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Touching Lives

Our Approach

Our not-for-profit gifts to Temasek Trust enable Temasek Foundation to connect people, uplift communities, protect our planet and advance capabilities, in Singapore, Asia and beyond.

We have made multiple gifts over the years, including 23 programme endowments for the broader community. To date, Temasek Foundation has touched over 1.5 million lives across Singapore and Asia.

2020 was unprecedented. COVID-19 upended lives, livelihoods and economies around the world. Temasek shouldered our part to fight the pandemic and support those affected by the pandemic.

Since 2003, we have been setting aside for community gifts, a portion of our returns above our risk-adjusted cost of capital. We redirected some of earmarked funds not yet gifted, to support COVID-19 initiatives in five major areas of testing & diagnosis, containment & contact tracing, care & treatment, protection & prevention, and enablement.

We adapted nimbly to anticipate new needs, working as an advanced scout and forward supplies enabler, to complement the immediate focus of governments and communities. We worked to anticipate and address shortages, actual and potential, to secure essential supplies, including diagnostic and medical equipment.

An example is our sponsorship of our medical and hospital partners to test and validate swab and deep throat saliva test kits, testing protocols, as well as trials and automation to increase lab throughput. The findings were shared with government agencies to support the deployment of these products in the community.

Introducing newer types of test kits increases testing capacity and enables testing to be done quickly, more efficiently and affordably, with fast turnaround to results. This in turn improves our chances of containing the spread of COVID-19.  Novel solutions range from waste water sampling to breath tests and fast nucleic acid tests.

To safeguard communities, we organised several Stay Prepared initiatives together with Temasek Foundation and our partners. To date, we have distributed over 30 million reusable antimicrobial masks to residents in Singapore. The masks were made available for convenient collection from vending machines located all over the island, including at the Temasek Shophouse, a social impact hub housed in a heritage building along Orchard Road.

We supported mass screening efforts with the aim of detecting COVID-19 infections swiftly in the heartlands of Singapore and at its borders. In September 2020, Temasek Foundation supported a multi-agency effort to roll out trials of mass community screening for COVID-19. These trials focused on testing workers who come into contact with many and diverse people daily, and enabling fast one day turnaround to results. These potentially high superspreaders included food centre stallholders, cleaners, retail staff, supermarket cashiers, food delivery personnel and town council workers in popular and high human traffic zones.

Even as we leverage technology, innovation and partnerships to safeguard the Singapore community, we recognise that no one is safe till everyone is safe.

To date, through Temasek Foundation, we have also provided some 40 countries outside Singapore, COVID-19 related supplies. These included diagnostic test kits which enabled over 1 million diagnostic tests, ventilators, oxygen concentrators, masks, and sanitisers. 

Financial Oversight and Governance

Temasek Trust provides governance and financial oversight to 23 programme endowments and gifts from Temasek. These have mandates which support our non-profit ecosystem that includes Temasek Foundation, Stewardship Asia Centre and Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory.

Temasek Trust distributes a steady and sustainable baseline 4% of endowment principal annually. This provides a predictable multi-year funding source for our non-profit ecosystem to carry out their programmes to connect people, uplift communities, protect our planet and advance capabilities. Additionally, Temasek Trust also has the discretion to distribute up to 10% of the endowments gifted by Temasek.

Beyond financial management, Temasek Trust also aims to pioneer and enable new pathways for philanthropy in Asia.

Temasek Foundation

Temasek Foundation sponsors diverse programmes to strengthen social resilience, foster international exchange and regional capabilities, advance science, and protect the planet.

Strengthening Social Resilience and Uplifting Lives

Both in and out of Singapore, Temasek Foundation works to catalyse a more resilient, harmonious and inclusive society.

Its outcome-focused programmes help to enhance our social fabric by enabling individuals, strengthening families and uplifting communities, with a special focus on at-risk families and their children.

The Foundation pilots programmes and research, and funds programmes that promote culture, heritage and values to benefit current and future generations.

Fostering International Exchange and Enhancing Regional Capabilities

Temasek Foundation connects people to promote dialogues, mutual understanding and a more inclusive worldview.

Such programmes also advance capability and capacity, in areas such as healthcare, education, public administration, urban management, and disaster response. They bring together participants particularly from the region, and the wider Asian community, to share ground experiences and best practices.

Advancing Science and Nature for a Sustainable World

Temasek Foundation champions sustainability and supports research and education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

It seeds solution-oriented development projects that contribute to improving liveability through various global grant calls. Some prior year winners of the Liveability Challenge have progressed to become start-ups funded by various rounds of venture funding.

Other programmes strengthen research capabilities and promote cross-functional collaboration in areas such as healthcare, education, climate change, wildlife conservation and the circular economy.

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