Credit: Kok Leng Yeo ( CC-BY-2.0 (

Credit: Kok Leng Yeo ( CC-BY-2.0 (

How A*STAR is enhancing the research ecosystem in Singapore: RIE2020 portal and Future InfoComm System Team applications

This is part of a continuing series on how the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is constantly working to support researchers in Singapore and enhance the research ecosystem.

Click here to read the first instalment on the Federated Identity Management System or FIMs and the second part on the electronic Chemicals, Biomaterials, Gases Management System.

RIE2020 portal

In 2016, the Singapore Government announced the RIE2020 plan, committing S$19 billion to Research, Innovation and Enterprise over a period of five years. Updates were announced last year regarding focus in the four technology domains of the Plan- Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering (AME), Health & Biomedical Sciences (HBMS), Services & Digital Economy (SDE) and Urban Solutions & Sustainability (USS).

But for the agencies involved in this government-wide push, such as the National Research Foundation (NRF), A*STAR, Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Education (MOE) and more, there was no common platform to upload the funding initiatives under RIE2020.

To address this concern, A*STAR developed an Integrated Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 Portal System as a cross-agency collaboration project.

This integrated online portal will serve as a valuable platform for the research community in Singapore and provides a much needed resource to improve the efficiency and productivity.

This project demonstrates A*STAR’s initiative, innovation and commitment to address the current challenges faced by the research community with a simple, creative and easy to implement a solution within a short time frame.

A*STAR researchers can search for details, such as eligibility criteria, funding quantum, opening and close of grant calls) on all RIE2020 Funding Initiatives provided by the funding agencies under this one centralised online portal.

The successful launch of RIE2020 Funding Initiatives Portal has benefitted not just A*STAR but also many external organisations, as there is now a common platform for the users to upload and manage the RIE2020 funding effectively.

Future InfoComm System Team (FIST) - Applications

A*STAR’s Information Technology Shared Services (ITSS) Group has developed several applications under FIST. Some of thejm are highlighted below.

Face Recognition

The Proof of Concept for Face Recognition Application (FR) developed by ITSS is equipped with the ability to intelligently recognise and identify the person via key features on the face. 

There are many potential uses for the platform including tracking and monitoring the people’s identity at entrances and exits of A*STAR Offices / Buildings / Laboratories and enhancing the experience of visitors coming to A*STAR with ‘Greetings & Acknowledgement’.  

Mobile Incident Notification Application

The team has also developed a Mobile Incident Notification Application (MINA), providing a convenient platform for staff to lodge a Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) incident report using their mobile phones. 

Through this mobile application, an incident report can be lodged conveniently by anyone, anytime, anywhere, using any handheld device (on IOS and Android). A*STAR’s HSE/ Infrastructure Planning and Facility Management (IPFM) department subsequently follows up on these alerts.  

The staff can easily download the application via scanning QR code from A*STAR’s MINA publicity (or) approach any of staff from A*STAR FIST Booth for the mobile QR code. 

Mobile Device GPS and Van Tracking System

The Mobile Device GPS and Van Tracking System (MDGTS) is a web application that can track movement of the vehicles within campus. This application provides real-time information on the shuttle bus status between Biopolis and Fusionopolis. The Shuttle Bus Services can be tracked live on a Screen. 

The application uses GPS to capture the vehicle movement in real-time, and provides the staff with improved visibility of vehicles movements, and help them better plan their schedules.  

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