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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Singapore unveils SGInnovate for tech start-ups

It will enable aspiring entrepreneurs to commercialise and scale innovations.

The city-state has delivered its promise to unveil a government agency focused on enabling aspiring entrepreneurs in Singapore to build, commercialise and scale technology-based innovations from Singapore that will have global relevance.

Deputy Prime Minister & Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam officiated the launch of SGInnovate. The newly-formed agency will work with people who pursue the creation and building of technology-based products and companies from Singapore. Areas of activity will include digital health, financial services, smart energy, digital manufacturing, transportation, artificial intelligence and robotics.

“SGInnovate is itself a start-up, and it would require a different set of capabilities from the usual government agency work. I foresee that SGInnovate 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," the deputy minister said.

For the agency's founding CEO Steve Leonard, Singapore is already thriving with innovation and start-up ecosystem.

"But we know we can do more to empower ambitious and capable men and women to pursue entrepreneurship. Our belief is that Singapore has the ability to imagine, design and build technology-based products that are relevant in markets around the world. SGInnovate is about making that happen as part of Singapore's economic future," he noted.

SGInnovate starts off as home to some of the engineers and research scientists from SMART, McLaren Applied Technologies, NVIDIA, and Ethereum – each group bringing ambitious projects and/or thinking across the spectrum of the technology and science spaces. It will then connect these partners with the combined intellectual expertise across diverse areas like robotics, blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) from its varsity partners – NUS, NTU, SIT and SUTD – 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 ambitious projects of their own in the deep tech and science space. 

In photo: (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).

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