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encompasses Biopolis and Fusionopolis.
"We said, no, that's not what we are looking at. What
is important is how many national and corporate labs
there are, how many patents are created through col-
laborations, and which strategic companies are attracted
to Singapore. Because it is in the labs that you get break-
through ideas and develop intellectual property."
Companies such as Ubisoft, EA, Linden Labs, Asian
Food Channel, Panasonic, and Vestas are among the
14 corporations that have set up laboratories and work-
spaces in Fusionopolis. Construction continues at a rapid
pace to meet the strong interest of additional companies.
Government agencies tasked to grow the economy,
such as EDB, MDA, and SPRING Singapore, will also
have offices at Fusionopolis.
The success of Fusionopolis rests on how well it helps
to foster connections.
Designed as an iconic development by the late inter-
nationally renowned Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa,
it offers an integrated "work-live-play-learn" environment
to foster that chance encounter that could spark the next
On the top three floors of one of the towers is
Singapore's largest gym, which features a rooftop pool
with a panoramic view of the island. Another tower hosts
a 50-unit full-service apartment development made up of
work lofts that comprise the "live" component.
Cafes, pubs, restaurants, retail outlets, and a Cold
Storage supermarket are located throughout the develop-
ment, which by 2011will also be serviced by a subway.
These lifestyle areas double up as testbedding sites.
A 480-seat "black box" theater rests on a single col-
umn at Fusionopolis. Offering unique acoustic elements,
it can be configured for conferences, exhibitions, or the
The building incorporates the latest in eco-sustainabil-
ity. It features a unique double-skin structure that cools
the building by blocking solar radiation with glass curtain
walls, reducing air-conditioning costs by 30--35 percent.
Electronic ballasts are installed in all fluorescent lighting
fixtures, which offer 35--65 percent energy savings. A
drip-irrigation system and rain sensors help to minimize
water consumption. Thirteen sky gardens act as green
lungs to diffuse heat and save energy costs, while dou-
On October 17, 2008, Fusionopolis officially
opened its glass doors to the public.
The opening marks the first step of a 30-hectare
experiment to bring diverse ideas, talent, expertise and
businesses together in one compact environment to
create new innovations.
It houses 800 scientists, engineers and game
developers from laboratories of A*STAR and corpora-
tions in the infocomm technology, media, physical
sciences and engineering industries. By 2012, that
number will reach 2,400.
"As the master developer, usually you'd be more
interested in how many acres you develop, how many
new buildings you build," says Philip Su, assistant
chief executive officer of JTC Corporation. The na-
tion's leading provider of industrial space solutions,
JTC Corporation was appointed the master-developer
and planner for the 200-hectare one-north that
Biopolis followed in 2003. The idea
behind that development was to bring the
life sciences institutes together and to invite
pharmaceutical corporations, courted by the
Singapore Economic Development Board
(EDB), to set up local laboratories.
"It might seem like the obvious thing to
do today. But back then, the divide was
very clear. In the U.S., I think it's difficult to
imagine having [private] companies located
next to the National Institutes of Health. So
this was really novel," says Beh Swan Gin,
managing director of EDB.
Today, Biopolis hosts two thousand re-
searchers, and R&D labs of major interna-
tional corporations such as GlaxoSmithKline,
Novartis, Eli Lilly and Takeda. In economic
terms the experiment was a success as
well: from 2000 through 2007, the share
of the national economy contributed by the
biomedical sciences quadrupled from S$6.3
billion to S$24 billion.
Government agencies have now set
their sights on addressing global mega-
trends, such as rapid urbanization, climate
change, and an aging population, to grow
Singapore's economy. These societal trends
require unique solutions and approaches,
and Singapore wants to be the place from
which such innovations are developed.
The country has a head start, because in
the last 15 years it has invested in seven sci-
ence and engineering research institutes to
support its existing manufacturing clusters.
These institutes have distinguished them-
selves in their fields, nurturing a talent pool
of 1,300 researchers with diverse exper-
tise in materials science, microelectronics,
chemical synthesis, information and com-
munications, data storage, high performance
computing, and manufacturing technologies.
But a new approach is now required, says
Charles Zukoski, chairman of A*STAR's
Science and Engineering Research Council,
which oversees the seven institutions.
"The only way we're going to create
products and services that tackle these
large and complicated societal problems is
by bringing together experts that have deep
knowledge in particular areas. This means
creating an environment where multidisci-
plinary teams can flourish, while sustaining
deep domain expertise," adds Zukoski.
Fusionopolis embodies this new cultural
change. Beginning in 2008, A*STAR is
bringing six of these research institutes
under a single roof at Fusionopolis to
engage in multidisciplinary research aimed
at tackling complex global challenges. The
researchers will be working with another
thousand A*STAR life sciences researchers
at Biopolis, just half a mile away.
Fourteen corporate laboratories are mov-
ing into Fusionopolis, adding diversity and
potentially reducing the time to market of
Vestas is one of the international corpora-
tions that has moved into Fusionopolis.
The world's leading wind turbine company
decided to make Singapore its first Asian
R&D center. Matthew Low, vice president
of Vestas Technology R&D, explains that Sin-
gapore's location in and access to Asia, the
science and engineering talent at Fusion-
opolis, and the local infrastructure all played
roles in the choice of Singapore over other
possibilities. Although Singapore lacks wind,
he says, "we can tap into electronics, materi-
The only way we're going to create products and services that
tackle large and complex societal problems is by bringing together
experts who have deep knowledge in particular areas.
Fusion of ideas
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