Budget 2019, targeted support for Business Innovation, Transformation and Expansion

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Various measures have been announced in Budget 2019 that aim to help businesses thrive in the ever-evolving global landscape. It is exciting to hear that the Government is placing even greater emphasis on encouraging our SMEs to embrace innovation and adopt technology to increase productivity. The positioning of Singapore as the Global-Asia node of technology, innovation and enterprise


The targeted budget provides integrated measures to enable our businesses to transform through initiatives such as SMEs Go Digital Programme,  Automation Support Package, and extension of grants such as Enterprise Development Grant and Productivity Solution Grant. It is also interesting to see the introduction of the Innovation Agent Programme which allow enterprises to tap on experienced industry experts for advice on innovation and commercialisation opportunities.

On the startup front, Singapore’s startup ecosystem has been growing steadily over the last few years, therefore it is very timely to support the high-potential high-growth startups with their internalisation effort. Adding to the Global Innovation Alliance initiatives announced last year, we welcome the new Scale-up Programme initiative and believe such support would provide strategic push in helping our high-potential startups internationalise.


Starting from 2018, ACE has been actively building a connected startup ecosystem across 15 cities covering ASEAN and beyond. This network comprises active like-minded ecosystem developers and over 25,000 startups and innovators. We will also be announcing soon the opening of our new ACE Centres in two cities that would serve as landing pads for Singapore companies. We look forward to hearing more details about the Scale-up programme and to collaborate with agencies such as Enterprise Singapore to support high-potential startups’ expansion through our market access programme.


ACE has also been conducting Digital Transformation Exchange and driving Corporate Startups co-innovations. While we believe this would encourage enterprises to take the first steps towards co-innovating with startups, it is also important to note that not many companies have in-house innovation talents to facilitate iterative innovation. It will be worthwhile besides having access to Innovation Agents for advice, to see greater support in helping companies train and upskill internal innovation and change managers so that companies can implement and operationalise sustainable innovation activities.


With the launch of our Regional Innovation Hub initiatives along-side ACE connected startup ecosystem,  we believe there will be many exciting opportunities for our enterprises and startups to scale regionally. We welcome the various measures highlighted in Budget 2019, and we are very optimistic that these measures will contribute to the building of an even more vibrant business ecosystem.



(Image source: gov.sg)


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