- POSTED: 17 Sep 2013 22:36
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Singapore is halfway through its five-year plan for boosting research and development. According to the National Research Foundation, the investments are seeing encouraging outcomes.
SINGAPORE: Singapore is halfway through its five-year plan for boosting research and development.
Under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2015 scheme, the S$16.1 billion plan aims to support the Singapore government's long-term vision to develop an innovative and entrepreneurial economy like Sweden, Finland or Israel.
According to the National Research Foundation (NRF), the investments are seeing encouraging outcomes.
The CREATE (Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise) Tower at the National University of Singapore is home to the NRF and it is also where opportunities are created for start-ups.
Low Teck Seng, CEO of National Research Foundation, said: "NRF over the years has invested and partnered 15 technology incubators and five early stage venture funds, and together we have invested in more than a hundred companies through them... of which, quite a few have done well, and we have exited (our investments)."
Next week, NRF will be working with A*STAR's technology transfer arm, Exploit Technologies, and SPRING Singapore to organise Techventure.
The annual conference and exhibition aims to increase private sector involvement in identifying and growing local start-ups.
Edwin Chow, executive director of SPRING Investments, said: "By bringing in this market knowledge, market know-how and experience and advice, it will help the start-ups and investor community validate the technology.
“Having the best science and the best research is important, but I do not think it is a sufficient condition for success."
According to A*STAR, activity in the innovation and enterprise space has picked up in recent years.
It spun off over 40 start-ups in the past five years, with the majority taking place in the last two years.
There were 400 licences over the same five-year period, 70 per cent of which were issued in the last two years.
Philip Lim, CEO of Exploit Technologies (A*STAR), said: "The traditional players are there but (we want) new players to come in, even non-traditional players, Singapore investors, to start to stand up and take notice, and say, 'who is here now, who is this fellow, and why is he putting money in companies that I have never heard of before, and should I be looking at this'. That is the type of buzz that we want to see."
Over the past two decades, Singapore has been increasing investments in research, as countries like the United States cut back on such investments.