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BLOCK71 Suzhou jointly launched by NUS & partners at Suzhou Industrial Park

Michelle Zhu
Michelle Zhu • 3 min read
BLOCK71 Suzhou jointly launched by NUS & partners at Suzhou Industrial Park
SINGAPORE (Nov 23): The National University of Singapore (NUS) today launched BLOCK71 Suzhou, a new initiative aimed at providing support for Singapore entrepreneurs and technology startups looking to explore potential business opportunities in China.
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SINGAPORE (Nov 23): The National University of Singapore (NUS) today launched BLOCK71 Suzhou, a new initiative aimed at providing support for Singapore entrepreneurs and technology startups looking to explore potential business opportunities in China.

This follows the 2013 establishment of NUS (Suzhou) Research Institute (NUSRI), the university’s first overseas research institute built in collaboration with the Suzhou Industrial Administrative Committee (SIPAC).

The Suzhou facility is an extension of Singapore’s BLOCK71 business startup ecosystem concept, and is jointly developed and managed by NUS Enterprise, NUSRI and Ascendas-Singbridge.

Singapore’s minister for finance and Singapore-Jiangsu Cooperation Council (SJCC) co-chairman, Heng Swee Keat, announced the new initiative at the 11th SJCC meeting in Suzhou this morning, before overseeing the launch of BLOCK71 Suzhou at an event at Ascendas iHub.

BLOCK71 Suzhou comprises two facilities situated within a 10-minute drive from each other, both of which are located within Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP).

According to the university, companies and individuals based at these facilities can benefit from incubation support; access to innovative technologies and research from NUSRI and partnering Chinese research institutes; technology commercialisation support; as well as introduction to global networks and resources.

The first location is developed in partnership with NUSRI, and will focus on supporting deep tech start-ups while encouraging innovation and commercialisation efforts in technology fields including artificial intelligence (AI), biomedical sciences, cloud computing, robotics and smart devices.

On the other hand, the second location at Ascendas iHub Suzhou is developed in partnership with NUSRI and Ascendas-Singbridge, and is expected to be ready in 2Q18. It is aimed at extending and expanding the community with new space to “continue the vibrancy of the ecosystem”, according to NUS.

In a Thursday announcement, NUS says it will be spearheading the BLOCK71 initiative to further promote innovation and entrepreneurship development in Singapore and China, NUSRI and NUS Enterprise – and at the same time, leverage these partners’ global networks and resources to help Singapore’s entrepreneurs and startups gain access to new markets.

NUS Enterprise, NUSRI and Ascendas-Singbridge also intend to collaboratively organise startup activities and events while bringing together relevant partners, such as investors, government agencies, corporates and industry.

Tan Eng Chye, NUS Deputy President (Academic Affairs) and Provost, believes the establishment of BLOCK71 Suzhou will help to drive active interactions between research and start-up communities in both Singapore and Suzhou, hence enabling them to reach international markets and scale more efficiently.

“NUSRI demonstrates a win-win partnership between Singapore and China. Over the last seven years, NUSRI has served as gateway for NUS to partner institutions in China to boost the research, education and entrepreneurship activities that the university has been actively spearheading,” he adds.

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