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 officer appointed under section 16 and includes any temporary chief executive of the Agency;
“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.
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(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.
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(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.
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(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.
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(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.
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(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).
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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.
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[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 ), engineering and technology in Singapore;
(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 ), engineering and technology;
(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 ), engineering and technology;
(e)to promote manpower training and development in the areas of science (including biomedicine ), engineering and technology;
(f)to provide advice and guidance to the Government in the formulation of its policies and laws on all aspects of science (including biomedicine ), engineering and technology, and on any matter relating to or affecting the commercial application of scientific knowledge or technology;
(g)to establish, develop and manage public institutes and research institutes in the areas of science (including biomedicine ), engineering and technology;
(h)to undertake the promotion of science (including biomedicine ), engineering and technology among youths and to create, foster and encourage public awareness and understanding of the importance of science and technology in Singapore;
(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; and
(j)to represent Singapore internationally in respect of matters relating to science (including biomedicine ), engineering and technology.
[26/2002]
(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 ), 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]
(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.
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[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, except the power of delegation conferred by this paragraph;
(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 ), engineering and technology;
(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 speciality centre, whether or not funded by the Agency;
(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.
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(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.
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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.
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[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.
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[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.
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[5/2002 wef 29/07/2002]
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.
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(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.
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(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.
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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]
Annual report
13.—(1)  The Agency shall, as soon as practicable after the end of each financial year, submit to the Minister an annual report on the activities of the Agency during that financial year.
[26/2002]
(2)  The Minister shall cause a copy of every such report to be presented to Parliament.
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Accounts
14.  The financial provisions set out in the Second Schedule shall apply to the Agency.
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Directions by Minister
15.—(1)  The Minister may give to the Agency such directions, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, as to the exercise and performance by the Agency of its functions under this Act, and the Agency shall give effect to such directions.
[26/2002]
(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]
Appointment of chief executive officer and other employees
16.—(1)  The Agency 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 Agency may determine;
(b)be responsible to the Agency for the proper administration and management of the functions and affairs of the Agency in accordance with the policy laid down by the Agency; and
(c)not be removed from office without the consent of the Minister.
[26/2002]
(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 Agency to act in the place of the chief executive officer during any such period of absence from duty.
[26/2002]
(4)  The Agency 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.
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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.
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Public servants
18.  All members, officers and employees of the Agency shall be deemed to be public servants for the purposes of the Penal Code (Cap. 224)
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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 under 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]
(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.
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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.
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[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.