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.
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.”
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.