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Singapore awards five-year NRF Grant to SMART Innovation Centre

31 August 2022 | News

SMART Innovation Centre aims to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship in Singapore by nurturing deep tech ventures

Photo Credit: Freepik

Photo Credit: Freepik

The Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), MIT’s research enterprise in Singapore, has announced a five-year grant awarded to the SMART Innovation Centre by the National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF) as part of the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 Plan.

The SMART Innovation Centre, plays a key role in accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship in Singapore and will channel the grant towards refining and commercialising developments in the field of deep technologies through financial support and training. 

SMART Innovation Centre nurtures promising and innovative technologies in Singapore R&D pool. Some emerging technologies include, but are not limited to, biotechnology, biomedical devices, information technology, new materials, nanotechnology, and energy innovations.

Having trained over 300 postdoctoral researchers and scientists since its inception, the SMART Innovation Centre has supported the launch of 55 companies that have created over 3,300 jobs.

Grant programmes under the enhanced SMART Innovation Centre

The following four programmes are open to researchers from education and research facilities, as well as institutes of higher learning, in Singapore:

Innovation Grant 2.0

The enhanced SMART Innovation Centre’s flagship programme, the Innovation Grant 2.0, is a gated three-phase programme focused on enabling scientist-entrepreneurs to launch a successful venture, with training and intense monitoring across all phases. This grant programme can provide up to S$800K and is open to all areas of deep technology (engineering, artificial intelligence, biomedical, new materials, etc).

The first grant call for the Innovation Grant 2.0 is now open, and will close on 15 October 2022.

Applicable to researchers, scientists and engineers at Singapore’s public institutions of higher learning, research centres, public hospitals and medical research centres – especially those working on disruptive technologies with commercial potential. or visit link.


In collaboration with SMART, National Health Innovation Centre Singapore (NHIC) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG), this novel integrated programme will develop masterclasses on venture building, with a focus on medical devices, diagnostics and medical technologies. The grant amount is up to S$1,350,000. Applications are accepted throughout the year.

STDR Stream 2

The Singapore Therapeutics Development Review (STDR) programme is jointly operated by SMART, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the Experimental Drug Development Centre (EDDC). The grant is available in two phases, a Pre-Pilot phase of S$100K and a Pilot phase of S$830K, with a potential combined total of up to S$930K. The next STDR Pre-Pilot grant call will open on 15 September 2022.

Central Gap Fund

The SMART IC is an Innovation and Enterprise Office (IEO) under the NRF’s Central Gap Fund. This programme helps projects that have already received an Innovation 2.0, STDR Stream 2, or I2START Grant but require additional funding to bridge to seed or Series A funding. With possible funding of up to S$5 million. Applications are accepted throughout the year.

The SMART Innovation Centre will also continue developing robust entrepreneurship mentorship programmes and regular industry events to encourage closer collaboration among faculty innovators and the business community.

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