Feature | Trade, Industry & Finance

Creating tomorrow’s
Industrial Landscape

Since its inception in 1968, JTC has helped shape Singapore’s industry spaces, consistently leading the charge with landmark projects like the Jurong Rock Caverns, CleanTech Park, and JTC LaunchPad @ one-north.

A s a small island nation that doesn’t have the luxury of abundant land, Singapore has had to come up with innovative solutions that will keep pace with the needs of her industries and allow them to flourish. At the front of this charge is JTC Corporation (JTC), the lead agency in developing vibrant industrial spaces in Singapore and the force behind countless cutting-edge facilities and iconic projects.

In total, JTC has developed over 7,000 hectares of industrial land and 4 million square metres of facilities, providing the capacity that Singapore’s industries need to expand and remain competitive on the world stage.

Key projects like the Jurong Rock Caverns saw JTC look to the subterranean depths for storage space, a feat of engineering that created huge amounts of space while leaving the surface land available for further development and economic activities. However, it does far more than just construct crucial industrial infrastructure. The corporation has also launched facilities like the JTC Surface Engineering Hub, an integrated ecosystem to help catalyse innovation in the surface engineering industry, and the JTC LaunchPad @ one-north, a sprawling complex to support startups and budding entrepreneurs.

On top of that, the JTC Scholarships also help identify and nurture young talents who will eventually contribute to the development of next-generation industrial solutions and infrastructure. We speak to Bennett Tan, a JTC Full-Term Scholar and current Assistant Manager at the Biomedical and Chemicals Cluster, about his journey so far.

A Driver of Growth

Even before he secured the JTC scholarship, Bennett wanted to be involved in shaping the economic landscape of Singapore. “My active research on scholarship providers made it abundantly clear that JTC had been dauntless in venturing into unfamiliar and highly ambitious projects. Now that I have the luxury of retrospect, I can really appreciate how these risks have paid off immensely at crucial junctures in Singapore’s economic development.

Bennett Tan You En, JTC Full-Term Scholar

Bennett Tan You En
JTC Full-Term Scholar

Assistant Manager Biomedical Department
Biomedical and Chemicals Cluster

“JTC offered me a means of contributing in a tangible way to Singapore’s economic growth.”

“JTC offered me a means of contributing in a tangible way to Singapore’s economic growth, given its pivotal role in advancing Singapore’s industrial land and space. Having read and heard about JTC’s ongoing slate of innovative projects to address our limited land area, I was sure that a career at JTC would be dynamic and challenging.”

An Enriching Journey

JTC is also extremely supportive of its scholars, allowing them to pursue their interests beyond their official scope of study. Bennett tells us, “After completing my second internship at JTC and mid-way through my undergraduate studies, I decided that I wanted to expand my knowledge in fields beyond chemical engineering. I had set my eye on summer courses offered by the University of California in Los Angeles, which JTC was happy to sponsor. I was even able to find time to explore the West Coast of the US in between my hectic schedule!”

Speaking of his internships, Bennett recalls that they were very enriching experiences for him. He shares, “I interned with the Chemicals and Energy departments in JTC’s Biomedical and Chemicals Cluster on two separate occasions. I was tasked with analysing market trends and engaging with companies to understand their industry outlook. I came to appreciate the value of customer engagement in JTC’s role as the leader in developing a dynamic industrial landscape, as the feedback we receive allows us to better shape policies and conceptualise projects according to present and future needs.”

Furthermore, in his final year of study at Imperial College London, Bennett requested to work part-time at a UK consulting firm. “JTC agreed to my request, and I was able to learn more about the expected developments in Singapore’s chemical industry and gain valuable insights, while experiencing first-hand how market research in the private sector was conducted,” Bennett enthuses.

A Brilliant Career

Now an Assistant Manager in the Biomedical and Chemicals Cluster, Bennett handles the marketing and lease management of industrial property, which includes land, ready-built space, and specialised buildings like Biopolis @ one-north. He adds, “I am also actively involved in seeking enhancement opportunities to liven up our estates and make them more appealing and vibrant.

“My team works with companies that manufacture medical technologies. Our latest development is the JTC MedTech Hub, located within the MedTech Park, which houses the manufacturing operations of medical device companies. Ultimately, we aim to help companies achieve process integration and better synergy through their close proximity within the Park and in the immediate vicinity.”

Facilities like JTC MedTech Hub and Biopolis are designed to encourage sharing and cross-fertilisation of innovations and ideas among companies. “The close proximity allows easy access between suppliers, distributors and end users, enabling firms at different points in the value chain to benefit from economies of scale through the use of shared facilities. These advantages also act as strong incentives in attracting foreign companies to establish a presence in Singapore, further enabling local businesses to build their capabilities and scale up operations!” Bennett elaborates.

Even though it has barely been half a year since Bennett began working at JTC, he already has many memorable experiences to share. He says, smiling, “I recall the six-week Foundation Programme with other new JTC hires, where I enjoyed building rapport with my new colleagues. It even reminded me of university life!

“I am very glad for the many good friends I made, and I was also amazed by how much thought was put into crafting the curriculum for the programme. Many modules were taught by JTC’s own senior management themselves. Their insights allowed me to appreciate JTC’s structure and the complex but rewarding work we do here. We also got to go on site visits, which really helped us understand how certain infrastructure is built and why they are designed the way they are.”