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Singapore Budget 2008
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Budget 2008
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Expenditure Overview
Government Administration
Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)

PMO’s mission is to:

  • co-ordinate the activities of Ministries and provide overall policy direction;
  • strive for robust security, a networked government and a resilient Singapore;
  • maintain readiness for elections;
  • eradicate corruption;
  • build a first class Public Service through progressive personnel management policies and change management;
  • advance strategic policy development and thought leadership in the Public Service;
  • promote quality service and productivity;
  • provide secretariat support to the Public Service Commission (PSC);
  • co-ordinate research of different agencies within the larger national framework in order to provide a coherent strategic overview and direction; and
  • guide and co-ordinate whole-of-government efforts in the implementation of national population policies and programmes.

A total budget of $236 million has been allocated to PMO in FY2008 to achieve this mission.

Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) aims to ensure that Singapore remains as one of the least corrupt country in the world.

To achieve this, CPIB performs the following functions:

  1. investigation of alleged acts of corruption, and in the course of doing so, any other offences under any other written law; and
  2. prevention and control of corruption through review of procedures and practices which provide corruption opportunities and delivery of anti-corruption talks and education.

It has been allocated a budget of $13.40 million or 6.3% of the PMO’s total operating expenditure for this purpose.

Public Service Division

The Public Service Division (PSD) of PMO aims to build a first class public service for a successful and vibrant Singapore. It aims to develop talent and nurture a forward-looking public service through public sector leadership development, capacity and capability building and the promotion of quality services at all levels of the Public Service.

To achieve these objectives, $13 million will be set aside for the development of training programmes, training and development of public service officers, and the research, development and enhancement of methodologies and tools for public sector leadership development, organisational and employee development as well as staff selection and assessment.

In addition, the Scholarships and Talent Management Programme awards and administers scholarships to attract and groom leaders for the Public Service. It also helps scholars better understand the fundamentals underpinning the economy and society, and the role of the Civil Service in Singapore’s development. PSC has set aside $11.3 million towards these objectives.

National Population Secretariat

The National Population Secretariat (NPS) was set up in June 2006 to plan, guide and co-ordinate whole-of-government population-related policies and programmes to engage Overseas Singaporeans, encourage the naturalisation and integration of suitable immigrants, and promote marriage and parenthood in Singapore.

NPS has allocated $9.54 million and $3.95 million of its total budget to operating and development expenditure respectively.

National Research Foundation

The National Research Foundation (NRF):

  1. sets the national direction for research and development (R&D) by developing policies, plans and strategies for research, innovation and enterprise;
  2. funds strategic initiatives;
  3. builds up R&D capabilities and capacities through nurturing our own and attracting foreign talent; and
  4. coordinates the research agendas of different agencies to transform Singapore into a knowledge-intensive, innovative and entrepreneurial economy.

It provides secretariat support to the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council (RIEC), chaired by the Prime Minister. A five-year budget of $5 billion has been allocated to the NRF in 2006 to achieve this mission.

NRF aims to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Transform Singapore into a Science and Technology (S&T) hub with R&D contributing towards a globally competitive knowledge-based economy with a robust and vibrant technopreneurial sector.
    NRF has identified three strategic R&D areas of focus; Environmental and Water Technologies, Interactive and Digital Media, and Biomedical Sciences and has allocated some $1.6 billion to drive these areas from 2006 to 2010.
  • Make Singapore a talent magnet for research, innovation and enterprise excellence. For the long-term sustainability of our R&D capabilities, NRF aims to build up a concentration of talent to undertake cutting-edge research in Singapore.
    An international Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE), a complex of research centres from world-class research universities and corporate laboratories, will be set up. NRF has allocated about $1 billion to develop CREATE.

To achieve these outcomes, NRF adopts a two-pronged strategy – the “top-down” and “bottom-up” approaches:

Top-down approach:

In the top-down approaches, strategic areas are identified to build up core R&D capabilities:

  • Environmental and Water Technologies (Clean Water & Clean Energy);
  • Interactive and Digital Media; and
  • Biomedical Sciences.

Environmental and Water Technologies

The scale of the world’s water problem has increased. With climate change, even rain abundant areas can face severe drought, further exacerbating water shortages in the world. Singapore, with its capabilities and technologies for water recycling and water resource management, is well-placed to take a leading role in developing new technological solutions for managing the water life-cycle. The Environmental and Water Technologies (EWT) programme will build on Singapore’s strong foundation in water technologies and management to develop Singapore as a global hydro-hub and a leader in water technologies.

An integrated strategy covering research, test-bedding, incubation of companies, international linkages and talent development will be undertaken, driven by a multi-agency effort (e.g. MEWR, MTI, PUB and EDB) coordinated through the Environment and Water Industry Development Council (EWI).

The research programme on Clean Energy rides on Singapore’s clean and green image, and is a natural extension of our environmental sustainability track record. While the Clean Energy industry comprises a broad range of areas including renewables, energy efficiency and carbon services, solar energy has been identified as a main focus area. Singapore’s strong capabilities in the electronics, precision engineering and chemical sectors, coupled with manufacturing and process automation know-how, an extensive supplier base and intellectual property protection, place us in good stead to grow a world-class solar industry.

NRF has allocated $330 million to Clean Water and $170 million to Clean Energy under EWT.

Interactive and Digital Media

The digital revolution, driven by the Internet and the convergence of media and information technologies, has impacted every aspect of modern life. With Interactive and Digital Media (IDM), established business models are being challenged and disrupted by new technologies, new players, and new business models. The landscape continues to evolve.

The IDM programme aims to grow Singapore into a global IDM capital, leveraging on our unique multi-cultural and multi-lingual identity, and our strong foundation in information and communications infrastructure to create new innovative niches in this vast and fast-changing sector. Education, Animation, Games & Effects, Media Intermediary Services and “On-the-Move” Technologies are the initial focus areas in the programme. An integrated strategy covering education and manpower, finance, infrastructure, legal, social and ethical issues and R&D will be adopted.

NRF has allocated $500 million to IDM. The IDM R&D Programme is driven by a multi-agency team coordinated through the IDM Programme Office (IDMPO) set up in MDA, while research on the use of IDM in Education is overseen by the MOE.

Biomedical Sciences (Phase II)

Biomedical Sciences (Phase II) will focus on efforts to translate basic science into better medicines and treatments to improve patient care, i.e. translational and clinical research. The programme aims to develop Singapore into the Biopolis of Asia and an international BMS cluster advancing human health. It will build on Singapore’s basic research and drug discovery capabilities developed in Phase I of the BMS programme, the BMS industry cluster, and the country’s strong foundation in healthcare services delivery, to position Singapore as the best location in Asia for scientific proof of concept in man.

NRF has allocated $550 million to BMS. A*STAR and MOH have also allocated significant funding to this area and will jointly drive this effort.

Bottom-up approach:

To complement the directed top-down approach, NRF has also implemented several initiatives to attract, develop and nurture research talent to sustain long-term research. This broad-based bottom-up approach will broaden and deepen Singapore’s research capacity and capabilities:

  • CREATE: Campus for Research Excellence And Technological Enterprise;
  • Competitive Research Programme Funding Scheme;
  • NRF Research Fellowships; and
  • Research Centres of Excellence.


CREATE is an ambitious undertaking to bring together in one location research centres from some of the top research universities and corporations in the world. The research centres in CREATE will have professors, research scientists, doctoral and post-doctoral researchers carrying out cutting-edge research that is of strategic interest to Singapore as well as to the respective institutions. The CREATE entities will have extensive collaborations with Singapore-based universities and research institutes in research and in the attraction of global talent.

CREATE will enable Singapore to build strong linkages with global institutions and accelerate Singapore’s thrust towards an inventive, innovative and entrepreneurial economy. It will also be a talent magnet for scientific and innovation excellence. The MIT has set up the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) Centre as the first centre within CREATE. Two interdisciplinary research groups (one on infectious diseases and another on environmental sensing and modeling) have been approved. The infectious disease group has started research activities since July 2007.

NRF is in discussion with two other world-renowned research institutions to establish their research centres in CREATE. $1 billion has been allocated to develop CREATE.

Competitive Research Programme Funding Scheme

The Competitive Research Programme (CRP) Funding Scheme supports R&D programmes, each comprising multiple related projects under a unifying theme. The aim of the CRP Funding Scheme is to complement NRF’s existing strategic research programmes that have been identified top-down, by funding a broad base of research ideas, through a competitive bottom-up approach. Such a grant scheme will help identify new potential strategic research areas in which Singapore can invest to develop core capabilities for new industries for the future.

NRF has allocated $250 million over four years to the CRP Funding Scheme.

NRF Research Fellowships

The NRF Research Fellowship (RF) Scheme is a globally competitive programme which aims to attract, recruit and root young scientists, especially brilliant post-doctoral researchers to conduct independent research in Singapore. The NRF RF Scheme is open to all areas of science and technology with no quota on specific disciplines.

NRF has allocated $160 million to the NRF RF Scheme over the next five years.

Research Centres of Excellence

Research Centres of Excellence (RCEs) are long-term investments which involve the careful selection of world-class talent and aimed at developing a virtuous cycle of research excellence in our universities. RCEs will build on existing academic strengths and research competencies of the local universities and complement the principally mission-oriented programmes of A*STAR.

NRF and MOE will co-fund the establishment of a selected number of RCEs. The Centre for Quantum Technologies is the first RCE that has been approved under the programme.

To find out more about the National Research Foundation and our initiatives, please feel free to visit our website (

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