Press release -

Appointment of New NRF Board

The National Research Foundation announced the composition of its new Board today (see Annex A). The new Board, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean will serve a 2-year term with effect from 1 October 2011. Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam will be Deputy Chairman of the Board.

The NRF welcomes two new Board members from the industry – Mr Valerio Nannini, Managing Director of Nestle Singapore and Mr Christopher Whitney, Managing Director of HP Labs Singapore. Both have backgrounds in corporate R&D (see Annex B).

The NRF Board expresses its thanks to President Tony Tan who chaired the Foundation since its establishment in Jan 2006 until 1 Sep 2011.

DPM Teo said, “Dr Tony Tan has made a huge contribution to advancing research, innovation and enterprise in Singapore. Under his leadership, NRF identified and invested in 3 strategic research programmes – Environmental & Water Technologies (Clean Water and Clean Energy); Biomedical Translational & Clinical Research and Interactive Digital Media. Within 5 years, the research capabilities developed in these 3 areas have already helped deliver impactful outcomes for our
economy and society.”

DPM Teo added, “During his tenure, Dr Tan saw through the establishment of the CREATE campus where researchers from some of the world’s top institutions collaborate with Singapore counterparts on cutting edge R&D projects which have global impact. Dr Tan was also a strong advocate for entrepreneurship as the Chairman of NRF. He introduced the National Framework for Innovation & Enterprise (NFIE) which encouraged the translation of research into commercial outcomes and helped build up a thriving innovation eco-system in system, resulting in the creation of a growing number of start-up companies.”

The NRF Board also expressed thanks to Mr Teo Ming Kian who served as Permanent Secretary for National Research & Development, overseeing the work of NRF since its inception in 2006 until his retirement on 1 Oct 2011. Mr Teo was instrumental in setting up the NRF from scratch and overseeing the implementation of its various initiatives. He has helped to build up the various research centres supported by the NRF and placed them on a firm footing for the future. 

The Campus for Research Excellence And Technological Enterprise (CREATE), located at the University Town @ NUS was completed in July 2011. The National Research Foundation office will be relocated to the CREATE building with effect from 10 Oct 2011. The new address of the National Research Foundation is:

1 CREATE Way, #12-02
Singapore 138602

Annex A

Composition of the NRF Board (1 Oct 2011 – 30 Sep 2013)

Annex B


Current Appointment
 Managing Director, Nestle Singapore Ltd, since Sep 2010 

Key Achievements
 Mr Nannini, who is in his early 50s, has taken up key positions in the company in countries such as India, Thailand, Indonesia, South Africa, Italy, Switzerland, and now Singapore. 

 These roles have been spread across a gamut of business areas including technical, supply chain and research and development (R&D) functions. He also played a key role in building and establishing Nestle's cereals business worldwide under a joint venture between Nestle and General Mills.

 Prior to coming to Singapore last September, he served in Switzerland as director of R&D at Nestle's Product Technology Centre in Orbe, while concurrently also vice-president for R&D at the company's coffee and beverage unit.

 His educational details are :
- University of Wales, MBA (Masters in Business Administration)
- IMD Lausanne, Programme for Executive Development
- University of Florence, Master in General Chemistry


Current Appointments
 Chief Technology Officer, HP Singapore

 Managing Director, HP Labs Singapore

Key Responsibilities
 In his role as the Chief Technology Officer of HP Singapore, Mr Whitney is responsible for developing business growth initiatives in areas like cloud computing, analytics, security and mobility.

 As the Managing Director, HP Labs Singapore, he manages HP’s latest innovation center in Singapore after securing $50m internal and external funding.

Key Achievements
 Founder & Chief Technology Officer, Active Reasoning, an IT service management software company, which was acquired in 2006.
 As Vice President, Managed Services, Exodus Communications, he developed precursor implementations of cloud and utility computing for Exodus' $330m services business.

 As the Chief Technology Officer, CRM Software Division, Hewlett Packard, he led an engineering team to develop foundation technologies to enable the transition of customer service and support from the telephone to the web.

 Mr Whitney received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Teesside University and a Master of Science from South Bank University, London.

More details of his biography:


  • Government


  • national research foundation
  • new board members
  • research and development
  • create campus
  • campus for research excellence and technological enterprise