Innovation & Technology

Overview 

Singapore as a Leader in Innovation and Technology in S.E.A.

4th

on the International Property Rights Index 20191

2nd

on the 2021 Bloomberg Innovation index2

1st

in Asia on the Global Innovation Index for 7th consecutive year3

1st

in Asia for IP protection according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report4

>7%

of the global space sector share5

488

industrial robots for every 10,000 workers6

Innovation is a key driver of the Singapore economy. The country is rapidly moving towards a smart nation, harnessing digital smart technologies to create new jobs and business opportunities to transform the way people live, work and play7.

This involves an abundance of ICT initiatives to support digital transformation, including but not limited to SMEs Go Digital, a programme to help SMES improve digital capabilities8 , the TechSkills Accelerator to develop a skilled ICT workforce9 , and the Open Innovation Platform, a virtual crowd-sourcing platform that matches real business challenges or digitalisation opportunities with problem solvers10

Reinforcing Singapore’s commitment to innovation, the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 plan will see the government pump in another $25 billion to support the development of a knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy and society11. Together, these initiatives pave the way for adoption of more deep tech and programmes like the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy, making the country a leading choice for related events in areas like robotics, space and ICT.

Why Hold Innovation & Technology Events in Singapore?

Connect With Leaders in Innovation 

Eighty out of the world’s top 100 tech firms have operations in the city, including Google, Facebook and Alibaba, as well as regional leaders like Garena, Grab and Razer12, many of which leverage on Singapore’s infrastructure to reach global markets.

Google set up its first data centre in Singapore in 2011, and by 2018 had expanded to three, while Alicloud based itself in Singapore to reach the Southeast Asia market. Today, Visa uses its Singapore-based transaction processing centre to serve both its regional and global networks13 and LinkedIn has set up its first international data centre here to handle all its Asia Pacific traffic14.

Companies like Siemens and ABB also have their key innovation centres in Singapore, and for its 50th anniversary in the country, Infineon Technologies announced the set-up of its global artificial intelligence (AI) innovation hub in Singapore15.

These are just a few of the many examples. As these captains of industry move operations to Singapore, organisers gain access to thought leaders across sectors to attend and speak at their events, which in turn is a strong draw for attendees across the globe.

Showcase the Fruits of Collaboration

The abundance of collaborations also offers opportunity to showcase the latest developments in tech and its impact across sectors. 

Besides global players like IBM16 and Huawei17 working with local partners in manufacturing and finance respectively to trial new technology, home-grown innovators and entrepreneurs are also co-innovating with public and private sector colleagues. Notable examples include: 

  • ADDO AI

    Builds end-to-end data-driven platforms for clients to use AI and machine learning to increase revenue and reduce costs.
  • ConnectedLife

    Worked with Intel to develop a smart home Internet of Things (IoT) sensor system. This includes using wearables to detect abnormalities and collect physiological information for analysis.
  • MeshMinds

    Worked with both the Singapore Tourism Board and local gallery Chan + Hori Contemporary to use AR to provide an immersive experience for the Atypical Singapore travelling exhibition.

More can only be expected with support from the country's world-class infrastructure for research and development. Key locations include one-north, Fusionopolis and for the media sphere, Mediapolis. Together, these centres ensure that event organisers who enter Singapore gain a foothold to both connections and content in innovation – no matter the industry they are targeting. 

Inspire a Growing Wave of Entrepreneurs

The start-up community in Singapore is thriving, doubling over the last decade or so to around 55,00018. Areas like Block 71 and Launchpad@one-north support collaboration between these companies, and there are a range of accelerators and venture capitalists to help businesses scale.

What this means is that organisers will find more than an eager audience on key topics like cybersecurity and FinTech – they will also find high demand for trade conferences that inspire change, promote exploration, risk-taking and the cultivation of entrepreneurial drive. 

Be Part of the Robotics Revolution 

Singapore’s size and ageing population have motivated the country to leverage on AI to fill the gaps in areas like healthcare, manufacturing and services.

Today, the country is pushing to become a leader in the use of AI and has the third highest adoption rates in the region19. This has trickled down to a focus on robotics, which is supported by the Launchpad Robotics Centre and funding of over S$450 million between 2016 to 2019 to develop the National Robotics Programme (NRP)20.

In manufacturing, Panasonic Singapore and the Precision Bearings and Automation (PBA) group are turning to robots to improve capabilities21. In hospitality, robot butlers are in use at Hotel Jen22 and M Social23. The healthcare sector is using wearables for rehabilitation of stroke patients, and has developed the SwabBot to carry out an automated nasal swabbing procedure that is safe, faster and more comfortable compared with manual swab tests24.

Event organisers will therefore benefit from the chance to showcase latest developments and case studies in AI and robotics, as well as to connect with the thought leaders driving the innovation. 

Gain a stake in the growing space industry

Singapore’s expertise and rapid growth of the space industry offers event organisers a chance to be part of an up and coming global sector.

We are now home to space companies across the satellite value chain. Over 30 companies call have based in Singapore, including a mix of established players like Singapore Space and Technology Association (SSTA) and Inmarsat, as well as promising start-ups like Addvalue Technologies, ST GeoInsights, and Astroscale 25.

More can be expected with the launch of project Cyclotron, a partnership between Singapore Space and Technology Limited (SSTL), and Cap Vista, the strategic investment arm of Defense Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), to allow commercialisation of space tech startups.26

By basing in Singapore, organisers gain access to companies at the forefront of a rapidly growing sector, which will attract similar players across the world. 

Get Inspired 

SFF X SWITCH

A week-long event that brings together the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) and the Singapore week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SWITCH) to strengthen the ecosystem for FinTech and deep tech. Draws innovators, investors, entrepreneurs and regulators from around the world to brainstorm about how to create a more financially inclusive and sustainable world. 

Read more >

TECHINNOVATION

Started in 2012, TECHINNOVATION brings together international and Singapore technology providers and seekers to explore technology and business collaboration opportunities through open innovation.

Read more >

Asia Tech x Singapore (ATxSG) 

Organised by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Informa Tech; and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), ATxSG combines Singapore’s Smart Nation Innovation Week and Informa Tech’s ConnecTechAsia into a single flagship tech platform for a series of conferences and marketplaces that provide insights to trends in business, tech and social impact.

Read more >

Echelon Asia Summit 

A gathering of the Asia Pacific’s brightest minds in tech to showcase innovative solutions. Offers a chance to network and collaborate with solutions providers and investors across the region. 

Read more >

Global Space and Technology Convention (GSTC)

Explores how satellite communication and data can transform urban cities, and its applications in areas like security, maritime surveillance and IoT.

Read more >

Footnotes

1 https://www.ipos.gov.sg/media-resources/singapore-ip-ranking

2 https://www.ipos.gov.sg/media-resources/singapore-ip-ranking

3 https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/singapore-retains-top-spot-as-asia-pacifics-most-innovative-nation

4 https://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/singapore-is-worlds-most-competitive-economy-world-economic-forum

5 https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/cnainsider/singapore-foray-space-race-budding-industry-satellite-boldly-go-13254892

6 https://www.gpc-gr.com/robotics-singapore/detail.php?seq=1

7https://www.smartnation.sg/why-Smart-Nation/transforming-singapore

8https://www.imda.gov.sg/programme-listing/smes-go-digital

9https://www.imda.gov.sg/programme-listing/TechSkills-Accelerator-TeSA

10 https://www.imda.gov.sg/programme-listing/open-innovation-platform

11 https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/singapore-spending-s25b-in-next-five-year-rd-plan

12 https://www.todayonline.com/big-read/big-read-tech-titans-converge-singapore-can-it-truly-become-asias-silicon-valley

13 https://www.visa.com.sg/about-visa/newsroom/press-releases/visa-expands-global-transaction-processing-with-facilities-in-singapore-and-united-kingdom.html

14 https://www.techinasia.com/linkedin-singapore-data-center

15 https://www.edb.gov.sg/en/about-edb/media-releases-publications/infineon-to-make-singapore-its-global-ai-innovation-hub-by-2023.html

16 https://www.zdnet.com/article/ibm-pulls-in-singapore-industry-partners-to-trial-5g-use-cases-for-manufacturing/

17 https://www.imda.gov.sg/-/media/imda/files/about/media-releases/2017/annex-c---strategic-partners-programme.pdf?la=en

18 https://www.edb.gov.sg/en/our-industries/industries-and-key-activities/innovation.html

19 https://www.cio.com/article/3292616/how-singapore-is-using-artificial-intelligence.html

20 https://www.gpc-gr.com/robotics-singapore/detail.php?seq=1

21 https://www.gpc-gr.com/robotics-singapore/detail.php?seq=1

22 https://www.businesstraveller.com/business-travel/2017/11/18/hotel-jen-adds-relay-robots-asia/

23 https://www.straitstimes.com/business/companies-markets/m-social-singapore-bags-awards-with-help-from-robot

24 https://www.singhealth.com.sg/news/tomorrows-medicine/robot-that-conducts-swab-tests-for-covid-19-is-safe-faster-and-more-comfortable-for-patients

25 https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/cnainsider/singapore-foray-space-race-budding-industry-satellite-boldly-go-13254892

26 https://www.sginnovate.com/news/5-space-tech-startups-sea-paving-way-beyond