NUS establishes new Research Translation and Innovation Institute in Guangzhou

The National University of Singapore (NUS) is collaborating with the People’s Government of Guangzhou Municipality and the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City Administration Committee (GKC) to establish the NUS Guangzhou Research Translation and Innovation Institute (NUSGRTII) in Guangzhou, China.

This is NUS’ third overseas research institute, after the NUS (Suzhou) Research Institute and the Tianjin University-NUS Joint Institute in Fuzhou.

Located within Ascendas OneHub Guangzhou Knowledge City, and funded by the Guangzhou governments with support from local industry partners, the Institute leverages the strengths of the three parties to support the technology needs of Guangzhou city and China’s Greater Bay Area initiative.

NUSGRTII will collaborate in areas such as sustainable cities, smart societies, advanced manufacturing, infocomm technology and artificial intelligence (AI), and it is expected to be operational by the second half of 2020.

Professor Freddy Boey, NUS Deputy President (Innovation & Enterprise), Mr Chen Zhiying, Member of Standing Committee of CPC Guangzhou Committee and Executive Vice Mayor of Guangzhou, and Mr Chen Yong, Director-General, The People’s Government of Huangpu District, Guangzhou and Standing Deputy Director, Administrative Committee of Guangzhou Development District, signed a collaboration framework agreement today during the 10th Singapore-Guangdong Collaboration Council meeting in Guangzhou.

Prof Boey said, “NUS is very excited about this collaboration and the commitment of the Guangzhou government to advancing innovation and enterprise over the next 10 years. We are confident that the Institute will synergise the capabilities of all three partners to cultivate new ideas and nurture research translation and innovation talents, as well as create opportunities for engaged learning, research and deep tech entrepreneurship. Through this win-win collaboration, NUS aims to build a sustainable conduit to effectively translate the University’s cutting-edge research into novel, disruptive solutions that could positively impact Guangzhou city, Singapore and beyond.”

Research and Innovation

The new Institute will develop a platform for NUS’ research and development capabilities to address unmet Guangzhou industrial and market needs via technological innovations. Specifically, the new Institute will focus on research translation and the training of China talent over the next 10 years.

Plans include creating an incubator within NUSGRTII to facilitate start-up companies based on intellectual property (IP) derived from NUS and from NUSGRTII, as well as provide market access support for NUS and Singapore start-ups going to the Greater Bay Area.

Over the next 10 years, NUS GRTII expects to support over 600 start-up companies and licencing deals with industry in Guangzhou.


NUSGRTII will offer education programmes in technology innovation and entrepreneurship, such as:

• Post-doctoral training: The post-doctoral fellows will focus on IP generation in NUS and translate this for the Chinese market through NUSGRTII. They will be supported by the NUS Industry Liaison Office and NUS Enterprise on NUS campus and in Guangzhou.

• Full-time PhD by Innovation that focuses on long-term and technology based research. The programme will involve IP generation, on top of journal publications. Each PhD student will be trained by NUS to translate his/her research findings into a start-up company.

• Full-time Master of Science (MSc) programmes offered in Singapore. Selected Guangzhou students will do their MSc and also participate in the NUS Graduate Research Innovation Programme (GRIP), NUS’ flagship programme for producing deep tech start-ups.

• NUS Technology Access Programme that will run full-time for three months in Singapore. The programme enables participants to move their innovation ideas into a viable Deep Technology Start-Up Business Plan by allowing participants to access and license NUS IP and technology for the China market.

In the next 10 years, NUSGRTII plans to train 3,400 PhD and Master’s students, post-doctoral fellows as well as professionals.

This collaboration will eventually nurture a significant pool of NUS alumni who can help boost and sustain Singapore’s economic and innovation drive in China. It will also enable Guangzhou city to nurture high quality deep tech talent who will go on to create and sustain technological innovations for high-tech companies located in the region.