By Kareyst Lin
Nov. 23, 2016
(From left) The official launch of SGInnovate, unveiled today by Dr Beh Swan Gin, Chairman, Economic Development Board, Ms Yong Ying-I, Permanent Secretary (National Research and Development) and Permanent Secretary (Public Service Division), Deputy Prime Minister & Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Mr Steve Leonard, Founding CEO, SGInnovate, Mr Gabriel Lim, 2nd Permanent Secretary ( Ministry of Communications and Information), Chief Executive (Info-comm Media Development Authority of Singapore).
SGInnovate was officially launched yesterday (22 November 2016) to focus on enabling aspiring entrepreneurs in Singapore to build, commercialise and scale technology-based innovations from Singapore that will have global relevance.
The launch was officiated by Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, according to SGInnovate's press statement.
Placed under the purview of the National Research Foundation, SGInnovate has made the entrepreneur its focus.
Supported by a range of Singapore government agencies, the organisation will bring together founders, investors, and corporates. It will work with people who pursue the creation and building of technology-based products and companies from Singapore.
The areas of activity will include digital health, financial services, smart energy, digital manufacturing, transportation, artificial intelligence and robotics.
SGInnovate will build on its prior heritage of being the Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd (IIPL), the venture-investment arm of the former Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). It will also capitalise on its experience in running startup facilities such as BASH (Build Amazing Startups Here).
"SGInnovate is itself a startup, and it would require a different set of capabilities from the usual government agency work," said Tharman. "[The organisation] will keep piloting, prototyping and pivoting in the coming years. It will do what is needed, to run alongside deep-tech entrepreneurs in Singapore, on their journey towards developing pioneering solutions for the world."
SGInnovate will start off as home to some of the engineers and research scientists from SMART, McLaren Applied Technologies, NVIDIA and Ethereum.
SGInnovate will connect these partners with the combined intellectual expertise from its local varsity partners. This is so that the most advanced research and developments in the deep tech and science space are on tap to the community of entrepreneurs.
In turn, academics and students from these varsities will similarly leverage the SGInnovate ecosystem to advance cutting-edge ideas and projects of their own in the deep tech and science space.
Partners like Entrepreneur First will enable startups from incubation phase through to conceptualisation, development and commercialisation.