Channel NewsAsia

Local tech firms to get help from large enterprises

IDA has set aside S$15 million over the next three years to help local companies learn from bigger tech enterprises. Microsoft and StarHub are among companies signed up to new iPACT programme.

SINGAPORE: The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) said on Wednesday (June 18) it is setting aside S$15 million over the next three years for an initiative to help local tech firms in Singapore learn from larger enterprises.

Called iPACT, or the Partnership for Capability Transformation for the Infocomm Sector, the scheme is an offshoot of the PACT programme which was introduced in 2010 to incentivise large enterprises to work with local ones in the manufacturing, construction sectors, among others.

The S$15 million will be used to co-fund collaborations between big and small tech companies in areas like training, co-development and test-bedding of projects. The partnership will also help local firms achieve higher productivity through knowledge transfer, IDA said.

Four large enterprises – Motorola, StarHub, Microsoft and Razer – have come on board, and will be reaching out to local tech companies to be part of their team. Each company will have to work with at least three local technology companies for up to two years.

One local small and medium enterprise (SME), education software developer HeuLab, lauded the initiative. CEO Lim Soon Jinn told Channel NewsAsia: "I might have the best technology, but nobody knows about it. I don't have any reference (and) I need somewhere to start. I think partnering Microsoft, for example, would be one way it can introduce me to its customers and this allows me to build up my references."

IDA also launched several other partnerships on Tuesday to train talent for the tech industry, such as working with e-learning provider Coursera to provide courses in data sciences and analytics, offered by the Johns Hopkins University.

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