23 January 2018 | Opinion
During her early days of joining EDB, Ms Ho understood the economic and manpower challenges that Singapore was facing as a small nation and was ready to take on the responsibility of shaping Singapore’s position as a global centre for business, innovation, and talent.
Ms Weng Si presently holds the post of Director, Biomedical Sciences, Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB). She joined EDB in 2005. During her time at EDB, Weng Si spent 3 years in New York as Centre Director, before returning in 2012 to Singapore to head up the Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology industry sub-group within the Biomedical Sciences division.
EDB is a government agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and is responsible for strategies that enhance Singapore’s position as a global centre for business, innovation and talent. Industries within the purview of EDB account for more than a third of Singapore’s annual GDP. “Being part of the team at the Singapore Economic Development Board has been extremely fulfilling”, says Ms Ho. Weng Si graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering, and Harvard University with a Master’s degree in Engineering Sciences (Bioengineering).
During her early days of joining EDB, Ms Ho understood the economic and manpower challenges that Singapore was facing as a small nation and was ready to take on the responsibility of shaping Singapore’s position as a global centre for business, innovation, and talent. She is happy that there is a lot of diversity of good business and job opportunities created within Singapore in present times.
Specific to the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) sector, Singapore has developed into Asia’s leading BMS cluster. “The sector has grown significantly, and is now one of the key pillars of Singapore’s economy. We are in a good place to continue serving the needs of not only our domestic patients, but 51% of the world’s population (or 3.7 billion individuals) in the Asia-Pacific region”, she says.
While talking to BioSpectrum Asia on the issue of gender disparity in the field of biotechnology, Ms Ho said, “I believe the challenges I have to tackle on the economic, talent and healthcare fronts are not unique to Singapore, and certainly not to female professionals in the field. I continue to work closely with my team members, alongside like-minded industry players and other sectorial stakeholders, to uncover new opportunities to develop new and meaningful healthcare solutions for patients around the world.”
Ms Weng Si considers the female leaders who are able to balance both their family and professional commitments as her role models. She noted, “In the course of my work, I have had the privilege of meeting numerous women entrepreneurs who have exhibited tremendous confidence, determination and diligence in pursuing their passion in the BMS field. I encourage all budding entrepreneurs, females and males alike, to dare to dream so they can make a positive difference in whichever path they embark on.”
Her key to success is her belief in teamwork. “I have found much success tapping into the strengths of my colleagues within EDB. It is the same beliefs that guide my work at the industry level, where we continue to leverage strong collaborations with partners across public and private sectors, as well as the research community, to deepen innovation and commercialisation efforts within the BMS sector”, she reckons.