SINGAPORE: More than 20 sectors in Singapore will get an Industry Transformation Map, tailored to the needs of each industry, to help drive productivity and innovation, invest in skills and promote internationalisation.
The initiative is part of the Industry Transformation Programme outlined in Budget 2016, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat told media on the sidelines of his visit to local firm Feinmetall Singapore on Monday (Mar 28).
Each map will have initiatives aimed at increasing collaboration between companies and encouraging firms to invest in manpower to deepen skills.
The maps will also suggest areas of innovation to enable firms to offer new products and services through better use of technology, as well as make a stronger push to help companies internationalise.
Teams will be set up for each economic sector, with input from various Government agencies including the Economic Development Board (EDB), SPRING Singapore, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA). They will lead the development of roadmaps for each sector by integrating productivity, training, technology and internationalisation plans.
The sectors under the Industry Transformation Maps cover more than 80 per cent of Singapore's GDP.
During his maiden Budget speech last week, Mr Heng unveiled the S$4.5 billion Industry Transformation Programme, targeted at providing support to firms and industries while driving innovation.
MORE INDUSTRY-WIDE COLLABORATION EXPECTED
Precision engineering firm Feinmetall has opened its doors to other firms in the industry to share its experience on improving productivity and adopting technology. By June, it plans to roll out training programmes, together with the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), that other companies in the sector can also tap on.
"The objective is to teach more people about basic maintenance processes in our company. What we want to do is impart our knowledge as well as share our equipment in our facility to enable more PMETs (professionals, managers, executives and technicians) and engineers to learn about the process of basic maintenance of our probe cards," said Feinmetall Singapore's general manager, Sam Chee Wah.
Feinmetall said trade associations and chambers have helped to facilitate these efforts.
Looking ahead, more of such industry-wide collaboration can be expected.
Precision engineering is just one of more than 20 sectors, covering more than 80 per cent of GDP, set to see new plans drawn up for future growth.
Speaking at his visit to Feinmetall, Mr Heng said the initiatives are aimed at helping firms pool their knowledge to ensure industries innovate and stay competitive.
"The challenges we're going to face will be much more complex, much more diverse, and it's going to be a much more fast moving world. Therefore our ability to respond to changes requires us to pool our knowledge in a much more targeted fashion, and in a way that allows us to create solutions and have those solutions proliferate," said Mr Heng.
"For example, if you look at many industries, many companies face many common problems, and common problems can be solved with a common solution. So if you have a common solution, we should try and replicate it across all the companies, especially SMEs (small and medium enterprises). And in that way, everybody benefits,” he added.
The Singapore Precision Engineering and Technology Association said that such integration can also help smaller firms save costs.
"Precision engineering is very fragmented. They're all over the place. The key challenge is how to get them together. If they can share services, they can share resources, all these will bring down their cost. The cost management can come from many areas, increasing productivity, controlling their risk, (as well as) resource management," said Mr Steven Koh, advisor at the Singapore Precision Engineering and Technology Association.