In the last 15 years, Franco-Singaporean relations have increased significantly. Bilateral projects are continuously being created and numerous French researchers have taken up residence in Singapore. It is estimated that more than 250 French researchers are currently working in Singaporean universities and research institutions.
During the last decade, six joint laboratories were established in Singapore as set out below (4 CNRS International Research Laboratories – also known as “UMI” in France – , 1 CNRS International Research Programme – also known as “LIA” in France – and 1 CEA joint laboratory):
- IPAL (Image and Pervasive Access Lab), a joint research laboratory between CNRS, University Grenoble-Alpes, Institut Mines-Télécom, NUS and A*STAR (I²R), which until recently, had been working on biomedical imaging and wellbeing management but which is now directing its research towards AI and cybersecurity.
- CINTRA (CNRS International NTU Thales Research Alliance), a joint laboratory between CNRS, THALES and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), whose research domains are carbon-based nanotechnology and 2D materials, nanowire-based technology, and photonic materials and nanostructures.
- BMC² (BioMechanics of Cellular Contacts), a joint laboratory between CNRS and NUS, focusing on mechanobiology and therefore studying the influence of mechanical forces on biological responses at the molecular and tissue levels.
- MajuLab, a joint laboratory between CNRS, Côte d’Azur University, Sorbonne University, NUS and NTU concentrating on the theoretical and experimental aspects of Quantum Matter, Quantum Information and Computation, Quantum Photonics, and the Chemistry of Materials and Interfaces.
- SynBioEco, a joint programme involving CNRS, l’INSA, l’INRA, NUS and A*STAR studying synthetic biology for a bio-inspired economy.
- SCARCE (Singapore CEA Alliance for Research in the Circular Economy), a joint laboratory between CEA and NTU that will focus on four research areas that address the recycling and recovery of materials from common e-waste such as discarded lithium-ion batteries and printed circuit boards.
In 2014, the CNRS Regional Office for ASEAN relocated to Singapore from Hanoi (Vietnam), which shows the important role of Singapore in the international scientific community. On 25 June 2019, the CNRS established its first overseas subsidiary, CNRS@CREATE and became part of the CREATE Programme (Campus for Research And Technological Enterprise) established by Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF).