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The Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability (SEC) was founded by the ETH Zurich in September 2010 with financial support from the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Singapore. The official inauguration of the SEC will take place on the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE) on 16 March. During the ceremony Federal Councillor Berset will visit the Future Cities Laboratory together with Singapore’s Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Vivian Balakrishnan. That is the name of the first research programme that the ETH Zurich undertook with various academic partners as part of the SEC. Its aim is to plan more sustainable and resource-efficient cities for the future because today over half the world’s population already lives in cities, and megacities in Asia, Africa and other world regions are expected to continue to grow in the coming years and decades.
Federal Councillor Berset will meet the President of Singapore, Tony Tan, for a courtesy visit. He will also hold discussions on research policy with a number of leading figures from Singapore such as Raj Thampuran, Director of the Science and Engineering Research Council of A*STAR and Chee Hean Teo, deputy prime minister and chair of the National Research Foundation.
At his meeting with Singapore’s health minister, Federal Councillor Berset will discuss general matters concerning the health system, healthcare services and their financing. He will also find out about Singapore‘s efforts in the area of disease prevention and health promotion. During a visit to Novartis‘ Institute for Tropical Diseases (NITD) Federal Councillor Berset will see the contribution the institute makes towards research and efforts to fight tropical diseases which particularly affect populations in the poorest developing countries. At discussions with leading Swiss pharmaceutical companies he will also gain a firsthand insight into their research and production activities in the field of biotechnologies.