Imperial and NTU Singapore form wide-ranging partnership to expand collaboration

01 Dec 2022 | Network Updates | Update from Imperial College London
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Imperial and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have formed a wide-ranging partnership in research, education, innovation and enterprise.

The two universities are establishing the NTU-Imperial Health, Sustainability and Technology Hub, which will focus on collaborative research in fields of scientific research and development that tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges, including:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics for healthcare
  • Healthy cities and pollution
  • Energy and sustainability
  • Business and management
  • Neuroscience
  • Infectious disease modelling.

The new NTU-Imperial Research Hub builds on existing areas of collaboration, such as in joint education and research initiatives. The two universities continue to fund innovative education programmes and research projects that support early-stage collaboration among academics, researchers, and students.

Through the new Research Hub, the two universities will explore ways that new technology can be harnessed to improve diagnostics, treatments, and care of patients.

NTU and Imperial will also combine their expertise in energy, materials, and decarbonisation to help create more sustainable cities and a zero-pollution society.

The universities will seed fund the most innovative ideas and develop joint research proposals for ambitious and large-scale research grants. They will also carry out joint training for PhD students and early career researchers and promote academic and knowledge exchange between the institutions.

Ambitious projects

President of Imperial College London, Professor Hugh Brady, said: “This new Research Hub will help seed the most ambitious projects and ideas in healthcare, sustainability and technology. From tackling pollution in our cities, to developing future transport and using AI to improve healthcare – the Hub will enable UK and Singaporean scientists to work together for the benefit of society.

“Global partnerships like this one are helping Imperial to transform lives and create opportunity around the world. Imperial and Nanyang Technological University have been collaborating together for decades and have made significant discoveries and scientific breakthroughs. This latest partnership demonstrates our long-term commitment to developing world-class science and tech clusters in Singapore.”

NTU President Prof Subra Suresh said: “NTU and Imperial enjoy a longstanding and close relationship, forged not only through working together on the joint medical school together, but also through areas of research and innovation where we collaborate closely. Entering a new strategic partnership underscores the depth of cooperation between the two universities, which is driven by a shared vision to strengthen capabilities in research, education, and innovation and enterprise.

“The NTU-Imperial Research Hub, which we will set up as part of a new partnership, will support both universities working closely together to pursue research that could help to tackle some of humanity’s grand challenges as articulated in NTU 2025, the University’s five-year strategic plan, such as mitigating our impact on the environment and responding to the needs and challenges of healthy living and ageing.”

Building on decades of collaboration

The NTU-Imperial Research Hub builds on decades of collaboration between the two universities in research, education, and innovation, including a joint research seed fund to kickstart ‘blue-skies’ research, and a joint education seed fund to encourage faculty and students to work together to develop new online experiential learning opportunities using digital technologies.

The partnership will also see the two universities carry out joint training for PhD students and early career researchers and promote academic and knowledge exchange between the institutions.

New research projects that have been identified include the development of a diabetes artificial intelligence network led by NTU LKCMedicine’s Professor Josip Car in collaboration with Imperial’s Dr Pantelis Georgiou and Professor Nick Oliver. 

Using machine learning to improve estimates of the potential extent of flooding in at-risk areas is the focus of a research project between NTU’s Assistant Professor David Lallemant and research fellow Dr Michele Nguyen together with Imperial’s Professor Almut Veraat.

NTU has also been one of Imperial’s three partners since 2017 under its Global Fellows Programme, a collaborative summer school programme for PhD students to develop professional, research, and collaborative competencies as well as the intercultural awareness that is required to establish and continue successful collaborations.

NTU and Imperial signed a collaboration agreement in 2010 to jointly set up the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine. That successful collaboration will be completed in 2028, with NTU to award its own medical degrees from 2029. The two universities have been in discussions on expanding their fruitful partnership into other strategic areas, which has now given rise to the NTU-Imperial Health, Sustainability and Technology Hub.

This article was first published on 30 November by Imperial College London.

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