29 November 2023

On 8 November 2023, Enterprise Singapore (“EnterpriseSG”) issued a press release announcing new initiatives launched in sustainability, open innovation, and market access. This follows the close of the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (“SWITCH”) 2023 conference which ran from 31 October 2023 to 2 November 2023 and which saw a record number of participants from the global technology and innovation community come together to exchange ideas and build synergies across the healthcare and sustainability space. A summary is set out below.

Ecosystem effort to build global networks and deepen cross-border collaboration in innovation

New partner networks in innovation hubs 

Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced the launch of three new Global Innovation Alliance (“GIA”) nodes in Mumbai, Sydney, and Melbourne, expanding the network to 21 cities globally. This will help to connect Singapore startups with the overseas innovation ecosystems and in-market investors and business partners to fast track their expansion.

Open innovation challenges to address challenges in climate change, catalyse cross-border collaboration for industry

New open innovation challenges (“OICs”) were introduced to catalyse co-innovation between startups, small- and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) and industry players, including to address specific sustainability challenges, as well as to help local businesses access overseas industry demand.

More than S$3 million has been set aside to support the development of sustainability solutions through EnterpriseSG’s Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge (“SOIC”). A total of 22 challenge statements have been launched across areas like climate change, sustainable agriculture & trade, green buildings and sustainable materials. The fifth edition of the SOIC also marks an enhanced collaboration between EnterpriseSG and Temasek Trust ecosystem entities - the Centre for Impact Investing and Practices (“CIIP”), Philanthropy Asia Alliance (“PAA”) and Temasek Foundation - solution providers will be granted direct entry to Temasek Foundation’s The Liveability Challenge without the need for a separate application and will also be considered for the Amplifier mentorship programme by CIIP and PAA.

EnterpriseSG also launched the Qatar-Singapore Joint Innovation Challenge (“QSJIC”) and the North Rhine-Westphalia Singapore Open Innovation Challenge (“NRW SG OIC”). The two market-centric OICs spur cross-border collaboration and help Singapore companies access market opportunities. QSJIC is seeking for innovative solutions in areas such as energy, sustainability and insurtech, while NRW SG OIC features challenge statements seeking innovative solutions in the areas of advanced manufacturing and sustainability.

Enhanced support for SMEs to drive their innovation journey

EnterpriseSG has partnered with local polytechnics to expand innovation support for SMEs within the food manufacturing and built environment space through Centres of Innovation (“COI”). Enterprises in these industries can work with the new COI for built environment, and expanded centre for food manufacturing to develop, testbed and commercialise innovative solutions to drive business growth.

Deeper collaboration to grow the next generation of startups

To support promising early-stage startups and build a dynamic startup community, JTC launched a Green Lane Programme in partnership with eight incubators and accelerators from institutes of higher learning and government agencies. This will afford their startups with fast-track access to the JTC LaunchPad at one-north and Jurong Innovation District. In addition to securing an affordable plug-and-play space, the startups will be able to tap on synergies at the Launchpad to accelerate their business development and time to market.

Reference materials

The press release is available on the EnterpriseSG website www.enterprisesg.gov.sg.