A*Star to drive tech adoption by providing SMEs access to facilities

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) will be giving companies access to 17 advanced manufacturing facilities under a new scheme set to kick in this September. The aim is to spur the manufacturing sector towards adopting technology.

The agency projected that there will be between 200 and 300 bookings over a year for these facilities, including access to the equipment and training expertise, Todayonline reported on April 24, 2017. 

Photo courtesy: ornl.gov
Photo courtesy: ornl.gov

The Tech Access scheme was announced during the Singapore Budget 2017. It aims to support Singapore companies, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector, in using advanced machine tools for prototyping and testing. 

“For an SME, the last thing you want is to spend a few million dollars buying the latest equipment, only to find out later on that it doesn’t pay back" said Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman, A*Star. "You want to be able to sense whether this is a good investment.”

Photo courtesy: Wikipedia
Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

He added that the Tech Access scheme allows SMEs to “go through” this “journey”, and if they are convinced, “hopefully they’ll migrate and have their own equipment onsite and on their own manufacturing facility”.

The focus on manufacturing was in tandem with the recommendation by the Government’s Committee on the Future Economy - that Singapore maintained a “globally competitive” manufacturing sector at around one-fifth of the Gross Domestic Product, added Lim. “To encourage multinational corporations (MNCs) to continue to pick Singapore as a choice location for their high-value manufacturing activities, we must be a first mover in growth sectors, and a location where they can pilot and test-bed cutting-edge technologies,” Lim said. 

Kareyst Lin
Kareyst Lin – Senior Correspondent

Kareyst has experience in writing about B2B technology for Computerworld Singapore, MIS Asia and CIO Asia; and on government technology for GCIO Asia. Her pet areas are artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and smart cities - these are fueled by her obsession with sci-fi movies and philosophy of mind. An active Yoga practitioner and cat lover, with a background in Indian philosophy, subaltern and diaspora studies.


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