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Article Released Mon-4th-October-2010 07:58 GMT
Contact: Eugene Low Institution: The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
 The brightest young minds in nanotechnology from across Asia gather in Singapore to talk shop and shop?

The Asia Nano Forum’s (ANF) 3rd Asia Nanotech Camp at A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) brings together 40 hand-picked PhD candidates and early career postdoctorates from the Asia-Pacific region to discuss, debate, network and collaborate on their favourite pastimes - nanotechnology, eating and shopping.

Dr Davy Cheong (right) discussing the new flexible, high-impact resistance material with some of the co-inventors.
Copyright : Agency for Science, Technology and Research
Starting today, the next generation of nanotechnology scientists from some 35 universities in 13 countries across the Asia-Pacific region will meet in Singapore and Malaysia over a period of 12 days. Participants of the camp will not only discuss and form collaborations on nanotechnology, but also experience the cultures of their host nations.

Participants will present their research on nanostructured materials and devices, as well as discuss the impact of nanoscience and nanotechnology on society. A substantial part of the programme will also involve participants in activities to discover more about their host nations, research-wise, economically and culturally.

The participants will get to visit Singapore universities, research organisations and local companies which employ nanotechnology research such as Hyflux. They will also participate in a cultural immersion programme which will introduce them to the sights, sounds, diversity, and tastes of Singapore. There is even a short introduction to favourite local foods in the official Camp Handbook.

“Just as important as the discussions and exchange of ideas on research are, the camp is unique as it is designed to allow the participants to learn more about R&D, the economy and the way people live in the host countries”, explained Prof Andy Hor, Executive Director of A*STAR’s IMRE, whose nanotechnology R&D examples include nanostructured materials, nanocomposites, nanopatterning and nanoimprinting. IMRE is one of the hosts of this year’s camp and where ANF is headquartered.

Echoing his sentiments, Dr Lim Khiang Wee, Vice-President of ANF said, “The camp is a networking opportunity for these young researchers. This ‘peer support group’ will be essential to them in the future when they begin take on their roles as principal drivers of research and innovation in their respective countries”.

The camp will host young talented researchers like Dr Davy Cheong from Singapore who is looking to commercialise his new cornstarch-inspired, flexible, lightweight, impact-resistant composite material made for body armour and protective sports padding, and Dr Ratno Nuryadi from Indonesia who built a fully-functional nanoscope from commonly available parts at less than a tenth of SGD400,000 price tag of commercial systems. (Refer to profiles attached.)

“Davy and Ratno are examples of the calibre of the young researchers who are attending the camp. They represent the new ideas, unconventional thinking and can do spirit that we hope this networking will create. Who knows? We could very well have a future Nobel Laureate in our midst!” added Prof Andy Hor.

The annual camp was initiated in Japan two years ago by the Asia Nano Forum (ANF) network, an organisation spanning 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, which was founded in 2004 to promote excellence in research, development and the economic uptake of nanotechnology within the Asian region. This is the first time the camp is co-hosted by two nations, Singapore and Malaysia.

Encl. Annex A: Dr Davy Cheong and Dr Ratno Nuryadi
Annex B: Corporate Profiles

– END –

For media enquiries, please contact:
Mr Eugene LOW
Manager, Corporate Communications
for Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE)
3, Research Link
Singapore 117602
DID +65 6874 8491
Mobile +65 9230 9235

For enquiries about the Asia Nano Forum (ANF) Network, please contact:
Ms JIN Hongfang
Asia Nano Forum (ANF)
c/o Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE)
3, Research Link, Singapore 117602

Annex A – Dr Davy Cheong and Dr Ratno Nuryadi

Dr Davy Cheong
A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE)

One of the scientists attending this year’s camp is IMRE’s Dr Davy Cheong, a National University of Singapore (NUS) graduate who got his PhD in Australia and is now back with A*STAR working on nanostructured materials.

“Establishing links with your peers is very important for early career researchers like myself as it helps establish an international link that I can tap on for support and collaboration further on in my research career”, said Dr Cheong.

Though his expertise is in computer modelling and simulation, capitalising on opportunities and thinking out-of-the-box was what led him to recently invent a new composite materials based on shear thickening fluid phenomena, the same principle that causes soft, fluid cornstarch solution to harden when impacted with a force. He is now looking at using the new material in protective padding for sports, law enforcement and defence.

Dr Ratno Nuryadi
Center of Technology Material, Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology (Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi)

Another participant of the camp comes with equally impressive credentials is Dr Ratno Nuryadi who obtained his degree and PhD in Japan but returned to do R&D at the Center of Technology Material, Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology (Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi), Indonesia.

"This will be a good platform for me to bounce off different, and maybe unconventional ideas, with researchers who are some of the best and brightest young nanotechnology minds in the Asia-Pacific arena", said the Dr Nuryadi, the 2008 Indonesian Best Young Researcher Award and the 2010 Achmad Bakrie Award winner who most recently built Indonesia's first nanoscope from commonly available parts and materials, and at less than a tenth of the cost of commercial systems. Such commercial systems, used in characterising and imaging nano-sized structures could cost as much as SGD 440,000.

Annex B – Corporate Profiles

About the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE)
Established in September 1997, IMRE has built strong capabilities in materials analysis, characterisation, materials growth, patterning, fabrication, synthesis and integration. IMRE is an institute of talented researchers equipped with state-of-the-art facilities such as the SERC Nanofabrication and Characterisation Facility (SNFC) to conduct world-class materials science research. Leveraging on these capabilities, R&D programmes have been established in collaboration with industry partners. These include research on organic solar cells, nanocomposites, flexible organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), solid-state lighting, nanoimprinting, microfluidics and next generation atomic scale interconnect technology.

For more information about IMRE, please visit

About the Asia Nano Forum (ANF)
The Asia Nano Forum (ANF) is a network organization, founded in May 2004, to promote excellence in research, development and the economic uptake of nanotechnology within the Asian region. This collaborative network seeks to benefit its member economies educationally, socially, environmentally and economically by fostering collaboration and acting as a focus for regional and global nanotechnology issues. Asia Nano Forum (ANF) Network is supported by 15 economies in the Asia Pacific Region including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, UAE and Vietnam.

For more information about ANF, please visit

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