Sylvia Lim: R&D spending needs to be accounted for

I agree that it is necessary for Singapore to invest heavily in R&D for our nation’s future. However, it is critically important to measure the output and impact of our R&D investments to ensure that it is money well-spent.

This is admittedly not an easy task. The results from research may take years to materialise, and some R&D may be undertaken for strategic reasons, the benefits of which may not be easy to quantify. Nevertheless, any public spending needs to be accounted for.

This was a speech in Parliament on 8 March 2010 by NCMP, Sylvia Lim, during the Committee of Supply debate, on the budget for the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI). Read other Workers’ Party speeches and statements at wp.sg.

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Since the year 2000, Singapore has spent $33 billion on R&D, also referred to as the Gross Domestic Expenditure on Research and Development, or GERD. Of this, about $12 billion was funded by taxpayers.

I agree that it is necessary for Singapore to invest heavily in R&D for our nation’s future. However, it is critically important to measure the output and impact of our R&D investments to ensure that it is money well-spent.

This is admittedly not an easy task. The results from research may take years to materialise, and some R&D may be undertaken for strategic reasons, the benefits of which may not be easy to quantify. Nevertheless, any public spending needs to be accounted for. Continue reading “Sylvia Lim: R&D spending needs to be accounted for”