AI Singapore Research Programme -
Inagural Call For Proposals

AI Singapore Programme is a national programme in Artificial Intelligence to catalyse, synergise and boost Singapore’s AI capabilities to power Singapore future, digital economy. It is an initiative driven by a government-wide partnership comprising NRF, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO), the Economic Development Board (EDB), the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), SGInnovate, and the Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS). AI Singapore will also bring together all Singapore-based research institutions and the vibrant ecosystem of AI start-ups and companies developing AI products, to grow the knowledge, create the tools and develop the talent to power Singapore’s AI efforts.

Objective of Research Programme

The objective of the AI Singapore Research Programme is to seed high-quality research efforts aimed at developing AI and adjacent technologies that will eventually contribute to the other pillars of AI Singapore.

The desired technical outcomes include:
  1. AI systems that learn effectively from small datasets, with fewer training iterations;
  2. AI systems which are able to demonstrate sense-making abilities; and
  3. AI systems that exhibit creativity and design abilities.


In this Inaugural Call for Proposals, AI Singapore invites applications in:
  • Advanced research in machine learning;
  • Computer visions and natural language processing;
  • How AI interacts and collaborates with humans
Topics of interest also include, but are not limited to, techniques to enhance robustness and explainability of AI, learning from small data, learning from multimodal data, abstraction and generalisation, and AI with sense-making, hypothesis generation, design and creative capabilities

Proposals should emphasise on methodology and algorithms, rather than domain-specific solutions.

Project Funding and Duration

Funding support is available for a duration of up to 3 years, in two tiers:

Category Funding Quantum
(inclusive of 20% IRC)
Level 1 Up to $500,000
Level 2 Up to $1million

  • Singapore-based Institutes of Higher Learninga, Research Institutionb, and/or publicly-funded Medical Institutions selected to host AI Singapore Research Programme projects will be eligible for indirect research cost (IRC) funding of up to 20% of the direct cost approved under the AI Singapore Research Programme.
  • Only research conducted in Singapore may be funded under the Research Programme.
  • Kindly refer to the “AI Spore Research Prog – Administrative Guidelines” for more details.


  • This call is open to Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs)a, Research Institutions (RIs)b and publicly-funded Medical Institutions..
    ( a Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs): National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS).
    b Research Institutions (RIs): A*STAR Research Institutes/Centres/Consortia.)
  • PIs and Co-PIs are required to fulfil the following criteria at the point of application:
    1. Hold a full-time appointment (i.e. minimum 9 months of service a year or 75% appointment) in a Singapore-based Institute of Higher Learninga, Research Institutionb and/or publicly-funded Medical Institution.
    2. Be an independent researcher with a track record of leadership ability in coordinating research programmes and providing mentorships to research team, as well as having productive research outcomes; and
    3. No outstanding report(s) from other national grants.
  • Researchers from AI Start-ups in Singapore, private sector and other entities are eligible to apply as Collaborators.
PI and Co-PIs are expected to commit a proportionate amount of their time in ensuring the success of the project (at least 20% of the total time for PI and at least 10% for Co-PIs).


  • All applicants must submit the Full Proposal in the “AI Singapore Research – Proposal Application Form”, duly signed by PI, Co-PI(s) and endorsed by Director, Research Office (or equivalent).
  • All relevant sections of the application form should be filled out completely and relevant supporting documents attached.
For more information, please refer to AnnexD Term and Condition, AnnexE-Non-Fundable Direct Cost, Annex F – Instructions for Financial Audit and AnnexG - Instructions to Institution's Appointed Auditor on KPIs Audit (Research).

Submission by Institutional Research Office (Deadline: 9 April 2018, Monday, Singapore Time)

Please submit all application documents to Ms Lim Le Ying (
The submission should be in both softcopy (.doc, .xls, and .pdf) and hardcopy.

Contact Person for More Information

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