Singapore's R&D expenditure increased 12.4 percent in 2008, compared to 2007

December 23, 2009

Singapore's A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research) reported that the Asian nation's gross expenditure on R&D (GERD) in 2008 recorded a new high of $7.13 billion (Singapore dollars), a 2.77% of GDP. (According to today's, one Singapore dollar equals $1.4089 U.S. dollars.)

These figures, from the just-completed National Survey of R&D 2008, put Singapore on track to achieving its target of 3% GDP by 2010. In R&D expenditure.

The figures were indicative of the intensity of R&D activities in Singapore.

The private sector increased its R&D spending by 20.9% year-on-year from Singapore dollars (S) $4.23 billion in 2007 to S$5.12 billion in 2008.

Much of the private sector growth was driven by manufacturing R&D activity, particularly in the electronics sector. R&D spending by the electronics sector in 2008 was S$3.04 billion, an increase of 39.3% from S$2.18 billion in 2007.

Overall, GERD grew rapidly at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.2% from 2000 to 2008.

R&D manpower in both the public and private sectors steadily increased by 2% from 27,301 in 2007 to 27,841 in 2008. The private sector was the major employer, employing 59.6% or 16,607 of all researchers in 2008. The public research institutes reported an increase of 13.5% in staff holding Ph.D. degrees, from 1,286 in 2007 to 1,460 in 2008. From 2002 to 2008, overall R&D manpower grew at a commendable CAGR of 7.2%.

GERD increased by 12.4% from S$6.34 billion in 2007 to S$7.13 billion in 2008. GERD as a percentage of GDP increased from 2.52% in 2007 to 2.77% in 2008.

The ratio of public sector to private sector R&D spending in 2008 was 2.5.

All data on the number of researchers is quoted on a full-time-equivalent (FTE) basis unless it is explicitly indicated that it refers to the headcount number.

Sales revenues generated from commercialized products and processes attributed to R&D performed in Singapore have increased by 31.5% from S$16.4 billion in 2007 to S$21.5 billion in 2008.

The public sector registered a 10.6% increase year-on-year in the number of primary patent applications, with 354 applications being filed in 2008 compared to 320 in 2007. The private sector made 1,227 primary patent applications in 2008 compared to 1,415 applications made in 2007.

More than 1,000 organizations participated in the 2008 National R&D survey. They comprise private sector companies, government organizations, local institutions of higher learning and public sector research institutes. The full report can be downloaded at A*STAR's website at

For queries and clarifications, please contact:

Joshua Woo
Assistant Head, Corporate Communications
Agency for Science, Technology and Research
Tel: 65-6826-6442 (O); 65-9616-1682 (Hp)

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR):

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is the lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and talent for a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation-driven Singapore. A*STAR oversees 14 biomedical sciences, and physical sciences and engineering research institutes, and seven consortia & centre, which are located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis, as well as their immediate vicinity.

A*STAR supports Singapore's key economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. It also supports extramural research in the universities, hospitals, research centres, and with other local and international partners.

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