Prior to joining NHIC, Pauline was Executive Director and Head of Innovation Partnerships at UBS Tech Connect, responsible for establishing strategic partnerships across tech ecosystems in South-East Asia, facilitating access to capital and connections. Simultaneously, she served as Chairperson of the Singapore Business Federation SME Council’s Subcommittee for Technology, Innovation and Productivity, and acted as strategic advisor to a local biotech startup, Celligenics, for which she served as Chief Operating Officer prior.
Before this, Pauline spent 25 years of her career in public sector, in various leadership roles in science and technology. She was Senior Deputy Director, serving dual roles at the Strategy and Innovation and Enterprise (I&E) Directorates at the National Research Foundation (NRF) of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). She was responsible for formulating and implementing strategies and programmes to catalyse innovation and enterprise development through technology. During her term of office, she led the establishment and implementation of key I&E signatures, including the Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SWITCH), Decentralised and Central Gap, Pollinate, The Elevator, National Lean Launchpad, Innovation Clusters, Industry-Alignment Funds, Technology Incubator Scheme, Early-Stage Venture Funds, SGInnovate and Xora.
Pauline was also a founding team member of Intellectual Property Intermediary (IPI), where she established and headed the Healthcare and Personal Care cluster. The role involved providing technology and intellectual property intelligence, scouting and matching services to industry, assisting companies to adopt technologies in their business models.
Prior to that, Pauline spent 12 years of her early career in the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), seeing the transformation of the then National Science and Technology Board (NSTB) into A*STAR. She was involved in the development of the biomedical science sector in her role at the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) in tandem with the Biomedical Research Council (BMRC) and Economic Development Board (EDB), establishing and managing research institutes and talent development programmes within A*STAR. She was on the initial team that worked to establish the Genetic Modification Advisory Committee, Bioethics Advisory Committee and A*STAR Graduate Scholarship. She later went on to do her Ph.D. and postdoc in stem cell biology, in a collaborative project involving the Singapore Stem Cell Consortium at A*STAR’s Institute for Medical Biology (IMB), the Institute of Bioengineering at Miguel Hernández University, Spain, and the first stem cell startup in Singapore, Embryonic Stem Cell International (ESI).
Pauline started her public sector career in productivity training and consultancy at the Singapore Productivity and Standards Board (PSB), which is now Enterprise Singapore.
Pauline holds a Ph.D. in Stem Cell Biology and a B.Sc. in Microbiology and Biochemistry from the National University of Singapore, with a postgraduate certificate in Advanced Biotechnology from the Osaka University School of Medicine, Japan.