Published on 10 May 2024

Partnership with Portugal to advance talent development

Image: President of FCT’s Board of Directors Professor Maria Madalena dos Santos (left), signing the partnership agreement with NTU Vice President (Industry) Professor Lam Khin Yong (right) in Portugal.

NTU Singapore
 is partnering the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) to promote industrial innovation and facilitate advanced research training for doctoral students and researchers from Portugal.

FCT will support the training of 10 Portuguese PhD students, with an aim to contribute to the industrial development of the manufacturing industry in Portugal. These PhD students will be trained at NTU Singapore.

The PhD projects will focus on additive manufacturing and related fields. This is a strategic domain for different industrial sectors in Portugal, from plastic and tooling to automotive and construction.

The collaboration agreement – a first between FCT and a university in Singapore – was inked on 2 May by NTU Vice President (Industry) Professor Lam Khin Yong and Professor Maria Madalena dos Santos, President of FCT’s Board of Directors.

NTU’s Prof Lam Khin Yong said: “By fostering collaboration with world-class organisations like FCT, we can expect significant opportunities to expand our industry partnerships. Talent is key for NTU and we are happy to attract top students from Portugal under this agreement. This link with FCT will further enhance our industry partnerships through our multi-party approach to driving translational research and innovation and enrich Singapore’s talent pool with diverse perspectives and expertise.”

FCT’s Prof Maria Madalena dos Santos said: “This agreement will contribute to the valorisation of the Portuguese scientific and technological system and the deepening of relations between scientific entities in Portugal and Singapore”.

This partnership is considered strategic for FCT to pursue its mission to continuously promote the advancement of knowledge in science and technology in Portugal, attaining the highest international standards of quality and competitiveness. 

The collaboration was borne out of discussions initiated by NTU last year with His Excellency Dr Mario Duarte, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Portuguese Republic to the Republic of Singapore, to explore opportunities for collaborations with Portuguese universities.

Dr Mário Duarte said the NTU-FCT agreement represents a “qualitative and tangible step in the strengthening of the relationship between the two countries”. He added: “This agreement is also a pathfinder to futures collaborations, as Portugal and Singapore share innovative and vibrant academic and tech sectors with the potential to be mutually reinforcing. I look forward to continuing to work with NTU and other local universities in new projects to bring our countries and people closer together.”

A large portion of the training for these PhD students will be done at the Singapore Centre for 3D Printing (SC3DP) at NTU.

SC3DP Executive Director and NTU School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering’s Professor Paulo Bártolo said: “By building stronger links with industry and universities in Portugal, NTU is in a good position to help train talent who are nimble, agile, adaptable, and can address important challenges faced by industry in both Portugal and Singapore.”