A Decade of Research and Innovation

Researchers examining an improved Jatropha plant with customised traits

Researchers examining an improved Jatropha plant with customised traits

Established in 2002, Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL) began with slightly over a hundred researchers, and was set up to undertake cutting edge research in molecular biology and genetics. Today, ten years on, with more than 225 researchers from over 20 countries, TLL has received international recognition for its work in various areas of research.

Besides engaging in fundamental research work to understand the underlying biological mechanisms which sustain life, TLL also focuses on harnessing scientific research in the development of practical solutions, in the pursuit of real world research excellence. “Real world research excellence means research that sustains economic growth, works with and builds industries that solve global problems.” says TLL Executive Director Professor Chan Soh Ha.

To this end, TLL commercialises their research where possible, through the establishment of spin-off companies. One example is JOil, a biofuel company set up by TLL, Tata Chemicals and other investors. Researchers at TLL had developed the technology to generate Jatropha planting materials with customized traits, enabling plantations to secure ample supply of biofuel feedstock without increasing its carbon footprint. The research caught the eye of Tata Chemicals, which chose JOil to be the exclusive partner for its Indian and East African biodiesel business. Today, JOil has operations in 7 countries.

From developing novel technologies to combat diseases to developing crops that can thrive in specific conditions, TLL continues to promote research which has a practical impact on various industries. “We will continue to work on such impactful research that enhances the way we live and is relevant to real world needs.” says Professor Chan.