National Science and Technology Boardact
(CHAPTER 201A)

(Original Enactment: 24 of 1990)

REVISED EDITION 1991
(1st March 1991)
An Act to establish the National Science and Technology Board and for matters connected therewith.
[11th January 1991]
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the National Science and Technology Board Act.
Interpretation
2.  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“Board” means the Science and Technology Board established under section 3;
“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;
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“Council” means the Science Council of Singapore constituted under the repealed Science Council of Singapore Act [Cap. 287];
“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;
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“member” means a member of the Board and includes the Chairman;
“chief executive officer” means the chief executive officer appointed under section 14 and includes any temporary chief executive of the Board.
Establishment of the National Science and Technology Board
3.  There shall be established a body to be known as the National Science and Technology Board which shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and shall, by that name, be capable of —
Constitution of Board
4.—(1)  The Board shall consist of —
(a)a Chairman; and
(b)not less than 8 and not more than 20 other members.
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(2)  The First Schedule shall apply to the Board, its members and proceedings.
Functions of Board
5.—(1)  The functions of the Board are —
(a)to initiate, promote, stimulate, encourage, facilitate and assist in the development of an environment in Singapore that is conducive —
(i)to scientific and technological activities in areas defined by the Board;
(ii)to scientific and technological innovation; and
(iii)to the commercial application of scientific knowledge and technology;
(b)to stimulate, encourage or facilitate scientific and technological research and development or innovation, and the commercial application of any new or improved knowledge or technology resulting from such research and development or innovation, or any other scientific and technological research and development or innovation;
(c)to enhance or improve the technical capability of industry, educational institutions and the research community in Singapore in scientific and technological research and development in areas defined by the Board;
(d)to co-ordinate scientific and technological research and development and innovation by the Government, industry, educational institutions and the research community, and to facilitate co-operation, communication and exchange of ideas and knowledge between them;
(e)to initiate and develop programmes or activities for the purpose of stimulating desirable scientific or technological advances, scientific and technological innovation and commercial application of scientific knowledge and technology in Singapore;
(f)to determine or advise on the adequacy of scientific and technological activities and innovative activities in Singapore;
(g)to attract to Singapore from overseas individuals or corporations who undertake scientific and technological research, or who invest or are involved in the commercial application of scientific knowledge and technology;
(h)to advise the Government on the manpower requirements for scientific and technological activities, innovative activities and for the commercial application of scientific knowledge and technology in Singapore, and to engage in programmes (not limited to education or training) for developing such manpower in Singapore;
(i)to alert the private and public sectors of Singapore to any new business opportunities that arise from the commercial application of scientific knowledge or technology;
(j)to initiate or develop facilities or programmes for the purpose of assisting or increasing the ability of new or growing enterprises in Singapore, particularly small to medium size enterprises, to access or commercially apply scientific knowledge and technology in areas defined by the Board, and to manage innovation therein;
(k)to provide advice and guidance to the Government in the formulation of its policies and laws on any aspect of science and technology or scientific and technological innovation, and on any matter relating to or affecting the commercial application of scientific knowledge and technology;
(l)to foster or develop linkages between individuals, industries and enterprises in Singapore based on or involved in scientific and technological research and development or commercial application of scientific knowledge or technology and either investors (whether within or outside Singapore), similar individuals, industries and enterprises outside Singapore or other national or international authorities connected with science and technology or scientific and technological innovation;
(m)to promote public awareness and understanding of the importance of developments and innovation in science and technology and the commercial application of scientific knowledge and technology; and
(n)to represent Singapore internationally in respect of matters relating to science and technology.
(2)  In carrying out its functions, the Board shall —
(a)have regard to the needs of Singapore and its resources; and
(b)promote developments, commercial applications and innovation in areas of science 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.
(3)  In addition to the functions specified in subsection (1), the Board may undertake such other functions as the Minister may assign to the Board and in so doing, the Board shall be deemed to be fulfilling the purposes of this Act and the provisions of this Act shall apply to the Board in respect of such additional functions.
(4)  Nothing in this section shall be construed as imposing on the Board, directly or indirectly, any form of duty or liability enforceable by proceedings before any court.
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Powers of Board
6.—(1)  The Board 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 consisting of persons who may or may not be members of the Board and delegate to the committee such of its powers and functions as it may determine;
(b)form or participate in the formation of a company or enter into any joint venture or partnership for the purposes of this Act;
(c)provide financial assistance for the development of manpower in Singapore required or conducive to the conduct of scientific and technological research and development or innovation, or to the commercial application of any scientific knowledge and technology;
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(d)provide or develop, in partnership with the private sector, incubator facilities for new enterprises, and business support facilities to growing enterprises, which are based on or involved in the commercial application of any scientific knowledge and technology;
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(e)provide financial assistance to any individual or enterprise in the public or private sector for scientific and technological research and development or innovation, or for any commercial application of scientific knowledge or technology, in areas defined by the Board;
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(f)receive, acquire, develop or hold, or sell, mortgage or otherwise dispose of any property, movable or immovable, or any interest therein;
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(g)establish and maintain offices within and outside Singapore;
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(h)promote or undertake publicity in any form;
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(i)publish, produce or sponsor the publication or production of periodicals, booklets, films and other materials in written, electronic or other media;
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(j)receive donations and contributions from any source and raise funds by all lawful means; and
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(k)generally do anything incidental to or consequential upon the exercise of any of its powers or the discharge of its functions under this Act.
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(2)  The Board may, with the approval of the Minister, make rules to regulate the proceedings of the Board and generally to carry out the purposes of this Act.
(3)  The Board may, in addition to the powers vested in it by subsection (1), exercise such other powers as the Minister may authorise the Board in writing to exercise.
Grants
7.  For the purpose of enabling the Board to carry out its functions under this Act, the Minister may from time to time make grants-in-aid to the Board of such sums of money as the Minister may determine out of moneys to be provided by Parliament.
Power to borrow
8.  The Board 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.
Bank accounts and application of revenue
9.—(1)  The Board shall open and maintain an account or accounts with such bank or banks as the Board thinks fit; and 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 Board.
(2)  The moneys of the Board shall be applied only in payment or discharge of the expenses, obligations and liabilities of the Board and in making any payments that the Board is authorised or required to make.
Investment
10.  Moneys belonging to the Board may be invested in such securities as trustees may by any written law be authorised to invest or, with the written approval of the Minister, in any other securities or investments.
Annual report
11.  The Board shall, as soon as practicable after the end of each financial year, submit to the Minister an annual report on the activities of the Board during that financial year and the Minister shall cause a copy of every such report to be presented to Parliament.
Accounts
12.  The financial provisions set out in the Second Schedule shall apply to the Board.
Directions by Minister
13.—(1)  The Minister may give to the Board such directions, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, as to the exercise and performance by the Board of its functions under this Act, and the Board shall give effect to such directions.
(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 Board during that year pursuant to the directions.
Appointment of chief executive officer and other employees
14.—(1)  The Board shall, with the approval of the Minister, appoint a chief executive officer on such terms and conditions as it may determine.
(2)  The chief executive officer shall —
(a)be known by such designation as the Board may determine;
(b)be responsible to the Board for the proper administration and management of the functions and affairs of the Board in accordance with the policy laid down by the Board ; and
(c)not be removed from office without the consent of the Minister.
(3)  If the chief executive officer is temporarily absent from Singapore, or is temporarily unable to perform his duties by reason of illness or otherwise, another person may be appointed by the Board to act in the place of the chief executive officer during any such period of absence from duty.
(4)  The Board may from time to time appoint such other officers, employees and agents as it thinks fit for the effective performance of its functions on such terms and conditions as it may determine.
Protection from personal liability
15.  No suit or other legal proceedings shall lie personally against any member, officer or employee of the Board or other person acting under the direction of the Board for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done in the execution or purported execution of this Act.
Public servants
16.  All members, officers and employees of the Board shall be deemed to be public servants for the purposes of the Penal Code [Cap. 224].
Preservation of secrecy
17.—(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 under the provisions of any written law, no member, officer, employee or agent of the Board 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.
(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 one year or to both.
Transfer of property, employees, etc.
18.  The Third Schedule shall have effect for the purpose of the transfer to the Board of the property, employees, rights and liabilities of the Council and for other transitional purposes specified therein.
Symbol of Board
19.—(1)  The Board shall have the exclusive right to the use of such symbol or representation as it may select or devise and thereafter display or exhibit in connection with its activities or affairs.
(2)  Any person who uses a symbol or representation identical with that of the Board, or which so resembles the Board’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.