long-standing relationship with the prestigious NTU of Singapore — established since the creation of our joint research lab Thales@NTU — as well as our long-valued partnership with the largest fundamental research organisation in Europe, CNRS, will be significantly reinforced.”

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