Daily Management Review

Singapore creates a large innovation fund


04/26/2017


Singapore is creating a fund of 1 billion Singapore dollars ($ 718 million) to help innovative companies grow their business and expand their activities abroad as the country’s government wants to stimulate economic growth, writes Bloomberg.



Makara Innovation Fund, a joint venture of Singapore's intellectual property office (IPOS) and local private equity company Makara Capital Partners Pte Ltd, will invest 30 to 150 million Singapore dollars in 10-15 companies with globally competitive technologies within eight years, says IPOS in a message.

These measures are part of the strategy set in February by the Committee on the Future Economics, a government-led group whose goal is to chart the growth path of Singapore in the coming years. The Committee recommended that IPOS take a stronger role in stimulating innovation.

"IPOS will evolve from the regulatory body to an innovative agency", said IPOS CEO Daren Tang. "This is a concrete and tangible way to show that Singapore can become a center for commercialization of intellectual property."

Singapore took the sixth place in Bloomberg’s innovation index in 2017, ahead of the US and Israel. According to Bloomberg, the city-state is third-largest by number of patents granted to one million residents. In this regard, Singapore lags behind only South Korea and Japan.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, there were 10814 patent applications filed in Singapore in 2015, the latest year for which data are available. This is the highest number of applications among Southeast Asian countries.

IPOS plans to double the number of intellectual property experts in Singapore to 1,000 over the next five years and intends to train 4,000 people a year, Tang said.

The agency will also help companies use intellectual property as collateral for financing. According to him, these initiatives should add about 1.5 billion Singapore dollars to the city-state’s economy over the next five years.

According to Global Innovation Index 2016, prepared by experts from the international business school of Cornell University, the world’s most innovative country in 2016 was Switzerland.

The global innovation index is based on indicators of infrastructure development, institutions, business, economy, human capital and research, knowledge and technology, as well as creative inventions.

The most innovative country was Switzerland with a level of innovation of 66.28 points. The top three also includes Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Leaders of the GII of 2016, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, stand out in terms of "quality of innovation", an important indicator reflecting level of development of higher education, number of scientific publications and number of international applications filed for patents.

Soumitra Dutta, Dean of College of Business at Cornell University and one of the report’s editors, noted: "Investment in innovation plays an important role in overcoming the innovation gap. While institutions are an important foundation, countries should focus on reforming education and building their own research capacity in order to compete successfully in the rapidly changing global economy". 

source: bloomberg.com






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