NL Prominent Speaker Series: Low Teck Seng

The National Library regularly host renowned speakers from the arts, heritage, technology and social sciences sectors to share with the wider community and to exchange ideas. Organised by the National Library, this event was held on 29 November 2016. This guide accompanied the talk given by Professor Low Teck Seng on the topic “Excellence in Science”.



The speaker for the topic is Professor Low Teck Seng, CEO of the National Research Foundation.

Professor Low Teck Seng is the chief executive officer of the National Research Foundation (NRF) under the Prime Minister’s Office, and a professor at the Nanyang Technological University’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Prof Low is also a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, with research interests in computational electromagnetics and data storage technologies.

Prior to his appointment at the NRF, Prof Low served as the managing director at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research and as dean of the National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Engineering. He was also the founding principal of Republic Polytechnic.

In 2004, Prof Low received the National Science and Technology Award and the Public Administration Medal (Gold). He was again lauded with the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2007. Most recently, in 2016, the French government conferred on Prof Low the distinction of Knight of the Legion of Honour.


These resources are drawn from the collections of the National Library.




  • Hang, C. C., Low, T. S., & Raj, T. (2016). The Singapore research story. Singapore: World Scientific.
    Call number: RSING 330.95957 SIN
    This edited volume chronicles Singapore’s journey in scientific research, from independence in 1965 to the present. Low was an editor and contributor for the book, co-writing four chapters that examine Singapore’s shift into research and development (R&D), the advancement of R&D via partnerships and collaborations with organisations, and the progression towards innovation and entrepreneurship.


  • Hang, C. K. (2016). 50 years of urban planning in Singapore. Singapore: World Scientific.
    Call number: RSING 307.1216095957 FIF
    A comprehensive look at Singapore’s approach to urban planning in three parts, this book contains an article by Prof. Low about urban planning and achieving sustainable growth in Singapore, considering factors such as economic and population growth.


  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. (2015). Science, technology and innovation for sustainable urbanization. Geneva: United Nations.
    Call number: RBUS 338.926 SCI

    This report outlines the roles in which science, technology and innovation play in sustainable development and urbanisation. It also suggests some policy considerations and recommendations in the implementation of technology and innovation in cities.


  • Taylor, M. Z. (2016). The politics of innovation: Why some countries are better than others at science and technology. New York: Oxford University Press.
    Call number: RBUS 338.926 TAY
    Are policies always the drivers of innovation in science and technology? This book takes on the common belief that advancements in science and technology are due to various national policies and institutions, and instead proposes that “creative insecurity” is the driving force behind scientific and technological innovation.


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  • Soh, A. (2016, February 27). Remaking Singapore’s R&D. The Business Times. Retrieved from ProQuest Central.
    With the announcement of the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2020 plan in Singapore, the local R&D industry continues to be an area of focus for our nation’s growth and development. This article outlines Prof. Low’s views on Singapore’s research strategy, from investments and funding to people.


  • Soon, W. (2016, May 24). Virtual reality can be economies’ way out of productivity slump. The Business Times. Retrieved from ProQuest Central.
    Can disruptive technologies benefit the economy? This news report outlines the view that emerging technologies, such as disruptive technology, robotics and the Internet of Things, can help slowing economies increase jobs and productivity.


  • De Prato, G., & Simon, J. (2013). Singapore, an industrial cluster and a global IT hub. Communications & Strategies, 89, pp. 125–136. Retrieved from ProQuest Central.
    This article focuses on the development of the information and communications technology sector in Singapore, which is said to be an emerging information technology hub. It outlines some of the factors in the sector’s development, including the infrastructure and services in Singapore.


  • Day, C. (2011). Singapore applies itself to science. Physics Today, 64(6), pp. 20–21. Retrieved from EBSCOHost.
    This article looks at Singapore’s move to promote science and technology industries by focusing on investments in applied research, and how it has become a successful role model for countries seeking development via technology.


  • Heng, T. M., & Bo, J. (2012). Singapore making progress as a ‘brain gain’ nation. SERI Quarterly, 5(3), pp. 43–49. Retrieved from ProQuest Central.
    This article details some strategies that Singapore has adopted to develop the science and technology sector, with a focus on the attraction of professionals from all over the world.






  • Chan, J. (2016, February 24). The builder. Retrieved from AsianScientist website.
    This interview of Prof. Low discusses his foray into scientific research, including a look at his initial research in magnets. It also details his outlook on R&D in Singapore and his efforts in developing the future leaders of science.


  • Ho, N. (2016, May 18). The billion dollar conversation. Retrieved from Techstorm website.
    Prof. Low shares his thoughts about research and innovation in Singapore, such as the country’s goals in the next two decades and the challenges we face, including regional competition.


  • Chetty, L. (2012, October 3). The role of science and technology in the developing world in the 21st century. Retrieved from Institute for Ethics and Emerging technologies website.
    This article looks at how developments in science and technology have the possibility of changing the lives of people, business practices, and even the economies of countries. If harnessed appropriately, science and technology can bring great benefits to people and countries.


  • Tan, W. (2016, November 5). The big read: Disruption economy 2.0 – Guess who’s having to share their lunch? Today. Retrieved from Today website.
    This article details what the ‘disruption economy’ is about, and how Singaporeans are jumping onto the bandwagon by developing apps that offer solutions to everyday problems and racing to come up with newer, innovative services to improve existing ones.


  • Daga, A., & Armstrong, R. (2014, April 4). Singapore targets investment in ‘disruptive’ technologies. Retrieved from Reuters website.
    This article examines Singapore’s move to build its expertise in disruptive technologies to increase productivity and decrease its reliance on foreign talent, including forays into 3D printing, robotics, automation as well as associated fields in data analytics and data security.


All rights reserved. National Library Board, 2017.

Written by Mervin Teo