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Singapore precision engineering R&D expenditure rises 50% to S$313m in FY2016

LOCAL precision engineering enterprises spent S$313 million, or 50 per cent more in research and development (R&D) in the 2016 financial year compared to the previous year, according to the Department of Statistics.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry announced these figures on Monday during a visit by Senior Minister of State for Trade & Industry and National Development Koh Poh Koon to Wavelength Opto-Electronic, a homegrown small and medium-sized enterprise (SME).

Wavelength Opto-Electronic, a high-value lens manufacturer, was an example of a local manufacturing company that has invested heavily in R&D, with a spending of S$5 million in technology and R&D over the past decade.

Dr Koh encouraged manufacturing companies to continue to persist in their transformative efforts, in light of strong contributions by the manufacturing sector in gross domestic product (GDP) growth last year.

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He said: "All the more so when the growth is vibrant, they should take the opportunity to really develop their wings, put in more capabilities, invest more in training and R&D, so that as the economy continues to transform, they become even more competitive."

It was also announced that there was a 20 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of research scientists and engineers (RSE) jobs in the precision engineering sector for the 2016 financial year, according to the national R&D survey conducted by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star).