In January 1991, the National Science and Technology Board (NSTB) replaced the Science Council following the enactment of the National Science and Technology Board Act in November 1990.The board assumed the expanded responsibilities of formulating and implementing long-term research and development strategies for Singapore. It was a move that was deemed necessary to transform Singapore from a newly industrialising to a world-class, innovation-driven economy in which industry-driven research and development would help the country become more competitive internationally.
The NSTB was responsible for encouraging and promoting research and development activities, coordinating the establishment of research institutes and their activities, dispersing research funding, assessing science and technology manpower needs, and implementing programmes to develop resources. In addition, the board had to organise exchange and joint programmes with its overseas counterparts, and promote public awareness of science and technology. The annual National Science and Technology Award and the National Young Scientist and Engineer Award administered by the NSTB provided the platforms to publicly recognise the research work done by scientists and engineers in Singapore, as well as raise the profile of these professionals.
The NSTB also spearheaded the implementation of the five-year, S$2 billion National Technology Plan that was unveiled by then Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in September 1991. The plan included contributions from expert committees on nine key technology programmes.
1. BG Lee unveils $2 billion plan for S’pore. (1991, September 10). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Republic of Singapore. Government Gazette. Acts Supplement. (1991, January 2). National Science and Technology Board Act 1990 (No. 24 of 1990). Retrieved September 5, 2013, from Attorney-General’s Chambers website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/view.w3p;page=0;query=DocId%3A%22597b1851-6696-4315-9ff1-fd32e6f5b05b%22%20Status%3Apublished%20Depth%3A0;rec=0
2. R & D boost from science and technology board. (1990, November 11). The Straits Times, p. 21. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Awards for research work. (1991, May 22). The Straits Times, p. 25. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. National Science & Technology Board. (1991). “Window of opportunities”: Science and technology: National Technology Plan 1991. Singapore: SNP Publishers. Call no.: RSING 507.205957 SIN; The Straits Times, 10 Sep 1991, p.1.
The information in this article is valid as at 2013 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.