Singapore-Australia cooperation on science and technology takes off ; Landing Pad start-up accelerator is latest initiative in strategic partnership

 

The Singapore Government has also boosted co-investment support for promising start-ups specialising in deep-technology, such as medical technology, clean technology and advanced manufacturing and engineering. “Collectively, we expect these initiatives to further boost the local start-up scene by attracting local and foreign entrepreneurs to use Singapore as a launch pad for the Asian market,” said Mr Iswaran.

Besides increasing entrepreneurial activity and venture funding, a critical factor for innovation is the “free flow and exchange of information and ideas between individuals, companies, institutions and countries”.

Singapore’s start-up ecosystem has developed considerably over the last decade.

The total number of start-ups in Singapore more than doubled from 22,000 in 2003 to 48,000 in 2015. In particular, the number of high-tech startups increased from 2,800 to about 4,800 over the same time period, noted Mr Iswaran.

Citing the example of homegrown start-up Invitrocue, the Minister for Industry emphasised that the quality of local start-ups has improved with the significant increase in the number and aggregate value of start-up exits. Invitrocue, a medtech firm which has developed technologies to help pharmaceutical companies determine which vaccines, products or devices are safe for humans before starting clinical testing, listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in January last year, after four years of operations.

Invitrocue executive director Steven Fang told TODAY that the company has benefited significantly from the Singapore-Australia government collaboration through access to market and strategic scientific collaboration with institutions such as the Genome Institute of Singapore and Australia’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, a leading cancer research institution.

The collaboration provided Invitrocue with a good foundation of credible clinical data to expand into markets in the United Kingdom, United States and parts of Europe, said Dr Fang.

In terms of funding, Invitrocue was able to access investors both in Singapore and Australia. In addition, the company was able to tap into top oncologists in both countries to significantly expand its Clinical Advisory Board, which assists in launching a global presence for its platforms.

 

Publication source: TODAY, 14 March 2017