How Singapore won the bid
Traditionally, hosting duties rotate every three years among Asia, Europe and North America. Hokkaido hosted in 2011, Montreal in 2014 so the next host country should have been in Europe. Singapore scored a coup by winning the bid to host the next congresses in 2017. In securing the bid for IUMS, Professor Lee says that laying the groundwork was particularly important. Before announcing their intention to bid, Professor Lee and his ground set out to get to know the IUMS congresses, the board members and their philosophy. “To work the ground, basically,” he recalls in his interview with TTGassociations. Professor Lee worked to get elected into the council so he would have inside knowledge. Another development that worked in Singapore’s favour was the fact that he was elected president of IUMS.
“In the past, little or no support for young scientists were extended, whereas we went out of our way, which impressed the committee,” says Professor Lee
How Singapore stood out against the competition
The organisers worked very hard to position Singapore as unique — a tiny country with a multicultural identity; a young nation with a long history as well as a modern and cosmopolitan city in the heart of Southeast Asia. To help win the bid, Professor Lee was assisted by various government agencies such as the Singapore Tourism Board who gave him support materials. Singapore proposed to fully sponsor 20 young Asian scientists to attend the conference, with the support of STB. Professor Lee and his team reasoned that Asia is becoming a fertile ground for research and technology, with many scientific papers coming out from Asia (mainly from China and South Korea). Thus, it made sense to hold the congress in Asia. By holding it in the region, young scientists who might not have funds to attend the conference in Europe can easily travel to Singapore.