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New Singapore-France research alliance to develop state-of-the-art nanotechnologies

Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore's leading science and technology university has formed a tripartite research alliance with the National Center of Scientific Research (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique or CNRS), the largest governmental research organisation in France, and Thales the French electronics giant and a global technology leader in aerospace, space, defence, security and transportation industries.

The alliance known as the CNRS International-NTU-Thales Research Alliance (CINTRA) will be setting up a joint laboratory at NTU's Research Techno Plaza.

The Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of CINTRA was signed today in Paris, France, witnessed by Singapore's Minister of Education and Second Minister of Defence, Dr Ng Eng Hen and France's Minister of Higher Education and Research, Mrs Valrie Pcresse. The signatories to the agreement are NTU President, Dr Su Guaning; Director General CNRS, Mr Arnold Migus and Chief Technical Officer Thales, Dr Marko Erman.

The CINTRA Laboratory aims to harness the latest in science and technology to develop innovations in nanotechnologies for future computing, sensing, and communication applications. The collaboration will provide opportunities to challenge and tackle critical issues and bottlenecks faced by existing technologies in microelectronic and photonic industries, promising innovations with superior performance beyond what is available today.

Such application-driven challenges serve to push the boundary of today's technology in this field to meet future commercial and defence and security needs. Some creative ideas include the development of enabling technologies such as an imaging chip to process and display real-time multi-dimensional information; or a signal processing chip capable of super high-speed performance of a trillion bits (terabit) per second or more, but consuming little power.

"The CINTRA laboratory will be an important conduit for the transfer of scientific and technological knowledge, breakthroughs and industrial innovations between Singapore and France. NTU is proud to be the university to represent Singapore in this partnership with CNRS and Thales. It is a testament to the University's global links, R&D capabilities and ability to innovate and develop technologies that make a difference to society," says NTU President, Dr Su Guaning.

"CNRS is very proud to contribute, through the creation of this joint laboratory with NTU and Thales, to the intensification of scientific relations between France and Singapore. This alliance brings together the prestigious NTU of Singapore, the major European multidisciplinary research organisation and a French leading industrial group. This new Unit Mixte Internationale (joint international laboratory) is a structure of excellence which positions us at the cutting edge of Nanotechnologies. It will allow us to combine our respective strengths in scientific and technological research in this field," says Mr Arnold Migus.

"Thales is pleased to be part of this alliance and to jointly develop new skills and new technologies to fulfil the requirements of future advanced electromagnetic sensors and signal processing functions. This is done by combining ultra high performances and very low power consumption, especially in addressing the integration and interconnection of electronics and photonics nanotechnologies," says Dr Marko Erman.

The collaboration will also open opportunities for post-graduate students and research staff to take part in exchange programmes.

The CINTRA Laboratory is expected to open by end October 2009. It will be actively competing for research funding in Singapore as well as in Europe. In the next two years, the laboratory is expected to house about 50 Singapore and French researchers.

The CINTRA Laboratory will be managed by a Scientific Committee with representatives from the three partners. Professor Dominique Baillargeat of CNRS has been appointed as Director of the laboratory, with Professor Tjin Swee Chuan of NTU and Dr Myriam Kaba of Thales as Deputy Directors.


Contact: Hisham Hambari
Nanyang Technological University

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