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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

University of Cincinnati Opens Research Center in Singapore: State School Will Help Asian Nation Generate New Jobs

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Ohio is mired with a drowsy industrial economy and high unemployment.  But that hasn't stopped the University of Cincinnati -- a tax-supported state school in Ohio -- from teaming up with government economic development officials in Singapore to generate new jobs in the Asian city state.  Singapore says it is looking for a competive edge.  The question:  Will the Cincinnati school's overseas venture end up threatening the U.S. workforce?  UC is boosting an offshore economy by opening  a research center in Asia at a time when the U.S. is struggling to compete in the global marketplace and the state jobless rate is around 9.5%.    Cincinnati itself is ranked as among America's most poverty wracked cities by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Thien Kwee Eng, an official with Singapore's Economic Development Board, makes it clear that the Cincinnati school's presence will help that nation produce products for Asian consumers.  It's about jobs, job, jobs for Singapore.  In fact, that's the duty of the Economic Development Board, which says in its mission statement:  "EDB is the lead government agency responsible for planning and executing strategies to enhance Singapore’s position as a global business centre and grow the Singapore economy. We dream, design and deliver solutions that create value for investors and companies in Singapore.  In so doing, we generate economic opportunities and jobs for the people of Singapore; and help shape Singapore's economic future."

The Daily Bellwether has the complete text of Eng's speech welcoming the project, which is available at the link below.  But here are a couple of pertinent paragraphs from the Singapore official's speech:

"We recognise that Design is exceedingly growing in importance to companies as a competitive edge to creat products and services that enhances the quality of life of people and also makes business sense.  To come up with a successful product requires more than the ability to sketch and build things.  Instead, a deep understanding of consumer needs and deriving consumer insights, coupled with the ability to translate those insights into a useful product is the key.  To address this EDB [Singapore's Economic Development Board] plans to build up capabilities to establish Singapore as a leading base to gather and analyse consumer insights, as well as to develop products for Asian consumers.  This was the result of a recommendation from the Economic Strategies Committee earlier this year, and would enable companies to anchor consumer-centric innovation activities out of Singapore."

Here's the link mentioned earlier:,%2520Director,%2520Lifestyle%2520Programme%2520Office,%2520Singapore%2520Economic%2520Development%2520Board.pdf+thien+kwee+eng&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

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