Singapore, 8 December 2020

A separate initiative for a new innovation base in Western China will also be set up for talent development


Two Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) agreements to deepen research and talent development in China were announced today at the 16th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meeting, the highest-level annual forum between China and Singapore.

Present at the virtual meeting were Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and China’s vice premier Han Zheng, co-chairs of the JCBC meeting.

The first is a S$61 million (RMB300 million) funding for the Sino-Singapore International Joint Research Institute (SSIJRI) in Guangzhou, China’s hub for IT, biomedical science, and robotics.

In the second initiative, NTU will set up the NTU China (West) Entrepreneurship and Innovation Base in the Yubei District of Chongqing to develop next-generation entrepreneurs. It will leverage the University’s brand of world-class entrepreneurship education and create an innovation-driven ecosystem, while tapping on the city’s resources as a burgeoning entrepreneurship and innovation hub.

S$61 million to ramp up R&D at the Sino-Singapore International Joint Research Institute (SSIJRI)

 As part of a new agreement, the SSIJRI will receive S$61 million (RMB 300 million) funding for its next phase of development over the next five years.

This includes setting up at least three research and development (R&D) centres that will focus on emerging industries such as digital technologies, new energy, and biomedical-related areas.

Co-founded by NTU, the China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (CSGKC) Administrative Committee, the South China University of Technology (SCUT), and the CSGKC Investment and Development Co., Ltd (GKC Co.), the joint research institute promotes research innovation and aims to turn scientific and technological achievements into marketable solutions for the society at large. It is expected to play a pivotal role in the Guangdong-Hongkong-Macau Greater Bay Area.

It was incepted in 2015 through an agreement witnessed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Chinese President Xi Jinping, and established two years later.

SSIJRI has since embarked on 45 innovative projects, yielding over 90 research papers published in renowned scientific journals. Aside from over 70 patent applications, the Institute has facilitated the licensing of five patents – with a total value of S$1.7 million (RMB 8.6 million) – from NTU to Chinese companies.

The Institute’s research teams have also set up three joint research centres, and collaborations with other industry partners are underway.

Going forward, the SSIJRI aims to launch at least 40 new research projects and file at least 100 new patent applications by 2025.

NTU Senior Vice-President (Research), Prof Lam Khin Yong, who co-chairs the SSIJRI’s Governing Council, said: “The Sino-Singapore International Joint Research Institute (SSIJRI) is a landmark project for scientific and technological collaboration between China and Singapore, and shows how a public-private collaboration model can yield remarkable results in translational research, technology commercialisation and incubation. Leveraging NTU Singapore’s strength in interdisciplinary research and strong credentials in technology innovations, the SSIJRI has resulted in a steady flow of innovative ideas that can be translated into real-world solutions.

“The Institute’s work is aligned with the NTU Smart Campus vision of using tech-enabled solutions to support knowledge discovery and promote better learning and living experiences, and allows the University to push the frontiers of research and translate it into beneficial outcomes to better society on a wider scale.”

SCUT Vice President Professor Zhu Min, who also co-chairs the Institute’s Governing Council, said: “The agreement will bring new opportunities for the development of the Sino-Singapore International Joint Research Institute. SCUT will work together with NTU Singapore to build the Institute into an exemplary model of scientific and technological cooperation between China and Singapore.”

Successful research outcomes arising from the collaboration will be implemented at CSGKC, with the support of the GKC Co.

A CSGKC Administrative Committee spokesperson said: “With the elevation of China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City’s strategic position, it is hoped that the Sino-Singapore International Joint Research Institute can be built into a new scientific research institute that takes the lead in technological cooperation and innovation between China and Singapore, and a new highland in international technological innovation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.”

Mr Chen Changxin, GKC Co. CEO, said: “The Sino-Singapore International Joint Research Institute is an iconic government-industry-academia collaboration between China and Singapore. As one of the Institute’s Governing Council members, GKC Co. will continue to support the Institute’s development and facilitate the commercialisation of the scientific and technological achievements from the Institute’s projects.”

SSIJRI is expected to move into its headquarters at the China-Singapore Smart Park in the core of China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City’s Southern Start-Up Area in mid-2021. The 23,000 sqm space will house R&D facilities, research and administration personnel, as well as the Institute’s spin-off companies.

New NTU China (West) Entrepreneurship and Innovation Base for talent development

The new NTU China (West) Entrepreneurship and Innovation Base in Yubei, Chongqing, is an industry-academia collaboration between NTU and the Chongqing Yubei District People’s Government (YDPG) that aims to jointly develop talent and create an ecosystem driven by innovation and entrepreneurship.

It will be set up in the Xiantao International Big Data Valley, where more than 700 companies have set up offices, including big names such as Microsoft and Qualcomm.

Under a joint talent development platform, both parties will explore setting up a new joint MiniMasters™ programme on technopreneurship, where students attend hybrid classes on the NTU campus in Singapore and at the Innovation Base in Chongqing.

NTU will also introduce certification courses to groom entrepreneurial leaders to meet the needs of western China, and to raise the quality of entrepreneurship education in the region.

This builds on an NTU-YDPG internship programme launched in May, through which NTU students can experience the vibrancy and agility of the tech companies in Yubei and build up expertise in fast-growing fields such as big data and artificial intelligence.

Aside from talent development, the Innovation Base also aims to develop a thriving ecosystem that brings together innovative ideas and resources from Singapore and around the world.

NTU Deputy President and Provost, Prof Ling San said that NTU’s latest partnership with the Chongqing Yubei District People’s Government on entrepreneurship education builds on the two parties’ earlier agreement where NTU students take on technology-related internship opportunities in the Yubei district.

“Pairing the University’s broad and vibrant approach to entrepreneurship with Chongqing’s industrial advantages to create an innovation ecosystem that nurtures next-generation entrepreneurs in China. This in turn creates a conducive environment for NTU students to experience the agility of the startup companies there,” said Prof Ling.

Mr Tan Qing, Chief Executive of the YDPG, said: “Yubei District is Chongqing’s launchpad to the world and a crucial foundation of the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity. It is aggressively pursuing an innovation-driven development strategy to establish five mega industry clusters, each worth at least RMB100 billion.

“Yubei District and NTU will jointly establish a new innovation base to further strengthen mutual co-operation in talent development as well as innovation and liberalisation of the digital economy. This initiative will signal a high watermark in China-Singapore relations and propel Chongqing’s leadership in the liberalisation and development of the western region.”

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A guide on remote internships for interns and employers in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, and China and the benefits that come with it.

Everywhere around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has sent a large percentage of the total population to work and study from home. While the situation in some countries have changed for the better and people have gone back to resuming their daily lives with the ‘new normal’, most countries are still keeping their borders closed and have imposed an indefinite travel ban, making this a challenge for students keen on going for international internship programmes.

According to the Ivy Research Council, 89% of students pursuing a 2020 summer internship would prefer a remote internship over a canceled internship programme. As a result, an increasing number of employers with internship programmes across the world have opted to transition to remote internships, rather than cancelling or postponing their internship programmes.

What Is a Remote Internship?

Remote internships, also known as virtual internships, are unique in the sense the intern does not have to be in a physical office. Interns are interviewed and allowed to work from anywhere, including across states and countries. For example, the intern could be based at home in Singapore and is undergoing internship with a company in Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, or China.

Remote internship enables interns to work anywhere in the world

With the upcoming Industry 4.0, the increasing development of communication technologies, and new remote-working cultures, remote internships are the way forward at this age and time. All you need is a fully-functioning and stable internet connection, a reliable laptop or desktop computer, a webcam, headphones and a bold mindset and you are good to go.

While the working arrangements may be different, the timeline for remote internships is typically the same as collocated internships – 3 to 6 months, requiring 20 to 30 hours work per week.

Which Countries and Industries Offer Remote Internship?

Numerous countries have started to offer remote internships and this includes the world’s second-biggest economy – China. The country saw growth of 4.9% between the months of July and September, compared to the same quarter last year. Moreover, over the previous two decades, China saw an average economic growth rate of about 9%.

Chongqing’s rapid growth over the last 15 years has created remote internship opportunities for overseas students

In the city of Chongqing, located at Sichuan Province, the significant rise in its economy and rapid urbanization over the last 15 years has encouraged the rise in remote internship opportunities from entrepreneurial startups as well as larger well-known companies in a vast range of fields such as software engineering, accountancy, fashion, arts, and green technology.

As Chongqing rises to the 4th place among top 10 Chinese Cities by GDP in H1 2020, surpassing Guangzhou, Suzhou and Chengdu, the city’s rapid economic growth has created thriving business districts, with a diverse range of established companies including Apple, Deloitte, IBM, ZTE, Schlumberger, Schneider Electric, and ABB.

Already, the city attracts an ever-increasing number of career-minded young people from across China and around the world to gain professional experience through their remote internship programmes. With recent travel restrictions, there is no doubt that the numbers will increase.

Besides China, the same can be said with Singapore’s neighbouring countries – Malaysia, Thailand, and Australia. In those countries, remote internships are growing rapidly in popularity as a viable alternative for interns and employers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are the Benefits of a Remote Internship?

Most of the benefits are similar to an in-person internship programmes such as gaining valuable work experience, developing and refining skills, and exploring the possibilities of a future career path. However, remote internships do offer unique benefits that cannot be obtained from traditional in-person internships.

Experience Remote Work

As more and more people in the workforce are encouraged and exposed to the idea to work remotely, landing a remote internship is a timely and smart move. Use this opportunity to gain valuable work experience and learn how to apply remote project management techniques, optimize on current resources, and utilize relevant software applications such as Microsoft Teams and Slack. Seize this moment to gain employability skills.

Reduced Costs

Going on an internship in another country can be challenging and costly for the intern as well as the employer. There is the air ticket fare, extra baggage, commuting expenses, accommodation rentals, and new equipment. With remote internship, cost-savings benefits include reduced traveling expenditures, lower or zero housing costs, and less office equipment expenses.

Greater Diversity and Global Perspective

Remote internship means you are no longer limited geographically. By removing location as a barrier for recruitment and employment, the pool of potential employers and interns open up significantly. You could have a team from Singapore, China, Australia, Malaysia and Thailand working on a project together. The diversity of ideas and backgrounds from people from all over the world create richer work environments and innovative outcomes.

Convenient Working Arrangements

Employers and interns typically find the flexible working package to be attractive. One such example is unlike a typical 9 to 5 office day internship programme, meetings can be done online and scheduled at a time that is convenient for everyone. There are no unnecessary disturbances and interruptions to the current workflow.

Increased Accountability, Productivity and Results

With clear deadlines, self-organization skills, self-discipline and time management skills, remote interns become more accountable when it comes to handling their own schedules and finishing tasks. Their productivity levels increase significantly and they produce better results. Furthermore, with the help of relevant task management software, a supervisor can now support and address the issues of many interns at one time, rather than 1 or 2 interns.

The COVID-19 pandemic has proved that working from home can be done efficiently and is still being done for many jobs and companies. Remote internships or virtual internships would not be any different. In fact, with the uncertain future that lies ahead, it is crucial for interns and employers to adapt to the situation. Even when the virus wanes, a remote internship programme is still a viable option.


Singapore, 26 Oct 2020 – With mutual interest in the field of training and development, and to promote international collaboration, WiseNet Asia and the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) have signed an MOU to work together in the following areas:

  1. Co-designing of internship programmes for SUSS students in overseas markets
  2. Expand SUSS entrepreneurship programmes to overseas markets, bridging entrepreneurs through networks and activities

WiseNet Asia will work with employers in Asia Pacific on the placements of interns, which will be on either remote internship or on site, depending on COVID-19 developments and measures in each country.  For the entrepreneurship programmes, WiseNet Asia will co-ordinate with overseas companies interested at expanding into Singapore and ASEAN by matching them with a Singaporean co-founder from SUSS who is equipped with entrepreneurial skillsets.

For more information about the internship and entrepreneurship programmes, please refer to the following:

WiseNet Asia internship programmes:

Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) entrepreneurship programmes:

For companies who are keen to participate in either the internship or the entrepreneurship programme, please contact the following:

Mr Wesley Hui
DID: 6238 0982 / HP: 9661 9473

Annoucement_WiseNet Asia and Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) Signed MOU to Collaborate on Internship and Entrepreneurship Programmes.docx

SINGAPORE, 13 May 2020 – To support undergraduates seeking internships in an uncertain market amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) is partnering human resources consultancy WiseNet Asia, and the Chongqing Yubei District People’s Government (YDPG) to offer internship opportunities in areas such as big data and artificial intelligence (AI).

These internship and employment opportunities, found primarily in the Yubei District, a burgeoning tech and innovation hub in Chongqing, China, will be open to NTU Singapore students across all disciplines. The Yubei District is home to the Xiantao International Big Data Valley, where more than 700 companies have set up offices, including big names such as Microsoft and Qualcomm.

NTU Deputy President and Provost Professor Ling San, WiseNet Asia Consulting Director Mr Diron Chua, and Communist Party of China Yubei District Committee Vice Secretary Mr Tan Qing inked the agreement yesterday at the fifth Joint Implementation Committee Meeting for the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity, at The Treasury building, Singapore. Mr Tan, who is also the Chief Executive of YDPG, signed the agreement remotely via video conferencing.

Joining them at the event were Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo. Chongqing Party Secretary Chen Min’er, and Chongqing Mayor Tang Liangzhi witnessed the signing through video conferencing.

(Back row from left to right): Josephine Teo, Second Minister for Home Affairs; Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry. (Front row from far right): Diron Chua, Director, WiseNet Asia; Professor Ling San, Nanyang Technological University

The collaboration seeks to leverage each party’s strengths, experience, and capabilities in order to facilitate increased collaboration in talent development and mobility between Chongqing, China and Singapore.

Prof Ling San said: “During this period of unprecedented challenges, it is even more crucial to give our students a competitive edge in securing employment. The internship opportunities that arise from NTU’s collaboration with WiseNet and the Chongqing Yubei District People’s Government will allow our students to experience the vibrancy and agility of the tech companies in Chongqing, and build up expertise in fast-growing fields such as big data and AI. Students may even get full-time employment opportunities arising from this collaboration. It will also give our students an opportunity to understand our region better, so that they are well-prepared to thrive in other countries and cultures, including in Asia.”

Mr Wesley Hui, Director of WiseNet Asia, said: “We are excited to be working together with NTU Singapore and Chongqing Yubei District People’s Government in talent development. Talents are a constant priority in companies of any size. When young workers are groomed from the start of their career, they are conditioned with the right mindsets, values and the tenacity to withstand tough challenges. These are the soft factors that make up successful leaders.”

Internships to start second half of 2020

The placements that are expected to start in the second half of this year will see NTU students being offered internship opportunities in the Yubei District, as well as industry networking opportunities, with the help of YDPG and WiseNet.

In addition to being given an allowance, students who are successfully recruited as interns will have their visas, accommodation and meals taken care of.

WiseNet will coordinate with companies on the selection and placement of potential interns, while YPDG will take care of the students’ visas, accommodation and meals for up to six months.

As part of the agreement, NTU will contribute to the human capital development of executives in Chongqing through its postgraduate programmes and executive courses.



Back row from left to right: Josephine Teo, Second Minister for Home Affairs; Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry
Front row from far right: Diron Chua, Director, WiseNet Asia; Professor Ling San, Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Media contacts:

Foo Jie Ying
Manager, Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: 6790 6681; Mobile: 9117 5023

Regine Chin
GM, Marketing
WiseNet Asia
+65 6337 2231

About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and Graduate colleges. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).

Ranked 11th in the world, NTU has been placed the world’s top young university for the past six years. The University’s main campus is frequently listed among the Top 15 most beautiful university campuses in the world and it has 57 Green Mark-certified (equivalent to LEED-certified) building projects, of which 95% are certified Green Mark Platinum. Apart from its main campus, NTU also has a campus in Singapore’s healthcare district.

For more information, visit


About WiseNet Asia Pte Ltd

WiseNet Asia Pte Ltd is a regional integrated Human Resources services provider and consulting firm headquartered in Singapore.  WiseNet Asia’s HR solutions consist of talent acquisition, talent transition, talent development and HR outsourcing.  WiseNet Asia’s core value is to accelerate human resources development through innovative HR models and knowledge sharing. For more information, visit


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13 December 2019, the staff of the Exit-Entry Administration of the Municipal Public Security Bureau came to Xiantao Big Data Valley to issue internship visas for 19 foreign interns who participated in the Singapore (Chongqing) Youth Talent Program. This is also the first batch of foreign university students who are issued student internship visa by the Chongqing Police.

All these foreign students came from the National University of Singapore, and their internship in Chongqing lasted for 5 weeks. After submitting the foreigner’s face-to-face application registration form, company invitation letter and other application materials, in just 10 minutes, they completed the visa renewal for internship in China. Yida, a student at the National University of Singapore, said: “I think there is a lot of room for development in China.  If you are considering about working in China, you just have to look at the opportunity available after graduation.”

Before this, China did not have an internship visa for foreign college students. To facilitate an ‘opening up’ policy, the Exit-Entry Administration of the Municipal Public Security Bureau has specifically sought approval from the National Immigration Bureau. Foreign college students can come to Chongqing to participate in internships through the S2 “Private Affairs Short-term Visa”. Zhong Qian, a police officer of the Exit-Entry Administration Bureau of the Municipal Public Security Bureau, said: “For an enterprise in the Pilot Free Trade Zone, as long as it has registered for an application, they can bring in overseas college students for internships.”

Luo Xiufeng, Commissioner of Human Resources Department of Chongqing Nuoersi Education Technology Group, said: “It is also conducive to our company to recruit more excellent overseas talents abroad in the later stage .”

Ethan Neo, Manager of Singapore WiseNet Asia said, ” We are in talks with other universities in Singapore and have already confirmed the next one. We are planning to bring about 100 students to Chongqing for internship next summer.

(Eye 1-Chongqing Radio and Television reporter Chen Wang, Song Niannian)

Singapore, 11 September 2019 – The Singapore-China (Chongqing) Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum, jointly organised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Enterprise Singapore and Chongqing Municipal People’s Government, was held today in Singapore.

Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry, and Mr Chen Min’er, Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee and Secretary of Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) graced the forum and delivered speeches. Mr Hong Xiaoyong, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Singapore, Mr Wu Cunrong, Member of the Standing Committee, the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee; Executive Vice Mayor of the Chongqing Municipal People’s Government, and Mr Teo Siong Seng, Chairman of the Singapore Business Federation also spoke at the event. Mr Chan and Mr Chen also launched the China-Singapore (Chongqing) International Data Channel (IDC), which is China’s first point-to-point international data channel with another country. More than 500 Singapore and Chongqing business leaders and government officials attended the forum.

During the event, one of the projects signed is between WiseNet Asia Pte Ltd – Chongqing Xiantao Big Data Valley Investment and Administration Co., Ltd – Chongqing Yubei District High-level Talent Service Center.

This is a collaboration to provide internship and job opportunities for overseas young talents in Chongqing Xiantao Big Data Valley and Yubei District.  WiseNet Asia will also introduce training programmes for key leaders and business professionals in Chongqing.

For the full list of project signed, please refer to