The new cloud-based system will spur innovation and support talent development in areas such as agri-food, nutraceuticals, sustainable materials and specialty chemicals
Republic Polytechnic (RP) launched the new Sustainable Technology & Analytical Research Laboratory (STAR Lab) today during its Open House 2023. The lab was launched in collaboration with Japanese precision instruments and medical equipment manufacturer Shimadzu (Asia Pacific). The 3,000 square-foot RP-Shimadzu STAR Lab is equipped with Laboratory 4.0 features and will support RP’s focus in the study of agri-food, nutraceuticals, sustainable materials and specialty chemicals.
The event was graced by Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Education, who officiated the opening of the STAR Lab.
The STAR Lab is the first facility in an Institute of Higher Learning (IHL) in Singapore to have its analytical instruments connected to a cloud-based system, where staff and students can remotely monitor experiments, collecting and analysing data in real-time. More details of the STAR Lab’s features can be found in the Appendix.
A total of 400 Pre-Employment Training (PET) and Continuing Education and Training (CET) students per year from the School of Applied Science diploma programmes will benefit from this new facility. It will facilitate the training of students from the Diploma in Biotechnology, the Diploma in Applied Chemistry and the Diploma in Pharmaceutical Science in the areas of analytical chemistry to prepare them for careers in quality assurance and quality control across various sectors.
“We are delighted to be expanding and deepening our partnership with Shimadzu as part of our industry engagement and digitalisation efforts. The new RP-Shimadzu STAR Lab serves as a learning space for both staff and students to harness emerging technologies across disciplines that are key to the sustenance of our nation,” said Mr Yeo Li Pheow, Principal/Chief Executive Officer, Republic Polytechnic.
“It is crucial for us to embrace Industry 4.0 to be at the forefront of this industrial shift, as we continue to seek out new and meaningful partnerships that can give our students real-world exposure, equipping them with skills and relevance to keep operating at the cutting edge. This fits hand-in-glove with our RP Transformation 2025 plan that sees us committed to building a budding pool of talent in support of our nation’s drive towards greater sustainability and more specifically, ensuring our food security and sustainability,” Mr Yeo added.
Paired with the knowledge and expertise gained from industry collaborations, the STAR Lab serves as a learning platform for staff and students in areas such as laboratory techniques, analytical instrumentation, laboratory automation, data management and instrument connectivity. The facility will play an instrumental role in developing new analytical methods in areas such as nutrients profiling of agri-food products, specialty chemicals and materials analysis with a sustainable focus.
Expanded partnership with Shimadzu
RP and Shimadzu also renewed its partnership today through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a further three years. As part of this renewed partnership, Shimadzu will continue to provide training opportunities that encompass collaboration on research projects for RP staff and students, while also providing sponsorships for student scholarships, book prizes and bursaries.
The two organisations have also jointly developed new CET workshops and short courses. Participants of these courses will have access to facilities in the laboratory for their coursework. Learners can apply for programmes in the areas of digitalising laboratory procedure using augmented reality, sample extraction and cloud-based analysis of urban farming produce and functional food. The programmes will be facilitated by trainers from both RP and Shimadzu.
Mr Tetsuya Tanigaki, Managing Director, Shimadzu Asia Pacific said, “It has been in Shimadzu’s DNA to support the education landscape, ever since our founding concept began in 1875 with the purpose of manufacturing scientific instruments for educational use. Shimadzu is pleased to partner with Republic Polytechnic to accelerate the digital transformation in laboratories and to train the young scientific talents with Shimadzu’s leading-edge technologies. As we always believe, Excellence in Science is not only our motto but a way of life. Through the launch of the RP-Shimadzu STAR Laboratory, I trust that we will work even closer together to redefine laboratory experience and realise our committed goal of continuously developing agri-food innovations and more.”
Internship opportunities for students will be made available at Shimadzu for students to participate in a wide range of projects that include gas chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis. These opportunities are designed to help develop and broaden students’ capabilities in food science, agritech and chemical laboratory technology.