Vision, Mission, Values & Themes


NTU’s Institute for Science and Technology for Humanity is a collective of researchers, students, industry professionals, policymakers, and members of civil society. We aim to design a future society through responsible interdisciplinary team research by integrating STEM and non-STEM expertise and methods. NISTH provides education and training at the Undergraduate, Graduate, Continuing and Executive levels. NISTH prioritises public participation and co-design with partners; informs governance and policymaking toward solving societal challenges. 

  • To deeply understand the impact of science and technological innovation on people’s lives
  • To engage in cutting edge team research across STEM and non-STEM disciplines
  • To inform governance and leadership in transforming society for the benefit of humanity


We imagine a period of 20 years from 2020 to find solutions to the global challenges that society is facing today. NISTH brings together key actors, thinkers and leaders to execute change for the benefit of humanity.

NISTH’s focus is on societal impact . We aim to realise real and positive change in the world by the unusual combinations of Science, Engineering, Arts, Business, Humanities and Social Sciences to tackle complex problems.

We engage in interdisciplinary team research where scientists, scholars, industry, government, NGOs and the public work on shared goals. This will shorten the chain from scientific findings or technological innovation to adoption and consequently translate to real-world impact.


Quintuple helix framework of NISTH’ Research Innovation Eco-System. Engaging Social Enterprises and citizens strengthen NTU’s strong collaboration with industry and government in Citizen Science Co-Research Hubs. NISTH involves the natural environment as an active partner that requires advocacy in all our actions.


NISTH is beholden to three underlying core values that guide our choices for research activities and the development of educational content:


We exist to serve the well-being of people and humanity. We are committed to leveraging scientific achievements and technological innovation to improve the human condition. We persevere in enhancing people’s lives and aim to deeply understand the implications of science and technology for humanity to promote beneficial outcomes and mitigate the negative.


We engage in responsible research and innovation through collaboration across disciplinary, cultural, national and social boundaries and partnership with like-minded organisations, agencies and communities. We bridge the STEM and non-STEM disciplines. We strive for the public to actively participate in our research and educational activities.


We value diversity and obligate ourselves to be inclusive. We believe in empowering disadvantaged people and giving people authorship over developments in their community. We aim to identify and contribute to the conditions that need to be in place for nature, societies and individuals to heal. 


NISTH aims to answer important questions related to the world’s societal challenges for NTU. It bridges the STEM and non-STEM disciplines and has the goal to translate science for society.  NISTH’s involvement revolves around three immediate themes: 

NISTH Themes
Responsible Innovation for the Benefit of Humanity Our society is confronted with significant challenges and fundamental questions. We are concerned with climate change and exhaustion of natural resources and growing inequality and polarisation and loss of privacy in the age of the fourth industrial revolution, and dilemma regarding robotisation and artificial intelligence. We face challenges in healthcare for ageing societies, people’s exposure to stress and a sense of powerlessness in making meaningful change. Innovation can contribute to solving these challenges. To Innovate Responsibly, we must engage in sustainable innovation, social innovation and compassionate innovation with a deep understanding of the benefits to humanity and the potential negative consequences.
Social, Economic and Cultural Sustainability in Urban Asia We have a broad and transdisciplinary view on sustainability. To reverse the devastating effects of climate change, we need to focus on carbon reduction and transform the way we live our lives. With Social, Economic and Cultural Sustainability, we mean that people’s lives, economies and societies have to adopt new and sustainable ways to work, interact and develop. However, we also address questions in the context of Emerging Urban Asia: How can we achieve Social Sustainability for people so that they are socially supported, have equal opportunities, high quality of life and care? How can we find Economic Sustainability with a fair and just distribution of resources and benefits from innovation? How will culture in Urban Asia evolve during our effort to counter the negative impact of humanity on earth’s geology and ecosystems?
Governance and Leadership for a Resilient Singapore Responsible leadership, policies and governance for industries, cities and nations are needed to support and realise the vision of a dynamic, sustainable, prosperous and harmonious society that is resilient in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change. We must understand what demands are exacted by technological innovation, food insecurity, threats to safety, new inequality and diversity upon leadership and governance. A fundamental understanding of the impact that science and technological innovation will have on people’s beliefs, attitudes and behaviours are essential to inform leadership decision making and new policies.