New NUS Research Institute in Guangzhou partners industry leaders in research, enterprise and talent development

NUS GRTII will leverage NUS’ expertise to conduct research translation, incubate start-ups, promote entrepreneurship, and offer education programmes to nurture talents in Guangzhou and the Greater Bay Area; First cohort of 9 startups and 13 collaboration agreements inked with industry partners.

The National University of Singapore Guangzhou Research Translation and Innovation Institute (NUS GRTII), a collaboration between NUS, the People’s Government of Guangzhou Municipality, and the China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City Administrative Committee, held the inauguration ceremony for its new building in Guangzhou, China, this morning. The official opening ceremony was graced by NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye; Mr Wang Guilin, Vice Chairman of the Guangzhou Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Director of Guangzhou Science and Technology Bureau; Ms Xian Yinsong, Director-General, The People's Government of Huangpu District, Guangzhou, Standing Deputy Director, Administrative Committee of Guangzhou Development District; and Mr Chen Zhiyong, Deputy Party Secretary of Huangpu District Committee.

The establishment of NUS GRTII, the university’s fourth overseas research institute in China, follows three other research institutes set up by NUS – the NUS Suzhou Research Institute, the Tianjin University-NUS Joint Institute in Fuzhou, and the NUS Chongqing Research Institute. Located within the China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, NUS GRTII is the university’s flagship initiative in the Greater Bay Area.

During the official opening celebrations, NUS GRTII inked strategic collaboration agreements with 13 partners comprising leading Singapore enterprises, Huangpu District companies and other industry players and organisations. One of the 13 collaborations is with WeRide in autonomous driving technologies, where NUS GRTII will work with the tech company on research projects in autonomous driving R&D and commercialisation.

The first batch of 9 startups will be incubated within NUS GRTII, located at the institute’s newest facilities, as part of one of its strategic thrusts to encourage entrepreneurial activities between Singapore and China. NUS GRTII will provide business incubation, technology transfer and facilitate the commercialisation of research breakthroughs benefitting Singapore, Guangzhou, and the Greater Bay Area.

One of the startups which will commence incubation at NUS GRTII is JN Medsys, an innovative Digital PCR technology company in Singapore, founded by Dr Johnson Ng. “As an entrepreneur from Singapore, Guangzhou is a suitable location to start a company due its favourable business environment, strategic location, supportive government policies, and proximity to Singapore. I chose NUS GRTII due to its strategic location at the China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, the favourable conditions provided by the institute, as well as the good support provided by the NUS team in Singapore and in Guangzhou. I hope to use this opportunity to grow my company in China and to develop more innovative biomedical products that will benefit Guangzhou and the Chinese market.” said Dr Johnson Ng, Founder & CEO of JN Medsys, and an NUS alumnus.

Another startup, Yimiji Technology, is an AI-based medical image processing analysis platform and smart surgical robotic technology, enabling diagnosing and treating medical conditions during perioperative period. “As both a scientist and an entrepreneur, I am committed to driving the commercialisation and innovation of medical imaging technology of our company. Leveraging on NUS’ research development and capabilities, we look forward to mentorship, resources, and networks that can help accelerate the growth of our company and bring our product to the Guangzhou market faster.” said Dr Zhou Jiayin, Co-Founder of Yimiji Technology (Guangzhou) Co., Ltd.

In the area of education, NUS GRTII will train over 2,200 Chinese PhD and Master’s students, post-doctoral fellows as well as professionals over 10 years, supporting the Greater Bay Area with strategic talent development. Scholarships will be offered by the Huangpu District Government, Guangzhou City Government, and corporate sponsors to support aspiring Chinese students for their postgraduate studies at NUS in Singapore.

First established in September 2023, NUS GRTII will conduct research translation, pioneer technological innovations, incubate start-ups and offer education programmes to train R&D talents in Guangzhou and the Greater Bay Area, focusing in areas such as Smart Cities; Information and Communication; Electronic Science and Technology; Advanced Manufacturing; Biomedical Technology; as well as FinTech. The new collaborations today mark NUS’ active involvement in and contributions towards the Greater Bay Area, and Guangzhou’s development in scientific research, technology transfer, and postdoctoral training programmes.

Professor Tan Eng Chye, NUS President, said, “The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is the most vibrant hub for entrepreneurship and innovation in southern China. The NUS Guangzhou Research Translation and Innovation Institute, the fourth and latest NUSRI in China, is the University’s flagship project in the Greater Bay Area. We are excited to be part of this thriving hub and ecosystem. In line with the technological developments and market demands for industrial upgrading and transformation in Guangzhou City including Huangpu District, NUS GRTII will focus on key areas such as Smart Cities, FinTech, Information and Communication, Electronic Science and Technology, Advanced Manufacturing and Biomedical Technology. NUS GRTII will leverage NUS’ expertise in venture creation by matching nurtured talents with robust research, in turn enabling them to start ventures or participate in the growth of tech ventures in thriving Guangzhou.

We are excited with the completion of the building which will house NUS GRTII and its team. With the new facilities, NUS GRTII is poised to contribute significantly towards the development of Guangzhou while expanding and deepening NUS’ research expertise and entrepreneurial footprint in China.”

Professor Meng Qiang, NUS GRTII Director, said, “The NUS Guangzhou Research Translation and Innovation Institute stands as a significant milestone in the scientific and educational collaboration between Singapore and China. We are steadfastly focused on fostering creativity, harnessing collective wisdom and knowledge, and dedicating ourselves to the advancement of scientific research, nurturing of exceptional talents, and the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship, with the aim to propel the dynamic development of Guangzhou City including Huangpu District and the entire Greater Bay Area.

We are confident that NUS GRTII will provide a significant boost to the research, education and entrepreneurship activities in Guangzhou and become a dynamic and inspirational hub for science and innovation. Tapping into the deep resources of NUS, we will forge close partnerships with government agencies, enterprises, and key industry partners in both Singapore and China to foster technological innovation and catalyse industrial transformation, that will bring positive impact to both countries.”

The NUSRI building is a purpose-built five-storey facility providing 5,000 square metres of space for research, training and entrepreneurship activities for researchers, students and companies in Singapore and China. The building is outfitted with facilities such as incubator, training rooms, exhibition hall, multi-purpose hall, administration offices, to support research, learning and innovation.