Agency for Science, Technology and Research Act
(CHAPTER 5A)

(Original Enactment: Act 24 of 1990)

REVISED EDITION 2002
(31st December 2002)
An Act to establish the Agency for Science, Technology and Research and for matters connected therewith.
[26/2002]
[11th January 1991]
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Agency for Science, Technology and Research Act.
[26/2002]
Interpretation
2.  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“Agency” means the Agency for Science, Technology and Research established under section 3;
“chief executive officer” means the chief executive of the Agency, and includes any individual acting in that capacity;
[Act 5 of 2018 wef 01/04/2018]
“commercial application”, in relation to any knowledge or technology, means the application, utilization or exploitation of such knowledge or technology in the manufacture, production, sale, distribution or provision of goods or services in the course of any trade, business, enterprise or profession, and includes any business or commercial activity that is necessary for or related to the promotion, development or growth of any such trade, business, enterprise or profession;
“financial assistance” includes assistance by way of grant, loan, loan guarantee, the purchase or guarantee of bonds, debentures, notes or other debt obligations or the purchase or acquisition of any stock, shares or other equity securities;
“member” means a member of the Agency and includes the Chairman.
[18/2000; 26/2002]
Establishment of Agency for Science, Technology and Research
3.—(1)  There is hereby established a body to be known as the Agency for Science, Technology and Research which shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and shall, by that name, be capable of —
(a)suing and being sued;
(b)acquiring, owning, holding and developing or disposing of property, both movable and immovable; and
(c)doing and suffering such other acts or things as bodies corporate may lawfully do and suffer.
[26/2002]
(2)  The Agency may perform any of its functions or carry out any of its duties under the business name of A*STAR, or such other business name as the Minister may, from time to time by notification in the Gazette, specify.
[26/2002]
Common seal
4.—(1)  The Agency shall have a common seal and such seal may from time to time be broken, altered or made anew as the Agency thinks fit.
[26/2002]
(2)  All deeds and other documents requiring the seal of the Agency shall be sealed with the common seal of the Agency in the presence of —
(a)the Chairman or a Deputy Chairman of the Agency; and
(b)an employee of the Agency who is authorised by resolution or otherwise in writing (either generally or specially) to act in that behalf,
and shall be signed by these persons.
[26/2002]
(3)  Such signing shall be sufficient evidence that the common seal of the Agency has been duly and properly affixed and that the seal is the lawful common seal of the Agency.
[26/2002]
(4)  All courts, judges and persons acting judicially shall take judicial notice of the common seal of the Agency affixed to any document and shall presume that it was duly affixed.
[26/2002]
(5)  The Agency may, by resolution or otherwise in writing, appoint an employee of the Agency or any other agent, either generally or specially, to execute or sign on behalf of the Agency any agreement or other instrument not under seal in relation to any matter coming within the powers of the Agency.
[26/2002]
(6)  Section 12 of the Registration of Deeds Act (Cap. 269) shall not apply to any instrument purporting to have been executed under subsection (2).
[3A
[26/2002]
Constitution of Agency
5.—(1)  The Agency shall consist of —
(a)a Chairman; and
(b)not less than 8 and not more than 20 other members.
[18/2000; 26/2002]
(2)  The First Schedule shall apply to the Agency, its members and proceedings.
[4
[26/2002]
Functions of Agency
6.—(1)  The functions of the Agency are —
(a)to initiate, promote, stimulate, encourage, facilitate and assist in the development of an environment that is conducive —
(i)to the creation and development of world class research and development capabilities in science (including biomedicine and metrology), engineering and technology in Singapore;
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(ii)to the development and nurture of scientific talent and technical capability in scientific and technological knowledge, research and development that is desirable to support the private sector and public sector and to the creation of intellectual capital in Singapore; and
(iii)to the commercial application of scientific knowledge or technology in Singapore;
(b)to support, direct, stimulate and undertake research and development in the areas of science (including biomedicine and metrology), engineering and technology;
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(c)to stimulate, encourage, facilitate, co-ordinate and direct scientific and technological research and development by the Government, educational institutions and research communities within and outside Singapore, and to facilitate co-operation, communication, collaboration and exchange of ideas and knowledge between them;
(d)to provide financial assistance for research and development in the areas of science (including biomedicine and metrology), engineering and technology;
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(e)to promote manpower training and development in the areas of science (including biomedicine and metrology), engineering and technology;
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(f)to provide advice and guidance to the Government in the formulation of its policies and laws on all aspects of science (including biomedicine and metrology), engineering and technology, and on any matter relating to or affecting the commercial application of scientific knowledge or technology;
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(g)to establish, develop and manage public institutes and research institutes in the areas of science (including biomedicine and metrology), engineering and technology;
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(h)to undertake the promotion of science (including biomedicine and metrology), engineering and technology among youths and to create, foster and encourage public awareness and understanding of the importance of science and technology in Singapore;
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(i)to create, develop, apply for, acquire and hold intellectual property and rights and enter into arrangements for the commercial application of any such intellectual property and rights on such terms as to royalties or otherwise as the Agency thinks fit;
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(j)to represent Singapore internationally in respect of matters relating to science (including biomedicine and metrology), engineering and technology;
[26/2002]
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(k)to serve as the national body in the area of metrology, and to advise the Government and industrial, commercial and other organisations in respect of matters relating to metrology; and
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(l)to promote and facilitate the national metrology programme and the participation of Singapore in international metrology activities.
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(2)  In carrying out its functions, the Agency shall —
(a)have regard to the needs of Singapore and its resources;
(aa)have regard to the policies and directions of the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council established under the National Research Fund Act 2006; and
[17/2006 wef 22/08/2006]
(b)promote developments, commercial applications and innovation in areas of science (including biomedicine and metrology), engineering and technology that increase the economic growth, productivity and employment opportunities in Singapore, that enjoy good export market prospects and that will enhance Singapore’s international competitiveness.
[18/2000; 26/2002]
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(3)  In addition to the functions specified in subsection (1), the Agency may undertake such other functions as the Minister may assign to the Agency and in so doing, the Agency shall be deemed to be fulfilling the purposes of this Act and the provisions of this Act shall apply to the Agency in respect of such additional functions.
[18/2000; 26/2002]
(4)  Nothing in this section shall be construed as imposing on the Agency, directly or indirectly, any form of duty or liability enforceable by proceedings before any court.
[5
[18/2000; 26/2002]
Powers of Agency
7.—(1)  The Agency shall have power to do all things that are necessary or convenient to be done for or in connection with the performance of its functions and, in particular, may —
(a)appoint committees or councils consisting of persons who may or may not be members of the Agency and delegate to any such committee or council such of its powers and functions which, in the opinion of the Agency, would be better regulated and managed by means of such committees or councils;
[Act 5 of 2018 wef 01/04/2018]
(b)form or participate in the formation of any company or enter into any joint venture or partnership for the purposes of this Act;
(c)establish institutes for the conduct of research and development in the areas of science (including biomedicine and metrology), engineering and technology;
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(d)provide financial assistance (including scholarships) —
(i)for the training and development of manpower in Singapore required for or conducive to the conduct of scientific and technological research and development, or to the commercial application of scientific knowledge or technology; or
(ii)to any person in the public or private sector for scientific and technological research and development, or for any commercial application of scientific knowledge or technology, in areas defined by the Agency;
(e)provide or develop incubator facilities for new enterprises, and business support facilities to growing enterprises, which are based on or involved in the commercial application of scientific knowledge or technology developed by any public institute, research institute, educational institution, hospital or other specialty centre, whether or not funded by the Agency;
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(ea)establish a national standard of weights, measures and other quantities, hold custody and disseminate the measurement parameters of standards of such weights, measures and other quantities, and verify and develop methods for the measurement of such weights, measures and other quantities;
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(eb)develop, verify and calibrate instruments and equipment and issue certificates to the effect that an instrument or equipment complies with the specifications applicable to it and control the use of such certificates;
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(ec)undertake such measurement activities as the Agency considers necessary for the upgrading of quality standards in industry or for gaining international recognition;
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(ed)establish, administer and operate any scheme considered by the Agency to be necessary or desirable to the development of the metrology infrastructure;
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(ee)provide information resources on matters relating to metrology;
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(ef)conduct tests of proficiency on matters relating to metrology;
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(eg)initiate and undertake or enter into contractual testing, consultancy, research or development projects for the purposes of its functions;
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(eh)collect, compile, analyse and disseminate by any convenient means information of a statistical nature or otherwise concerning matters relating to its functions;
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
(f)receive, acquire, develop or hold, or sell, mortgage or otherwise dispose of any property, movable or immovable, or any interest therein;
(g)establish and maintain offices within and outside Singapore;
(h)promote or undertake publicity in any form;
(i)publish, produce or sponsor the publication or production of periodicals, booklets, films and other materials in written, electronic or other media;
(j)receive donations and contributions from any source and raise funds by all lawful means;
(k)with the approval of the Minister, establish any scheme for the payment of gratuities, pensions, provident fund or other superannuation benefits to such employees or classes of employees of the Agency as it may determine on their death in or retirement from the service of the Agency or on their otherwise leaving the service of the Agency; and
(l)generally do anything incidental to or consequential upon the exercise of any of its powers or the discharge of its functions under this Act.
[18/2000; 26/2002]
(2)  The Agency may, with the approval of the Minister, make rules to regulate the proceedings of the Agency and generally to carry out the purposes of this Act.
[26/2002]
(3)  The Agency may, in addition to the powers vested in it by subsection (1), exercise such other powers as the Minister may authorise the Agency in writing to exercise.
[6
[26/2002]
Grants-in-aid
8.  For the purpose of enabling the Agency to carry out its functions under this Act, the Minister may from time to time make grants-in-aid to the Agency of such sums of money as the Minister may determine out of moneys to be provided by Parliament.
[7
[26/2002]
Power to borrow
9.  The Agency may from time to time for the purposes of this Act raise loans from the Government or, with the consent of the Minister, from any other source.
[8
[26/2002]
Issue of shares, etc.
10.  As a consequence of the vesting of any property, rights or liabilities of the Government in the Agency under this Act, or of any capital injection or other investment by the Government in the Agency in accordance with any written law, the Agency shall issue such shares or other securities to the Minister for Finance as that Minister may from time to time direct.
[8A
[5/2002]
Bank accounts and application of revenue
11.—(1)  The Agency shall open and maintain an account or accounts with such bank or banks as the Agency thinks fit.
[26/2002]
(2)  Every such account shall be operated upon as far as practicable by cheque signed by such person or persons as may from time to time be authorised in that behalf by the Agency.
[26/2002]
(3)  The moneys of the Agency shall be applied only in payment or discharge of the expenses, obligations and liabilities of the Agency and in making any payments that the Agency is authorised or required to make.
[9
[26/2002]
Power of investment
12.  The Agency may invest its moneys in accordance with the standard investment power of statutory bodies as defined in section 33A of the Interpretation Act (Cap. 1).
[45/2004 wef 15/12/2004]
13.  [Repealed by Act 5 of 2018 wef 01/04/2018]
Financial year
14.  The financial year of the Agency begins on 1 April of each year and ends on 31 March of the succeeding year.
[Act 5 of 2018 wef 01/04/2018]
Directions by Minister
15.—(1)  The Minister may give to the Agency any direction under section 5 of the Public Sector (Governance) Act 2018.
[Act 5 of 2018 wef 01/04/2018]
(2)  The annual report for any year shall set out any directions given by the Minister under subsection (1) and shall contain a report of any action taken by the Agency during that year pursuant to the directions.
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[26/2002]
Chief executive officer, other officers and employees, etc.
16.—(1)  There must be a chief executive officer of the Agency, whose appointment, removal, discipline and promotion must be in accordance with the Public Sector (Governance) Act 2018.
(2)  The Agency may, subject to the Public Sector (Governance) Act 2018, appoint an individual to act temporarily as the chief executive officer during any period, or during all periods, when the chief executive officer —
(a)is absent from duty or Singapore; or
(b)is, for any reason, unable to perform the duties of the office.
(3)  The Agency may, subject to the Public Sector (Governance) Act 2018, appoint and employ, on such terms and conditions as it may determine, such other officers, employees, consultants and agents as may be necessary for the effective performance of its functions.
[Act 5 of 2018 wef 01/04/2018]
Protection from personal liability
17.  No suit or other legal proceedings shall lie personally against any member, officer or employee of the Agency or other person acting under the direction of the Agency for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done in the execution or purported execution of this Act.
[15
[26/2002]
18.  [Repealed by Act 5 of 2018 wef 01/04/2018]
Preservation of secrecy
19.—(1)  Except for the purpose of the performance of his duties or the exercise of his functions or when lawfully required to do so by any court or where required or allowed by the provisions of any written law, no member, officer, employee or agent of the Agency shall disclose any information relating to the affairs of any person which has been obtained by the member, officer, employee or agent in the performance of his duties or the exercise of his functions.
[26/2002]
[Act 5 of 2018 wef 01/04/2018]
(2)  Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both.
[17
Symbol or representation of Agency
20.—(1)  The Agency shall have the exclusive right to the use of such symbol or representation as it may select or devise and thereafter display or exhibit such symbol or representation in connection with its activities or affairs.
[26/2002]
(2)  Any person who uses a symbol or representation identical with that of the Agency, or which so resembles the Agency’s symbol or representation as to deceive or cause confusion, or to be likely to deceive or to cause confusion, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.
[19
[26/2002]
Saving and transitional provisions
21.—(1)  The change of the name of the National Science and Technology Board to the Agency for Science, Technology and Research under the National Science and Technology Board (Amendment) Act 2002 (Act 26 of 2002) shall not —
(a)operate to create a new legal entity;
(b)prejudice or affect the identity of the body corporate constituted by the Board or its continuity as a body corporate;
(c)affect the exercise of any right, or the enforcement of any obligation by or against the Board, or any other person; or
(d)render defective any legal proceedings by or against the Board,
and any legal proceedings that might have been continued or started by or against it by its former name may be continued or started by or against it by its new name “Agency for Science, Technology and Research”.
[26/2002]
(2)  Any reference in any written law or document to the National Science and Technology Board and to the National Science and Technology Board Act shall be read as a reference to the Agency for Science, Technology and Research and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research Act, respectively.
[26/2002]
(3)  Any contract, arrangement or other transaction purporting to be entered into by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, or by any person on behalf of the Agency, on or after 1st January 2002 but prior to the commencement of the National Science and Technology Board (Amendment) Act 2002 (Act 26 of 2002) shall bind the Agency as if the Agency had been a party to the contract, arrangement or transaction, as the case may be.
Transfer to Agency of property, assets, liabilities, etc., relating to metrology
22.—(1)  As from the appointed day, all movable and immovable property vested in the Board and used or managed by the national metrology centre of the Board, and all assets, interests, rights, privileges, liabilities and obligations of the Board relating to the national metrology centre, shall be transferred to and shall vest in the Agency without further assurance, act or deed.
(2)  If any question arises as to whether any particular property, asset, interest, right, privilege, liability or obligation has been transferred to or vested in the Agency under subsection (1), a certificate under the hand of the Minister shall be conclusive evidence that the property, asset, interest, right, privilege, liability or obligation was or was not so transferred or vested.
(3)  In this section and sections 23 to 27 —
“appointed day” means the date of commencement of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (Amendment) Act 2007;
“Board” means the Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board established under section 3 of the Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board Act (Cap. 303A).
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
Transfer of employees
23.—(1)  As from the appointed day, every person employed immediately before that day by the Board in its national metrology centre shall be transferred to the service of the Agency on terms no less favourable than those enjoyed by him immediately prior to his transfer.
(2)  If any question arises as to whether any person has been transferred to the service of the Agency under subsection (1), a certificate under the hand of the Minister shall be conclusive evidence that the person was or was not so transferred.
(3)  Until such time as terms and conditions of service are drawn up by the Agency, the scheme and terms and conditions of service in the Board shall continue to apply to every person transferred to the service of the Agency under subsection (1) as if he were still in the service of the Board.
(4)  The terms and conditions to be drawn up by the Agency shall take into account the terms and conditions of service (including salaries and accrued rights to leave) enjoyed by the persons transferred to the service of the Agency under subsection (1) while in the employment of the Board.
(5)  Any term or condition relating to the length of service with the Agency shall recognise the length of service of the persons so transferred while in the employment of the Board to be service with the Agency.
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
Existing contracts
24.  All deeds, bonds, agreements, instruments and arrangements subsisting immediately before the appointed day to which the Board, or any person acting on its behalf, is a party and relating to —
(a)the national metrology centre of the Board;
(b)any property, asset, interest, right, privilege, liability or obligation transferred to and vested in the Agency under section 22; or
(c)any employee of the Board transferred to the service of the Agency under section 23,
shall continue in force on and after that day and shall be enforceable by or against the Agency as if, instead of the Board or the person acting on its behalf, the Agency had been named therein or had been a party thereto.
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
Pending proceedings
25.  Any proceedings or cause of action relating to —
(a)the national metrology centre of the Board;
(b)any property, asset, interest, right, privilege, liability or obligation transferred to and vested in the Agency under section 22; or
(c)any employee of the Board transferred to the service of the Agency under section 23,
pending or existing immediately before the appointed day by or against the Board, or any person acting on its behalf, may be continued and shall be enforced by or against the Agency.
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
Continuation and completion of disciplinary proceedings
26.—(1)  Where, on the appointed day —
(a)any disciplinary proceedings were pending against any employee of the Board transferred to the service of the Agency under section 23, the proceedings shall be carried on and completed by the Agency; and
(b)any matter against any employee so transferred was in the course of being heard or investigated or had been heard or investigated by a committee acting under due authority but no order, ruling or direction had been made thereon, the committee shall complete the hearing or investigation and shall make such order, ruling or direction as it could have made under the authority vested in it before that day.
(2)  Any order, ruling or direction made by a committee under this section shall be treated as an order, a ruling or a direction of the Agency and have the same force or effect as if it had been made by the Agency pursuant to the authority vested in the Agency under this Act.
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]
Misconduct or neglect of duty by employee before transfer
27.  The Agency may reprimand, reduce in rank, retire, dismiss or punish in some other manner a person transferred to the service of the Agency under section 23 who had, whilst he was in the employment of the Board, been guilty of any misconduct or neglect of duty which would have rendered him liable to be reprimanded, reduced in rank, retired, dismissed or punished in some other manner if he had continued to be in the employment of the Board, and if section 23 had not been enacted.
[54/2007 wef 01/01/2008]