Recent & Ongoing Projects

When first pioneered in 2001, the NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) Program was a new, experimental initiative in experiential entrepreneurship education. It has since expanded to more than 10 locations globally, with over 2,800 alumni by July 2018. This report presents comprehensive empirical findings on the role and contributions of NOC alumni in the development of the Innovation and Entrepreneurial (I&E) ecosystems of Singapore and beyond.

To download the report, click here.

This 2-year project studies high-tech start-ups (HTSUs) in Singapore, with specific focus on growth and survival dynamics. It is funded by a research grant from the National Research Foundation (NRF) under the Science of Research, Innovation and Enterprise (SRIE) programme.

This project is a follow-up to an earlier NRF-funded study conducted by NEC in 2010. A Tracer Survey of HTSUs that participated in the 2010 study will be conducted, to investigate longitudinal growth trends. A survey of HTSUs founded in the last five years will also be conducted. The study will also analyse new firm dynamism and job creation by start-ups in Singapore.

This project, co-funded by a MOE grant, will develop an integrated database and analytics system that allows for the research outcomes and impact made by individual NUS researchers to be mapped, measured and quantified. The system, termed Transferring Academic Knowledge and Expertise at NUS (TAKE-NUS), is modelled after the ongoing TRIC database initiative at Imperial College London.

The analytic results from TAKE-NUS will be used to conduct a comparative study of NUS and Imperial College. This joint study will benchmark NUS with Imperial College, and highlight institutional environments and policies that influence academic knowledge transfer.

In collaboration with ZSI in Austria, the project will examine publication and patenting data to discern the collaborative linkages between European and South East Asian research organisations. The analysis will determine the areas of research strength in both regions and highlight synergies from regional research cooperation. This project is funded by the SEA-EU NET II project.

NEC recently concluded a project supported by a MOE grant under the Autonomous University Technology Transfer Office (AU TTO) scheme. This project comprised three parts:

Study on the linkages between University-Industry Co-Publications (UICP) and technology commercialization Survey of TTO Stakeholders Benchmarking NUS’s technology commercialisation against a basket of comparable universities.

NEC has signed a Research Collaboration Agreement with Leiden University’s Centre for Science & Technology Studies (CWTS) to conduct a study of university-industry linkages at the National University of Singapore, using data on co-publications combined with data on invention and technology transfer activities.

This NUS-centric study is envisioned to be part of a larger project involving multiple universities making use of the co-publications database developed by CWTS. NEC has taken a leadership role in initiating a proposed regional study.

NEC has entered a Research Collaboration Agreement with Patsnap to develop databases and tools for patents landscaping and analysis. Under the terms of this agreement, Patsnap will work with NEC to construct and refine analytic tools and prepare customised patents analysis reports.

With sponsorship from IBM, NUS Enterprise is developing TechSG, a digital platform for Singapore’s technology entrepreneurial ecosystem. An open and collaborative platform by the community for the community, TechSG integrates and augments the information resources already existing within the ecosystem to provide comprehensive information on the key players in Singapore’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

More than just an information depository, TechSG will provide curated research insights and analytical tools for visualising and tracking the diversity, interdependency, growth dynamics and vibrancy of Singapore’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Concluded Projects

Edward Elgar recently released this timely volume, which documents the findings from a two-year research project coordinated by NUS Enterprise. This book examines the rising phenomenon of academic entrepreneurship and technology commercialisation among leading universities in Asia.

The volume can be purchased on Edward Elgar online or

In 2009, Singapore’s IP Academy (IPA) commissioned NUS Enterprise to follow up on an earlier project which developed an annual Scorecard of IP performance among Asian nations and organisations.

Modelled after MIT Technology Review’s annual global ranking of leading patenting organisations in the world (now published by The Patents Board), the original Scorecard project focused on Asia and developed additional performance indicators.

This latest follow-on project updates the previously constructed AsiaPac IP Scorecard with patents granted by the USPTO and EPO up to 30 June 2009. The scorecard ranks the leading patent producing economies and provides insights into the trends of IP creation and quality in the Asia Pacific region.

Exploit Technologies (EPTL) of A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research) engaged NUS Enterprise to conduct a study in order to better understand the needs, concerns and priorities of ETPL’s two main customer groups: researchers at the A*STAR public research institutes; and licensees who have licensed IP owned by A*STAR or who have evaluated such IP for the purpose of licensing.

In this project, the two customer groups were separately surveyed using self-administered structured questionnaires. Findings from the surveys were used to evaluate the level of satisfaction with ETPL’s services and the perceived impact and effectiveness of its programmes, as well as to identify areas of potential improvement in ETPL’s service provision to its customer groups.

NUS Enterprise was selected as Singapore’s representative in this international comparative research project to develop a Global Talent Index for Science & Technology manpower. The pilot project was coordinated and funded by the Neil D. Levin Institute of International Relations and Commerce, the State University of New York (SUNY), with funding support by IBM.

The Singapore study analysed trends and developments in Singapore’s pool of S&T talent from both demand (employment) and supply (graduates from local institutes of education) perspectives.

NUS Enterprise led and coordinated Singapore’s participation in the 2008 edition of this international benchmarking study on students’ entrepreneurial spirit, involving 19 countries.

The 2011 study is again being coordinated by NUS Enterprise in partnership with the Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) of SPRING Singapore. This biennial study is globally coordinated by the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland and aims to identify the role and impact of personality-oriented characteristics and university influences on the founding processes and intentions of collegiate entrepreneurs.

The rapid development of digital technology in recent years, particularly quantum advancements in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) with the advent of the Internet as an enabler, has driven the phenomenon of digital convergence globally. This growing phenomenon presents opportunities for the creation of a regional hub providing professional IP services for the range of technologies and spin-off activities arising from convergence.

This project by NUS Enterprise aims to identify the issues and opportunities arising from the growth of digital media and to assess the development of IP hub services in Singapore.

This is a collaboration project between NUS Enterprise, Stanford Technology Venture Programme (STVP) and Stanford Project on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SPRIE) at Stanford University, with the support of Majulah Connection.

This multi-year research project was carried out to gain deeper understanding of how entrepreneurial links are being forged and strengthened between Silicon Valley and selected innovative regions in Asia.

A major focus of the study was on how prominent Silicon Valley-based Asian entrepreneurs are contributing to the transformation of the entrepreneurial landscape in Asia, through various emerging roles such as returnee entrepreneurs/investors, architects of bi-locational ventures that span Asia and Silicon Valley, mentors of new ventures from Asia, and social entrepreneurs who pioneer socio-economic changes in their homeland.

NUS Enterprise was commissioned by the Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board (SPRING) to conduct a study on high-growth firms in Singapore with a special focus on SMEs.

This project aimed to understand the landscape of such firms in Singapore, and how they have developed over time. In addition, a key objective was to gain a better understanding of the profile of founders/senior management of high-growth firms and the management and strategic processes they employ.

The study conducted by NUS Enterprise involved collation of secondary data, a firm-level survey, and face-to-face interviews with selected firms. Findings from the study will be used to identify factors which may distinguish high-growth firms and contribute to their success, as well as to identify potential policy measures for fostering and sustaining successful, high-impact entrepreneurial firms.

The National Research Foundation (NRF) engaged NUS Enterprise to conduct a study examining the state of high-technology start-ups in Singapore.

This project aimed to understand the landscape of such firms in Singapore and examine the effectiveness of government policies on high-tech start-ups, in order to identify ways to improve the rates of survival, growth and successful exits of high-tech start-ups.

The study involved collation of secondary data, a survey of high-tech start-ups and mini-cases of selected start-ups. Findings from the study were used to understand the factors that drive the development of high-tech start-ups through different growth stages and possible inhibitors or barriers to growth.

This project examines how selected universities in Asia approach academic entrepreneurship and technology transfer activities.

The Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) of Japan approved a grant for NUS Enterprise to lead and co-ordinate this two-year collaborative research project involving 13 research-intensive universities from nine Asian economies (Japan, China, India, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore). Under this project, researchers from major universities in Asia examined the emerging role of universities in their national and regional innovation systems.

The report, comprising chapters on the experiences of 13 leading universities in Asia, has been published in book form by Edward Elgar.

Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students’ Survey (GUESSS) is a global biennial research project focused on understanding the entrepreneurial attitudes, intentions, and activities of students at institutes of higher learning (IHLs). The 2013/2014 edition of GUESSS garnered responses from 109,026 students from 759 universities in 34 countries. The NUS Entrepreneurship Centre (NEC) was once again invited to lead and coordinate the 2013/2014 GUESSS study for all tertiary institutions in Singapore, with co-funding support from ACE. In Singapore, a total of 6,471 students from the 3 public universities and 5 polytechnics were successfully surveyed. The Singapore report highlights the relevance of IHLs in nurturing entrepreneurship in the student population.