By Mark Lawson
BioWorld International Correspondent
SYDNEY, Australia ¿ The government of Singapore is expected to spend S$300 million (US$130 million) on biotechnology and biomedical facilities as part of a major science park it is planning to build on reclaimed land outside the city.
The development, to be called Biopolis, has been reported as including seven buildings on the 4-hectare (10-acre) site, which will house up to 1,500 scientists.
However, a spokesman for the Jurong Town Corporation (JTC), a government body organizing the project, declined to confirm a wire-service report that the government had announced S$500 million will be spent on Biopolis, saying that an amount had not been finalized.
¿An announcement will be made in December,¿ he said.
Material produced by JTC shows that the science park is an ambitious project. The Biopolis is the first part of an integrated high-tech township with its own transportation system covering 194 hectares. Work on the Biopolis stage is expected to start in December.
The companies expected to use the Biopolis buildings will work closely with the various research institutions in the city nation, including the National University of Singapore. However, no announcements have been made about the corporations likely to use the facilities.
Similar proposals for developing high-tech cities attractive to high-tech companies have been tried around the region, including one in Australia that eventually was abandoned.