Overseeing the efforts in this area is the multi-agency IDM Programme Office (IDMPO) hosted by IMDA which coordinates efforts among agencies such as Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), Economic Development Board (EDB), International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).
With support from the National Research Foundation (NRF), the IDMPO puts in place funding initiatives that interlock the research & development (R&D) efforts to support Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), startups and Industry:
- i.ROCK (IDM Research Oriented Centres of Knowledge): Building world-class R&D capacity in local IHLs by partnering with the best research institutes in the world;
- i.JAM (IDM Jumpstart And Mentor): Fuelling grassroots innovation and entrepreneurship;
- IDM in Education: Harnessing IDM, Transforming Learners.
Through the investments of IDMPO, Singapore has been playing an important and increasingly visible role in the evolution of this next generation of interactive digital media.
Its i.JAM micro-funding initiative has steadily invested in over 250 startups, quite a number of which are maturing, capturing global attention and attracting investment from both multi-national companies as well as local mainstream companies looking to innovate. A US-based global research project that measures tech entrepreneurship called Start-up Genome has placed Singapore seventh-place among global startup ecosystems, the best showing within Asia.
IDMPO has also invested in establishing eight International Research Centres (IRCs), each with a distinctive focus in a different aspect of IDM, in partnership with NTU, NUS and SMU. These IRCs at our local universities are partnered with top-tier foreign university partners such as Carnegie-Mellon University, Tsinghua University and Keio University.
All these contribute to the emergence of a vibrant IDM ecosystem, with startups and IRCs forming the core of R&D. The next step is to pull together and demonstrate these R&D capabilities on a larger scale through IDM platforms.
These platforms, such as LiveLabs by SMU and SmartHub by StarHub, aim to marshall the nation’s resources as a live and societal-scale innovation testbed, where home grown and global IDM players can jointly develop, experiment with and launch their products and services.
IDMPO also provides funding support for startups who are interested to develop IDM R&D projects.