SGInnovate, a one-year-old entity that focuses on tech-intensive product companies and research-driven technologies, also said that it will intensify its efforts around artificial intelligence (AI), which it identified as a transformational technology that will impact most industries.
Those targets were announced as part of a new "Deep Tech Nexus" strategy to further strengthen Singapore's deep-tech startup ecosystem in the next year.
The 2018 roadmap for SGInnovate, the private startup agency owned by the Singapore government, will focus on increasing investments and empowering people, specifically targetting the Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and MedTech industries.
The agency plans to grow the AI and Blockchain facilities at scale whereas it will approach MedTech with a more bespoke strategy, only focussing on a few companies in a given year.
The announcement was made a little over one year after the official launch of SGInnovate. Dubbed ‘Deep Tech Nexus’ the programme is designed around two core strategies — a renewed focus on Human Capital as well as Investment Capital.
SINGAPORE (Nov 13): At the Harbourfront office of ID Architects, virtual reality head Gerard Teo is showing off the company’s “VR cave”: two huge screens and a 25 sq m space surrounded by warm orange spotlights. Slipping on a HTC Vive headset, Teo is transported to a virtual mock-up of Kallang Riverside — a 30-storey mixed-use condominium development designed by his company.
Within this environment, he can perform a range of tasks: measure the height of a wall, determine which angle a door should swing at and leave annotations for his colleagues. The system also allows multiple users to inspect the VR building simultaneously, similar to a multi-player computer game.
VRCollab was co-founded by computer science graduate Gong Yiwei, 23, and former software engineer Tee Jia Hen, 28. The duo met last year through the start-up accelerator Entrepreneur First, which has provided $25,000 in pre-seed funding to VRCollab. The start-up received a further $42,500 from SparkLabs Global Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, and $50,000 from SGInnovate, which invests in deep-tech start-ups.
Steve Leonard, the chief executive of government-backed investment organisation SGInnovate, talked about Singapore’s strong fundamentals of capital, connectivity and its existing entrepreneurial community which translated to a strong foundation for further growth of Singapore’s startup ecosystem, despite growing global competition.
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced the launch of the two new programmes at the opening of the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology - a polytechnic incubator programme and an entrepreneurial training programme for researchers.