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Science Park 1 and 2: Spaces designed for success and innovation

Being in the right space and community can enable your business and forge collaborations.

The modular nature of purpose-built R&D units allows for efficient space planning and design. Photos and artist's impressions: Ascendas-Singbridge, Merck, Shutterstock

In a fast-changing global landscape marked by technological disruption and intense competition, the ability to innovate beyond a product life cycle has become a key factor for success. Against such a backdrop, supporting infrastructure that allows teams to work effectively has become critical.

FLEXIBILITY TO MAXIMISE EFFICIENCY

The availability of an open, large and contiguous floor plate presents companies with a drawing block of endless possibilities. Ascent in Singapore Science Park 1 is one such integrated development that enables companies to begin their innovation process from the floorplan.

With an open floorplan, laboratory spaces for research and development (R&D) can be designed to integrate with operational functions and optimise workflow. Dyson’s Performance Environment Lab and Acoustics Lab for product design and testing are examples of laboratories that are housed alongside the company’s corporate functions. Johnson & Johnson and Merck have also located their laboratories within the same premises as their business functions due to flexibility in space configuration.

PURPOSE-BUILT TO OPTIMISE COST OF OPERATION

For companies looking to minimise capital expenditure, Singapore Science Park 1 and 2 also feature purpose-built infrastructure and buildings that can cater to various size requirements across all stages of growth.

Such purpose-built spaces allow companies to save set-up time and installation costs. For instance, purpose-built research buildings usually feature multiple floor traps, allowing for easier planning of dry or wet lab configurations. In addition, these buildings typically boast a high floor loading to accommodate lab and research equipment. The additional risers also mean that tenants can save on costs from building exhaust shafts on the building’s facade.

Alternatively, there is the option of converted units. These units are smaller and are ideal for companies that require faster time to market and with less stringent physical requirements.

The modular nature of purpose-built units allows for efficient space planning and design, as they are either column-free or come with a wide column span. Such layouts provide companies with the flexibility to reconfigure their labs to meet future requirements.

COMMUNITIES TO SPUR COLLABORATION

Regardless of an open floorplan or a purpose-built space, innovation now begins from outside the lab. This is where being in a community of like-minded partners is becoming critical. A location that comes with a suite of community-building platforms can help to further encourage cross-networking and spur collaboration in R&D and innovation.

Singapore Science Park 1 and 2 are located in close proximity to the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the National University Hospital, as well as a host of other research institutes and organisations in one-north.

Furthermore, there are platforms and initiatives within the Singapore Science Park that help promote partnerships and networking. For instance, Deep Tech Hub is a partnership between Ascendas-Singbridge and NUS Enterprise that facilitates technology transfer between academia and research institutions by connecting both parties for discussions about the latest deep tech advancements and research.

WHEN R&D MEETS R&R

Beyond providing the facilities to support R&D, the Singapore Science Park also offers companies amenities to make their stay more pleasant.

These include event and meeting rooms, an amphitheatre, a fitness centre and swimming pool, as well as a plethora of retail and dining options. There are also flexible co-working spaces at both Science Parks equipped with plug-and-play solutions, such as thebridge at Science Park 1 and CoSpace Park at Science Park 2.

Both parks are easily accessible via MRT and public buses, while complimentary internal shuttle services allow speedy travel within the parks and NUS.

PERMITS AND REQUIREMENTS

Before searching for suitable Business Park and industrial spaces, companies are advised to check if their intended use can qualify for the approved usage.

Industrial property is broadly classified into Business Park, B1 and B2 zoning areas. Business Parks are designed for non-pollutive industries and businesses that engage in high-technology, R&D, high value-added and knowledge-intensive activities. B1 is intended for light industrial usage with minimal environmental impact. B2 is meant for general industrial usage for which there is a nuisance buffer greater than 50m imposed, coupled with appropriate health and safety buffers.

If there are doubts over the classification or usage restrictions, the company should clarify with the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA).

Article first published on CNA on 18 Feb 2019.


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1. Ascendas-Singbridge is now a member of CapitaLand Singapore
2. thebridge is now known as Bridge+