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Budget 2021: S’pore To Invest $24B Over Next 3 Years To Help Firms, Workers Emerge Stronger

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced today (Feb 16) that S$24 billion will be allocated to enable local firms and workers to “emerge stronger” over the next three years.

This builds on the momentum of the transformation push started five years ago when Singapore launched the Industry Transformation Maps.

This financial year, Mr Heng will focus on how Singapore can move decisively to build three enablers for the next phase of transformation:

  • Grow a vibrant business community
  • Catalyse wide range of capital to enable businesses to transform and scale
  • Create opportunities and redesign jobs for Singaporeans to develop their skills, creativity and talents

Mr Heng said the ultimate purpose of the economic transformation is to grow opportunities for Singaporeans to realise their full potential and aspirations.

As a small city-state, Singapore has maintained the vibrancy of its society by enabling the global flow of goods, ideas, capital and people, said Mr Heng.

The pandemic has disrupted physical connectivity but accelerated the rise of the virtual and knowledge economies.

To emerge stronger, Singapore must deepen its position as a global-Asia node, said Mr Heng. To do this, Singapore will restore physical connectivity and transform the aviation sector for recovery.

It will also expand digital connectivity and deepen the capacity to collaborate and innovate with partners around the world.

Investments To Support Businesses

The Government will invest in three platforms to support businesses.

The first is the Corporate Venture Launchpad. It will be piloted this year to drive new innovative ventures.

This will provide co-funding for corporates to build new ventures through pre-qualified venture studios, and will be useful for larger businesses that want to rekindle a startup mindset within their organisations.

Secondly, Open Innovation Platform (OIP) facilitates the matching of problems faced by companies and public agencies with solution providers, and co-funds prototyping and deployment.

Mr Heng said he will enhance the OIP with new features such as a cloud-based Digital Bench for accelerated virtual prototyping and testing.

Lastly, Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) serves to catalyse cross-border collaboration between Singapore and major innovation hubs globally.

Since its inception in 2017, over 650 students and about 780 Singapore businesses have taken part in innovation launchpads overseas, 40 per cent of which were in South-east Asia.

To support businesses in commercialising the fruits of their innovation, the Government is developing the Singapore Intellectual Property Strategy 2030, which will include equipping businesses with tools to value their intellectual property (IP) and intangible assets, and training skilled professionals in these fields.

Mr Heng said the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore will announce the details on World IP Day in April.

Featured Image Credit: MEDICI Global

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