Set up in collaboration with the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, the institute was part of plan by the Singapore government to equip its citizens with industrial skills. The German-Singapore Institute for Production Technology was located in Jurong industrial estate, next to the Singapore Science Centre.
The institute aimed to produce technicians, supervisors and middle management staff who could run factories after finishing its two-year diploma course. It received funding from Germany at first, which also provided a team of trainers.
The institute was part two other technology institutes that EDB help set up with other governments, including the French-Singapore Institute of Electrotechnology and the Japan-Singapore Institute of Software Technology. In 1993, the three institutes became part of the School of Engineering in Nanyang Polytechnic.