Singapore has launched a series of seven National Innovation Challenges (NICs) to accelerate innovation efforts and help enterprises develop solutions to overcome challenges in the post-COVID world.
A joint effort by Enterprise Singapore (ESG), the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF), the NICs were announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in the Fortitude Budget.
They seek to catalyse partnerships across the economy by providing a platform for organisations to co-innovate and tackle immediate needs for safe reopening.
SGD40 million in funding has been dedicated to the NICs to ramp-up the development and adoption of solutions. Each challenge is allocated up to SGD 2 million.
Through this open innovation platform, companies and government agencies can gain access to a diverse pool of SMEs and startups with new solutions that can be applied across industries.
The round of open innovation calls extends seven challenge statements across five sectors – transport and logistics, built environment, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions), tourism, and maritime.
“We recognise the urgent need to accelerate innovation adoption and digitalisation across the Singapore economy. With the NICs, the government is taking an additional step in committing resources and prioritising the deployment and adoption of successful pilots across industry sectors," said Lew Chuen Hong, Chief Executive, IMDA.