Launched all the way back in 2006, Merlion programme is a Franco-Singaporean grant initiative promoting and enabling joint scientific cooperation. It is co-funded in France by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) and in Singapore by six partner research institutions:
- National University of Singapore (NUS),
- Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU),
- Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR),
- Singapore Management University (SMU),
- Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), and
- Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT).
Consisted of three types of funding schemes – project, workshop and Ph.D. the Merlion programme objectives are as follows:
- Provide support for joint scientific and technological projects,
- Enable scientists to meet and implement collaborative projects,
- Encourage the participation of young researchers and PhD students,
- Stimulate the creation and development of scientific networks between France and Singapore and joint research laboratories,
- Facilitate technology transfer and creation of startups.
Indeed, the grant awarded is not intended to support the research work itself but will enable the implementation of international cooperation such as exchanges or visits, thus mainly for logistical purposes.
Out of the 27 submissions received last year, the 2022 Merlion grant will be awarded to 11 joint proposals: 8 projects, 2 workshops and 1 Ph.D. The most common field of work for the proposals received for this call were in ‘Biology, medicine and health’ (26%), followed by ‘Chemistry’ (23%) and ‘Information and communication sciences and technologies’ (15%).
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the mobility restrictions, the ‘Project’ awardees of the 2020 Merlion programme have been exceptionally granted a one year funding extension, allowing them to make use of the grant until late 2022. Thanks to the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme established between France and Singapore in fall of 2021, eligible vaccinated travellers can now enjoy quarantine-free entry to Singapore if they meet all VTL requirements. This means that in-person collaborations for Merlion laureates may once again resume.
The list of selected Merlion 2022 projects, workshops and PhD are respectively in the below tables:
|Merlion 2022 Project Title||Field||Name of French Research lead||Name of French Research Institution||Name of Singaporean Research lead||Name of Singaporean Research Institution|
|Design et synthèse de structures glycosylées multivalentes pour la vectorisation||Chemistry||LUBIN-GERMAIN Nadège||UNIVERSITÉ UNIVERSITÉ DE CERGY-PONTOISE (UCP)||LIU Xue Wei||NTU|
|Ferritin nanocages as programmable bricks for biomolecular electronics||Physics||PLUCHERY Olivier||UNIVERSITÉ UNIVERSITE PIERRE ET MARIE CURIE (UPMC)||LIM Sierin||NTU|
|Novel technologies dedicated to urban storm water monitoring (NTUWM)||Engineering Sciences||CHERQUI Frederic||INSA LYON||HAMEL Perrine||NTU|
|Organometallics-Nanoparticle constructs as theranostics||Chemistry||BERTRAND Hélène||UNIVERSITÉ SORBONNE UNIVERSITÉ (SU)||LEONG Weng Kee||NTU|
|Automated and efficient inference for probabilistic models||Mathematics and its Interactions||TANG Patrick||ESSEC BUSINESS SCHOOL||THIERY Alexandre||NUS|
|Skin response to infectious mosquito bite||Biology, Medecine and Health||Pompon Julien||IRD||ST JOHN Ashley||NUS|
|TieFighter-NHCs for Supramolecular Transition Metals Catalysis||Chemistry||BOUR Christophe||UNIVERSITÉ UNIVERSITÉ PARIS-SACLAY (UPSACLAY)||HUYNH Han Vinh||NUS|
|Music Language Processing||Information and Communication Sciences and Technologies||BIGO Louis||UNIVERSITÉ UNIVERSITÉ DE LILLE (ULILLE)||Herremans Dorien||SUTD|
|Merlion 2022 Workshop Title||Field||Name of French Research lead||Name of French Research Institution||Name of Singaporean Research lead||Name of Singaporean Research Institution|
|The Nuclear Enveloppe And Its Connections To The Cytoskeleton||Biology, Medecine and Health||CADOT Bruno||Institut de Myologie||BURKE Brian||A*STAR|
|Ipp-Ntu Workshop On Emergent Materials And Technologies||Physics||PEFETTI Luka||EPSCP||BATTIATO Marco|| |
|Merlion 2022 PhD Title||Field||Name of PhD Student||Name of French Research lead||Name of French Research Institution||Name of Singaporean Research lead||Name of Singaporean Research Institution|
|Linear, Groups and Flows||Mathematics and its Interactions||WANG Tianqi||THOLOZAN Nicolas||UNIVERSITÉ PARIS SCIENCES ET LETTRES (PSL)||ZHANG Tengren||NUS|