From the tech news site Analytics Insight, a January 19 article provided an overview of the region’s recent growth trajectory. The article noted that, several Singapore government agencies have recently been established to support new businesses as a platform for creating growth and innovation in the region. Creation of the Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board, along with proximity to important growth markets -especially China-, make Singapore sound more desirable than other hubs.
Since 2018, Singapore has been ranked second in the world behind New Zealand for new business start-ups. The report highlights that Singapore is ranked sixth out of 190 countries for ease of starting a business. Meanwhile, enclaves like “Blk71” in the Ayer Rajah area and “The HUB” in Somerset are becoming breeding grounds for startup activity in Singapore.
Examples of the region’s success are on display its technology community. In August 2016, start-up nuTonomy became the first company in the world to publicly test driverless taxis guided by Artificial Intelligence (AI). In fact, the Port Authority of Singapore is working on driverless trucks at its shipping terminal, while visitors to Gardens by the Bay are enjoying tours on the self-driving Auto Rider buses.
In June 2019, Minister for Communications and Information, S Iswaran, announced a Government funding of S$40 million (US$29.3 million) to support 5G research and innovation and develop the country as a 5G innovation hub. The nation has also tested its biometrics ideas with National Digital Identity (NDI) project, under which centralized biometrics identification system will be implemented to hold biometric information of Singaporean citizens, including fingerprints, iris and facial and voice records.
The government continues to work on to building an artificial intelligence (AI) hub in the country by developing a dedicated data science consortium. It also launched the Singapore Blockchain Innovation Programme (SBIP), intending to help companies commercialize blockchain technology.
Tech News writer Preetipadma wrote that “this year, the German vertical farming venture, &ever, will open a plant and R&D center in Singapore, with plans to produce an annual 500 tons of vegetables and herbs. Even Agency for Science, Technology and Research, has agreed to establish a Food Tech Innovation Center with state-owned investment group Temasek Holdings.”
In 2020, The Singapore Economic Development Board announced a new initiative of offering ‘Tech Visas’ to tech entrepreneurs and enthusiasts with industry expertise to join the country’s tech ecosystem. This initiative is an extension of the Tech@SG initiative that was introduced in 2019, which aimed to support the expansion of companies with high potential in Singapore.