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VARIO receives A*Star delegation from Singapore


On Thursday, September 21, VARIO hosted a visit from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) from Singapore. A*Star is a large research and research funding organization (> 5,000 researchers) that contributes to the preparation of the Singapore government's 5-year Research, Innovation and Enterprise plans (RIE). Over the past decades, these RIE plans have enabled Singapore to be known worldwide as a top innovation region. In Southeast Asia, it managed to maneuver in this position in a highly competitive environment thanks to ambitious government plans, foreign investments and disciplined use of both resources and talent. In preparation for the RIE plans 2026-2030, A*Star CEO Frederick Chew traveled through Europe with a high-level delegation. He visited several Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, Belgium and the United Kingdom in search of best practices. It is no coincidence that several of these destinations are also VARIO benchmark countries (see VARIO advice 10 'Innovative benchmark countries and regions for Flanders'). The visit to VARIO was a response to the VARIO mission to Singapore in March this year (see VARIO mission Singapore report).

During the meeting, the Flemish knowledge and innovation landscape with a strong bottom-up component (VARIO advice 27 'Vision on a good policy mix between free and thematic support for R&D in Flanders') and the impact assessment were discussed in a joint presentation of Lieven Danneels (VARIO chairman), Johan Hanssens (secretary general of the Department of Economy, Science and Innovation) and Mark Andries (administrator general of VLAIO). VITO also outlined its operation and KPIs as a Strategic Research Center. The A*Star delegation had also visited VIB earlier that day.


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