Economic Development Board
Feature | EDB

Shaping the Future of Singapore’s Economic Landscape

Economic Development Board (EDB) Scholar Claire Lim plays a pivotal role in creating sustainable economic growth and job opportunities for Singapore.
Economic Development Board

Claire Lim is an EDB Scholar and currently a Manager in the Healthcare & Wellness Division. She obtained a Bachelor of Engineering (Biochemical Engineering) from University College London and a Master of Philosophy in Technology Policy from the University of Cambridge.

At the forefront of driving Singapore’s economic growth is the Economic Development Board (EDB), a government agency that is responsible for strategies that enhance Singapore’s position as a global centre for business, innovation, and talent.

EDB Scholar Claire Lim, Manager in the Healthcare & Wellness Division, plays a crucial role in shaping and crafting strategic initiatives for Singapore’s healthcare and life sciences ecosystem.

We had the opportunity to have her share meaningful insights into her career.

What made you decide to apply for the EDB Scholarship?

My interest in EDB was sparked after participating in a case challenge during my final year of Junior College. Over the two-day challenge, we were tasked to identify potential opportunities in the robotics industry and how Singapore could become a leader in the space. Through this process, I naturally learnt about EDB’s work to create sustainable economic growth with vibrant business and good opportunities for Singapore. It also helped me understand the unique characteristics of Singapore that make EDB’s work challenging yet exciting.

I applied for the EDB Scholarship as I wanted a dynamic career where I could challenge myself and learn continuously. Moreover, I found the distinctive appeal in EDB’s focus on the intersection of business, government, and technology — a convergence that is relatively rare.

How has the scholarship contributed to your professional journey?

The scholarship gave me early insights into EDB’s work and culture, offering multiple touchpoints with various officers even before commencing work in the organisation. For instance, before entering university, we took part in a pre-departure experience where we had the opportunity to shadow several officers for two weeks to understand their day-to-day work. This helped me forge early connections with my peers and other colleagues, many of whom I still work with today.

I also did an internship in my second year, focusing on strategies to support circular economy efforts in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Through the internship, I gained a better understanding of how we work together with other government agencies to achieve win-win-win outcomes.

“Being able to contribute, whether indirectly or directly, to the growth of the Biopharma and MedTech sector alongside fostering employment opportunities for Singaporeans, has been the main highlight of my work. I’ve also had the privilege of meeting individuals whose lives have been positively impacted by my work, and it makes my work fulfilling and meaningful.” Claire Lim

That’s fascinating! Can you share some key takeaways from your academic journey that have played a significant role in building your career in EDB?

During our undergraduate programme, we engaged in week-long “scenarios” that required collaborative work on an inter- or intra-department basis. These exercises, often involving real-life problems, honed my ability to navigate cross-disciplinary teams and adapt swiftly to potential challenges.

The international scope of my coursework and faculty also helped familiarise me with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures. This experience has been invaluable in my current role at EDB, where interacting with individuals and clients from a variety of backgrounds is a regular part of my work.

Claire Lim

Claire Lim

Can you share about your role and some initiatives you’ve been working on?

Our team mainly focuses on developing near to long-term strategies to enhance and grow Singapore’s healthcare and life sciences ecosystem in partnership with companies. A large part of our day-to-day job is to understand new regional and global trends in the healthcare sector. This helps us identify potential areas of focus and growth. We also support other whole-of-government initiatives aimed at creating a coherent response to specific challenges and devising fresh value propositions to harness new growth opportunities.

Over the past year, I’ve been supporting the Biologics Pharma Innovation Programme Singapore pre-competitive consortium. This collaborative effort, in partnership with the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research, aims to facilitate meaningful co-innovation among our local biopharma manufacturers and enhance Singapore’s innovation capabilities in biologics manufacturing.

By harnessing the collective strengths of the private and public capabilities, we will develop highly productive, sustainable, and advanced production technologies and solutions.

Additionally, I have been actively engaged in the sustainability workstream, where we are currently developing a strategy to help biopharma companies meet their net-zero targets, which has been a nice throwback to the work I had done during my summer internship.

Those sound like very meaningful initiatives indeed! What would you consider to be the most significant highlight in your career so far?

A key highlight of my career is having the chance to contribute to the growth of the Biopharma and MedTech sector through facilitating investments and fostering employment opportunities for Singaporeans. I’ve also had the privilege of meeting individuals whose lives have been positively impacted by what we do, which has reinforced how our work is fulfilling and meaningful.

Finally, what are some opportunities EDB offers to employees who are keen to develop new skills and competencies?

EDB has been very supportive of new skills development opportunities. Many of my colleagues, myself included, have pursued other courses to deepen our sectoral or functional competencies, or explore adjacent areas of interest. It is also very common to witness officers moving across divisions. For instance, I recently rotated from an account management division to a strategy division. This move has helped me to broaden my knowledge and understanding of how various teams in EDB work together and strengthen my competencies in strategy formulation and development.