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Thales Extends Joint NTU / CNRS Laboratory in Singapore


With one of the highest research and development (R&D) expenditures in the region, Singapore is a leading regional hub for upstream research. Thales has long aligned with that ambition, with one of five R&D centres for the group located in the country—testament to its strong commitment to research and technology.

The CINTRA lab was established in October 2009, with the three parties (NTU, CNRS and Thales) inaugurating the lab in the presence of Singapore’s then Minister of Education and Second Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen (currently Singapore’s Defence Minister) and France’s then Minister for Higher Education and Research, Valerie Pécresse.

The partnership began through mutual interests in fundamental sciences, including in modelling and simulation, materials synthesis and characterisation and domain knowledge. Over the years, the lab has ridden on the crest of new waves of materials discoveries and has metamorphosed towards a strong fundamental understanding and application-based research of 2D materials and metamaterials, as well as artificial intelligence (AI) for materials design. Physically situated at the NTU campus, this fourth tenure of the lab highlights the strategic importance of Singapore for upstream research for the Thales Group.

Strengthening a Years-Long Partnership

In this renewed partnership, Thales will be focusing on strengthening capabilities through four main application areas on how research outcomes can be used for energy, sensors, acoustic and microwave devices and nano-photonic circuits.

To develop the smart materials required in this disruptive age of technology, Thales relies heavily on cooperation between research teams and the academic world. The continued partnership with NTU and CNRS offers a platform for innovation and knowledge sharing and attracting talented science graduates to build on acquired expertise. The diversity in research teams have brought to this partnership well-rounded and unbiased research studies while cross-disciplinary pollination has also sprung forward new discoveries.

“The CINTRA lab is one of our early examples of upstream research collaboration in Singapore, back when the country was enhancing its reputation as a leading R&D hub in the region. I am proud that this spirit of co-designing and prototyping continues with the extended tenure of the lab, working together with our esteemed partners CNRS and NTU. The established credentials of CINTRA demonstrate Thales’ influence within the scientific and technical communities, and is especially significant as Thales celebrates its 50th year of presence in Singapore this year,” said Emily TAN, CEO and Country Director at Thales in Singapore.