SGInnovate To Launch Singapore Into AI & Robotics Space

SGInnovate will focus on areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics, digital health, financial services, smart energy, digital manufacturing and transportation.

AsianScientist (Nov. 23, 2016)SGInnovate, Singapore’s concerted effort to take deep technology to the world, was launched on Tuesday to great fanfare.

The crowd of researchers, innovators, venture capitalists and industry mentors was treated to a dramatic opening video sequence at 32 Carpenter Street, a six-storey building in town that will be SGInnovate’s official headquarters.

In attendance was guest-of-honor Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, Ms. Yong Ying-I, Chairman of SGInnovate, and Mr. Steve Leonard, Founding CEO of SGInnovate.

Wholly owned by the Singapore government, SGInnovate will connect tech entrepreneurs with industry mentors and venture capitalists, and provide support for business plan development, sources of funding, and go-to-market efforts.

Tharman encouraged budding entrepreneurs in the room to create deep technology that had global applications.

“I hope the entrepreneurs who pass through these halls, and indeed SGInnovate itself, will learnt to fail fast, learn fast and pivot fast, and in so doing, achieve your ultimate goal—to solve the world’s most difficult problems and improve the lives of people around the world,” Tharman said.

A group wefie at the launch of SGInnovate with guest-of-honor DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
A group wefie at the launch of SGInnovate with guest-of-honor DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Value creation for a global audience

SGInnovate, which was announced earlier this year as part of the Budget 2016, falls under the National Research Foundation of Singapore. It was formerly known as Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd, the venture investment arm of the former Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore.

Here at 32CS, which is short for 32 Carpenter Street, engineers and research scientists from the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, McLaren Applied Technologies, NVIDIA and Ethereum will work side-by-side with researchers from varsity partners National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Institute of Technology and Singapore University of Technology and Design.

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, which is represented at SGInnovate by its subsidiary, IP Value Lab, will help founders protect their innovations and identify commercialization opportunities.

SGInnovate has also partnered UK-based Entrepreneur First to launch the inaugural Singapore EF program, a full-time, six-month-long program that began in September 2016. Nearly half of the 55-member cohort are PhD students and post-doctoral fellows from local universities.

Young entrepreneurs will also benefit from upcoming initiatives such as AI Evenings @ SGInnovate, which will be supported by partners such as NVIDIA and McLaren Applied Technologies, and MIT Hacking Medicine, which will be co-organized with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 10-12 February 2017.

“Our basic premise at SGInnovate is simple: we believe that Singapore has all of the resources that it needs to build globally relevant products and globally relevant companies,” Leonard said at the launch. “We believe that we have the capabilities; we just need to find ways to work together to better use those capabilities.”


Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photos: SGInnovate.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Asian Scientist Magazine is an award-winning science and technology magazine that highlights R&D news stories from Asia to a global audience. The magazine is published by Singapore-headquartered Wildtype Media Group.

Related Stories from Asian Scientist