With the global roll out of COVID-19 vaccines, hope is on the horizon for nations and economies across the world. However, the route to recovery will be uneven and uncertain across sectors and geographies. We must move fast and Re-imagine what our businesses and enterprises will need so that they can fully seize the opportunities that lie ahead.
To support businesses to innovate, the Government will invest in three key platforms:
1. New Corporate Venture Launchpad
2. Enhanced Open Innovation Platform
3. Enhanced Global Innovation Alliance
The Corporate Venture Launchpad will be useful for larger businesses looking inward to generate innovative and creative ideas within their organisations.
The use of the new Discovery Engine and the Digital Bench under the Open Innovation Platform will enable better matching, which will in turn allow businesses to fasten development of prototypes and shorten time to market.
With the expansion of the coverage of the Global Innovation Alliance to more than 25 cities, businesses will be able to expand their outreach into more markets through partnerships in global hubs, tapping into expertise and insights of different markets.
The 3 key platforms will allow businesses to collaborate on a global scale and tap into a larger pool of resources and networks, to innovate, remain competitive and support vital areas of growth. Businesses should capitalise on these opportunities to embark on their next phase of innovation and growth.
The Venture Debt Programme under ESG’s Enterprise Financing Scheme (EFS) has been enhanced.
The Venture Debt Programme was introduced to:
The Venture Debt Programme, with the Government taking on a significant risk share of up to 70%, will provide funding for local companies to innovate, transform and fund new business initiatives, through venture debt.
Increase in cap on loan quantum
With the increase in the cap on loan quantum support from S$5 million to S$8 million, companies will be able to access additional financial capital for business expansion without any additional requirements.
Take advantage to scale up
Companies which are high growth startups can now consider additional avenues of growth and should definitely take advantage of this Programme to scale up their businesses.
Emerging Technology Programme
Digital Leaders Programme
Extending enhanced existing schemes
Mature enterprises, which are essentially non-start-ups - from SMEs to Large Local Enterprises (LLEs) - recognise that digital transformation is critical to ensure that they not only survive but emerge stronger from the crisis caused by COVID-19.
However, the most significant challenges they face are finding the guidance, capabilities and funding they need to successfully complete their transformation journeys.
This comprehensive approach plays a critical role not only in giving these enterprises the knowledge and expertise they need, but also providing funding support as they expand their business into new areas, and grow regionally and globally.
In particular, CTOaaS is a superb initiative that pools together experienced technology leaders to plug the knowledge gap for many SMEs as they chart their digital transformation roadmap and drive change.
With not one, but three new programmes to leverage, SMEs and LLEs have all the tools they need engage and compete internationally, which also results in elevating Singapore’s profile in the global value chain.
LLEs have faced significant challenges in obtaining private funding as investors are more cautious and selective in investments in today’s uncertain and volatile climate. This is in addition to financial institutions being more risk-averse in providing credit to investors.
This funding platform is timely to help LLEs obtain financing, especially those that are hard-hit by the pandemic and yet in need of funding support to transform their business models, such as those in the aviation and aerospace sectors. LLEs supported under this platform will be able to have a head start and gain competitive advantage when the economy recovers.
The platform could perhaps be tweaked to require selected LLEs to bring along SMEs in complementary sectors in their expansion plans and thus help in the development of the entire ecosystem.