This was first published in The Business Times on 30 Jan 2019
Move over Silicon Valley. Here comes Singapore, the new digital innovation hub of the world.
This imagination could soon be a reality if the country adopts the Internet of Things (IoT) to super-charge its trajectory of being a Smart Nation.
Through a network of internet-connected physical objects that can collect data automatically, IoT is already a phenomenon in Silicon Valley and is used in conjunction with cognitive computing to better
Singapore’s highly skilled workforce,
However, despite all of IoT’s potential, adoption by the private sector here has generally been slow, mainly because of high implementation costs and the lack of skills,
For IoT to really take off, the government could focus on two areas, mainly to develop the ecosystem and boost its adoption.
Firstly, more IoT-related innovation can be fostered by setting up a sandbox environment for virtual experimentation in regulated areas such as telcos, similar to the
For example, innovators could test-bed IoT applications such as using smartphones to link up with aspects of smart homes including remote control of electricity and IoT-enabled white goods.
To facilitate such innovation, tax deductions can be allowed on costs incurred for bringing in international technology experts and urban planners to pilot projects using Singapore talent and to facilitate local or overseas training for employees.
For IoT innovators, the potential for scaling up into regional expansion is already well-founded. The regional impetus is already in motion as seen by the setting up of the inter-government ASEAN Smart City Network by Singapore last year, in its capacity as chairman of ASEAN, to link up participating cities digitally across the region.
To plug into this regional scope, a Smart City Hub programme could be set up in Singapore to provide technology, capital, talent
To boost such regional expansion from Singapore, a concessionary tax rate of, say, 10
Other ways the government could develop the ecosystem include co-funding up to 50
For nascent start-ups and their investors, extending the Angel Investor Tax Deduction Scheme to projects backed by “smart capital” from technology funds, consortia investments and private equity with a pedigree in large-scale, public technology projects implementation would build the ecosystem for IoT to thrive.
Lastly, the government can enhance training subsidies to
Secondly, even with an established IoT ecosystem, more needs to be done to shift the mindset and convince existing industry players and potential entrants to make the transition into an IoT-powered world.
To drive greater IoT adoption, a 250
Furthermore, a 250
The government could also extend the Intellectual Property (IP) Development Incentive with a concessionary tax rate of 5
Lastly, it could further encourage industry partnerships in Smart Nation projects with a concessionary tax rate of 5
Taken in totality, these incentives and initiatives will allow Singapore to put itself at the forefront of IoT and build a stronger foundation to become the world’s next Silicon Valley.
The article was contributed by