Agilent and National University of Singapore Form Alliance in Environmental Research
News Release from:
14 July 2011
Agilent and the National University of Singapore Environmental Research Institute (NERI) today announced an alliance to leverage each other's key strengths in life sciences and chemical analyses. This alliance marks the first time that Agilent is collaborating with a university in environmental science and engineering in Southeast Asia.
Under this collaboration, part of NERI's new laboratory, located at the National University of Singapore, will be equipped with Agilent instruments for chemical and bio-analysis and electronic measurement. This facility will provide NUS researchers with state-of-the-art instrumentation to conduct studies on water, air, soil, food and biospecimens, leading to applications that will benefit the research community, industry and society at large.
NUS and Agilent already enjoy a long-standing relationship as research partners, said Professor Barry Halliwell, the university's Deputy President (Research and Technology). We are pleased to team up with Agilent once again in our quest to become a leading global center of interdisciplinary research, education and expertise in the environment, particularly in areas affecting Singapore and Asia. We will continue to actively work in partnership with industry to explore new technologies and generate innovative solutions to address real world environmental challenges.
NERI conducts cutting-edge research in a range of high-impact areas. Some of its current research interests include environmental monitoring and surveillance, environmental and human health, ecological and environmental impact of climate change, energy and novel technology platforms for environmental research.
This collaborative effort with Agilent will further position NERI well as an integrated one-stop center, bringing together researchers from different faculties to engage in interdisciplinary activities in areas of environmental science and engineering. This will greatly strengthen our capabilities for rehabilitating, sustaining and managing natural environments, said Professor Ong Choon Nam, Director of NERI.
Agilent is an avid supporter of innovation, said Dr. Teng Chai Hock, Vice President, South Asia Pacific and Korea, in Agilent's Chemical Analysis Group. Agilent invests in understanding and developing measurement technologies that advance measurement instrumentation and applications. One way is through collaboration with the world's top universities and research centers on topics of mutual interest - topics where our bio-analytical and electronic measurement technologies pave the way to solving real-life problems such as food safety and environmental monitoring.
In this collaboration with NERI, we are committed to support and provide the best technologies and application scientists to undertake research that will go toward addressing world environmental challenges, added Dr. Teng.
While the new facility will be used primarily by NERI researchers, it will also be open to international scientists and engineers who collaborate with NERI in environmental research.
One area of collaboration being developed by NERI using Agilent instrumentation is focused on automated miniaturized sample preparation and chemical analysis, with the goal of conducting the entire process in the field. At present, environmental water samples are typically brought back to a laboratory for extraction of the compounds to be analyzed, which is costly, time consuming and involves larger volumes of organic solvent for extraction. Automated field-based extraction and analysis will address these problems.
Researchers at NERI have also developed methods for environmental bio-monitoring and toxicity testing. Agilent will support this research through their custom analysis platforms. NERI and Agilent will also explore the possibility of further developing these assays into an automated high-throughput toxicity-screening platform.
Agilent and NERI will also work closely to organize joint seminars and training programs, as well as publish scientific papers on environmental issues. Novel measurement, analytical and bioanalytical methodologies resulting from this partnership are likely to be further developed into joint R&D projects.