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National Science and Technology Board is renamed A*STAR Jan 2002

A*STAR’s predecessor, the National Science and Technology Board, was formed following the introduction of the National Science and Technology Board Bill in parliament in October 1990 and the enactment of the National Science and Technology Board Act the following month.[1] On 5 January 2002, it was announced that the board had been reorganised and renamed the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). The main focus of the agency was to develop the fields of science, engineering and biomedicine in Singapore.[2]

Mr Boon Swan Foo was appointed the managing director of A*STAR on 4 January 2002 with the mandate to promote scientific research and nurture talents. The agency, established with an initial budget of S$7 billion over a five-year period, was comprised of four divisions: the Biomedical Research Council, the Science and Engineering Research Council, Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd, and the corporate planning and administration division.[3]

The Biomedical Research Council was tasked to develop public sector research and talent needs in the biomedical sciences.[4] The Science and Engineering Research Council served as an overarching body for the physical sciences and engineering institutes to support the various aspects of manufacturing in the electronics, communications, chemicals and general engineering sectors. Exploit Technologies, a wholly-owned subsidiary of A*STAR, was the commercial unit responsible for intellectual property and technology transfer.[5]

1. Three new bills introduced. (1990, October 5). The Straits Times, p. 28. 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. Dawson, S. (2002, January 5). A*Star is born, Boon comes on board as MD. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. The Straits Times, 5 Jan 2002, p. 3.
4. Singapore. Agency for Science, Technology and Research. (2011). A*Star: 20 years of science and technology in Singapore (p. 67). Singapore: Agency for Science, Technology and Research. Call no.: RSING 507.205957 SIN. Retrieved 20 August, 2013, from A*Star website: http://www.a-star.edu.sg/Portals/0/aboutastar/2012_Commemorative_Pub_Webv6.pdf
5. Singapore. Agency for Science, Technology and Research, 2011, p. 67.


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.

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