Enterprise Singapore and Infocomm Media Development Authority launch one-stop gateway to promote open Innovation

The Open Innovation Network will feature innovation platforms to aggregate nationwide innovation challenges calling for tech solutions across diverse sectors in sustainable development, advanced manufacturing and engineering, and more

Singapore – 13 November 2019: Enterprise Singapore and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) jointly launched the Open Innovation Network (OIN) today, announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat at the Singapore Fintech Festival x Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnoloy (SFF x SWITCH). OIN is an online directory (www.openinnovationnetwork.sg) that will serve as a national gateway to feature open innovation challenges happening island-wide.

In line with the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 plan and Singapore Digital (SG:D) movement, the OIN encourages industry growth and transformation through open innovation and digitalisation.

Mr Edwin Chow, Assistant Chief Executive Officer (Innovation & Enterprise), Enterprise Singapore said, “Open innovation is an approach where larger companies first identify a market need, and then taps external sources - typically SMEs and startups - for innovative solutions. SMEs and startups get the opportunity to develop new products with a validated market need. Working with larger, more established companies will also help them build a good track record. ESG’s partnership with IMDA aims to build a more innovative culture amongst our enterprises, creating new and commercially-viable solutions for the global market. As a start, the Open Innovation Network will serve as the gateway for both problem owners and solution providers to plug into our ecosystem for partnerships. Eventually, we hope to scale this up to a regional platform.”

The OIN features various innovation platforms from corporates, government agencies, Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) and ecosystem enablers calling for tech and digital solutions across diverse domains. Solution providers including SMEs and startups with an innovative idea or technology can use the OIN to search for relevant problem statements to propose solutions to, and access co-development, test-bedding and market opportunities with major organisations. Corporates and agencies with pain points can also use the OIN to connect with partners within the ecosystem to embark on open innovation to discover new ideas and solutions.

An example is the TechInnovation Challenge1 organised by Intellectual Property Intermediary (IPI). 20 problem statements from corporates are featured on the OIN for large corporates to engage the innovation communities, and seek technology solutions and partnerships. Corporates such as Changi Airport Group and Rolls-Royce Singapore are utilising this platform to crowdsource solutions to address existing problems or enhance current operations.


Driving industry transformation through open innovation

Enterprise Singapore and IMDA are also scaling the impact of open innovation beyond the enterprise-level, to take on challenges posed by entire industry sectors. Enterprise Singapore and IMDA will collaborate with sector leads, such as TACs and other government agencies, to help identify these sector-level problem statements. Open innovation calls promote the development of new tech solutions that have potential to benefit the industry. SMEs and startups that developed the solutions can also strengthen their competitive edge by implementing them on a larger scale across a whole sector. 


IMDA’s Open Innovation Platform –matching challenges with digital solutions

In line with this, IMDA is scaling up its Open Innovation Platform2 (OIP) to include sector challenges for the first time, launching its latest innovation call today with challenges from the financial services, food manufacturing and Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) sectors. The OIP is also accessible on the OIN gateway.

This latest OIP innovation call will have 35 challenge statements with over S$1 million prize monies. Of these, at least 15 are sector-wide problem statements led by the Singapore Manufacturing Federation, Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers and Investment Management Association of Singapore.

Mr Howie Lau, Chief Industry Development Officer, IMDA said, “We are excited to scale up the OIP to offer sector-wide challenges for the first time. Now, our vibrant pool of Problem Solvers can tackle issues of a larger scale and deploy good solutions across sectors, contributing to Singapore’s digital economic transformation. Our partnership with Enterprise Singapore allows us to build on the traction of our OIP to support the Whole-of-Government digital transformation and Services 4.0 efforts."


Inaugural Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge

Enterprise Singapore is launching an inaugural Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge, a cross-sectoral initiative in partnership with corporates3  and government agencies4. The call aggregates 14 problem statements spanning sustainability themes including resource efficiency, zero waste, green transport and sustainable built environment. The Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge5 can be accessed through the OIN. 

More efforts are in the pipeline to encourage and scale demand-led open innovation through the OIN. These include plans to on-board more local and overseas demand drivers and to connect them to local and overseas solution providers, developing industry resources to guide companies to embark on open innovation, and providing a comprehensive directory of open innovation enablers who can support corporates on their open innovation journeys.


1 More information on IPI’s TechInnovation Challenge available at https://www.ipi-singapore.org/innovation-challenges.

2 IMDA launched the Open Innovation Portal in 2018, a virtual crowd-sourcing platform to match business challenges with solution providers of technology expertise and innovation capabilities. To date, 102 challenges have been hosted over five innovation calls, involving over 5,000 solvers in the community and total prize monies of about S$3M.

3 Corporate partners include EM Services, ENGIE Factory, Haier Group, Pan Pacific Hotels Group, Resorts World Sentosa, Sembcorp Industries and YCH Group.

4 Government agencies include Housing & Development Board, Intellectual Property Intermediary, Jurong Town Corporation and National Environment Agency.

5 More information on Enterprise Singapore’s Sustainability Innovation Challenge available at sustainability.innovation-challenge.sg.  


Related Resources

Annex A: More details on IMDA’s fifth OIP Innovation Challenge (181.63KB) 


About Enterprise Singapore

Enterprise Singapore is the government agency championing enterprise development. We work with committed companies to build capabilities, innovate and internationalise. 
We also support the growth of Singapore as a hub for global trading and startups, and build trust in Singapore’s products and services through quality and standards. 
Visit www.enterprisesg.gov.sg for more information.

About the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission.

For more news and information, visit www.imda.gov.sg or follow IMDA on Facebook and Twitter @IMDAsg.

For media queries, please contact:

Enterprise Singapore

Ms Ong Shi Man
Corporate Communications
Tel: +65 6279 3849   
Email: ong_shi_man@enterprisesg.gov.sg

Infocomm Media Development Authority

Mr Patrick Lim
Communications and Marketing
Tel: +65 6202 4469
Email: patrick_john_lim@imda.gov.sg


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