Updated on 18 March 2013
As a member of the joint steering committee of the Roche Singapore hub and part of GSK's activities in Singapore, Prof Radda also plays a significant role in the industry. Through the Bioimaging Consortium, he developed significant tie-ups with a number of industry players, including Bayer and Schering Plough, and more recently with GE Healthcare to develop a new biomedical technology.
Sharing his experience of working in Singapore, Prof Radda says, "When Singapore gave me the opportunity to set up the Bioimaging Consortium, it gave me the space to do research in a way I liked, along with financial, intellectual and administrative support. And that is the reason the consortium was formed in such a successful manner, which is almost inconceivable in any part of the world."
Prof Radda, whose association with Singapore dates back to 1999, has been a key driver in building this city state's bioimaging capabilities for clinical R&D through the establishment of the Clinical Imaging Research Centre in 2007. Today, the center is one of the few facilities in the world dedicated to clinical R&D.
He first came in touch with Singapore's nascent biotechnology industry and academia as the head of the UK Medical Research Council (MRC). Singapore, then, was giving a serious thought to setting up an umbrella of biomedical enterprises to help the country's research potential thrive. The concept of Biopolis was also in the making. A delegation led by Mr Tony Tan, the then deputy prime minister of Singapore, and Mr Philip Yeo, chairman of A*Star from 2000-07, were on a visit to the UK MRC to understand the structure of the scientific research in the UK.
The purpose was to see if a similar model could be adopted and implemented in Singapore. This was the time when Prof Radda took up an offer to join the international biomedical advisory council of Singapore after retirement. One of his first involvements was with developing a five-year strategy for the Biomedical Research Council. Bioimaging was analyzed to be an important part of Singapore biotech's research and the idea of a consortium took shape. The consortium builds a coordinated national program for imaging research, bringing together the country's strengths in physical sciences, engineering and biomedical sciences.