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Published on December 24th, 2016 | by Hazel Lopez

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SGInnovate Launched to Boost Tech-Based Innovation

Recognizing the Importance of Creative Drivers

Over the past few years, and probably ever more in the future, innovative companies and national economies are going to outpace those sticking to traditional models. In a global marketplace, it will simply no longer be enough to offer the same product or service as every one of your competitors. Dynamic adaptation to market trends and even the needs of individual customers can be expected to be significant themes, going forward.

Applying Technological Advances to Commercial Challenges

In order to maintain it’s place near the top of the knowledge economy, the small but developed nation of Singapore announced the SGInnovate project on November 22, 2016. Intended to work with and support start-ups in fields such as computer-assisted manufacturing, medical treatment and other digital technologies, SGInnovate evolved out of the former Infocomm Investments.

Operating within the fast-changing, knowledge-based innovation landscape, the new agency will not greatly resemble traditional governmental organs; although it is fully under the control of the Singaporean government through the National Research Foundation. Its management team has explicitly stated that they accept the fact that developing innovations is by its nature an unpredictable procedure, not susceptible to rigid timelines or milestones planned in advance. Instead, they aim to create the necessary conditions for innovation to flourish, applying their resources to those projects with the greatest probability of producing remarkable developments.

Already having enlisted the support of several well-known technology companies, it is expected to also join forces with several of the world-class educational institutes native to Singapore. As part of its mission, it will foster connections between organizations such as these, established manufacturers, potential investors and innovators.

It is through promoting contact between individuals and groups with an interest in innovation, possibly from different scientific and engineering disciplines, that otherwise overlooked correlations and applications are often found. Developing networks such as these is expected to result in synergistic advances that will positively affect the Singaporean economy for years to come. The fundamental priority of the foundation will be “deep technology” – game-changing breakthroughs that can alter an entire industry, as opposed to incremental improvements to existing products and processes.

Singaporean Start-Up Culture

Although small in population and area, Singapore has developed one of the most admirable educational systems in the world over the decades, including a very high level of scientific and technical training. As a location to found a new company based on innovation, especially in the financial and information technology spaces, it is second to none in Southeast Asia. However, some of those involved in this aspect of the economy are concerned that this favorable environment is not producing the level of directly commercializable intellectual property, including patents, that might be expected.

SGInnovate is expected to be a significant step on the way to improve this situation. Qualifying innovators can expect to receive not only exposure to technical assistance and potential sources of seed money, but also advice on the legal and commercial aspects of taking a product to market. Innovators, engineers and academics from partner organizations, lawyers and mentors from the business world will all share SGInnovate’s six-story office space, where they can assist each other with their various skill sets.


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Hazel Lopez



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