- New Carbon Zero category supports Singapore’s sustainability agenda
- IMDA expands Tech Acceleration Lab to enterprises to accelerate growth of Singapore’s tech ecosystem
- SGTech partners Enterprise Singapore, AI Singapore and Workforce Singapore to bolster support for local SMEs and startups
SINGAPORE – 23 AUG 2023
1. Fourteen organisations were recognised as Singapore’s top tech trail blazers at the fifth edition of the Techblazer Awards Ceremony. Jointly organised by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and SGTech, the winners received their awards from the Minister for Communications and Information, Mrs. Josephine Teo, and other reputable industry leaders, at a prestigious celebration of Singapore’s best innovators on Wednesday evening.
More than 330 submissions for the 5th Edition of the Techblazer Awards
2. The Techblazer Awards, the nation’s highest accolade for tech innovation saw more than 330 submissions, with more than 50% of the submissions coming in for the “Most Promising Innovation” award category and approximately 15% for the new “Carbon Zero” award category. Ten companies and four student teams emerged as winners in four award categories – Most Promising Innovation, Best Adoption, Student Techblazer and Carbon Zero. The introduction of the “Carbon Zero” award category in this year’s edition highlights the pivotal role that technology assumes in achieving Singapore’s national agenda of long-term net zero emissions.
3. The winners reflected a concerted effort by nominees to leverage frontier technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet-of-Things (IoT), Big Data, Cybersecurity, Digital Trust, Enterprise Platforms and Quantum Computing.
4. Mr Justin Ang, Assistant Chief Executive for Media, Innovation, Communications & Marketing, IMDA, said, “Since Techblazer’s first edition in 2018, we have seen tremendous growth in the award submissions and the innovativeness of tech solutions by our local tech start-ups. As a fellow judge, I am thrilled to see the increasing calibre of Singapore’s tech start-ups participating in the awards, signalling the maturity and development of our nation’s tech start-up ecosystem. With Techblazer Awards as a springboard, we look forward to the winning companies moving into the next phase of their growth journey.”
5. Mr Wong Wai Meng, SGTech Chair, said, “The participants in this year's Techblazer Awards have showcased a remarkable synergy of innovation and collaboration, standing as a testament to the vibrancy of our tech ecosystem. Their relentless pursuit of excellence has resulted in solutions that harness the full potential of cutting-edge technologies and have far-reaching implications for their respective industries and Singapore's technology landscape. SGTech is committed to supporting companies on their innovation and digitalisation journey, regardless of size or industry. Fostering innovation is a collective endeavour, and we are dedicated to providing the necessary guidance, resources, and connections to empower companies and continue propelling Singapore's tech ecosystem to new heights.”
6. The awards also highlighted the innovativeness of tech start-ups supported by IMDA’s Accreditation and Spark Programmes, with IMDA’s portfolio companies winning top awards in the “Carbon Zero” and “Most Promising Innovation” categories.
7. An accredited company by IMDA, Accredify, for instance, clinched the Gold award in the “Most Promising Innovation” category for its digital trust solution that enables organisations to engage in trusted information exchange by leveraging the blockchain to create and issue instantly verifiable digital documents that are traceable back to the source. With a rise in AI-driven deep fake or fraudulent information, Accredify’s innovative solution is leading the way in addressing this new need for digital trust tech that provides any receiver of information instant data that can be verified and trusted.
8. Another company under IMDA’s Spark programme, VFlowtech, won the new “Carbon Zero” category for its revolutionary PowerCube solution which showcases a modular, cluster-based design that provides an efficient energy storage solution at all operating conditions. Embracing the power of innovation for a greener, more sustainable energy future, VFlowtech’s solution endeavours to optimise energy efficiency for data centres in tropical climates through its proprietary chemical mixture that enables high-temperature operation without the need for active cooling.
IMDA and SGTech’s continued efforts to accelerate the growth of Singapore’s tech ecosystem9. As one of the leading start-up hubs in the region, Singapore is home to more than 4,000 tech start-ups, 400 venture capital firms, and 200 incubators and accelerators. To continue nurturing this vibrant tech ecosystem, IMDA and SGTech are introducing new initiatives.
Private sector enterprises to benefit from IMDA’s Tech Acceleration Lab
10. To accelerate the growth of our enterprise tech start-ups, IMDA launched the Accreditation and Spark Programmes in 2014 and 2018 respectively. These programmes have benefited more than 190 companies with more than 3,300 projects won in both Government and Enterprise sectors. Enterprise technology product start-ups that have been accredited by IMDA have out-performed industry norms and quadrupled their revenue during their time in the programme. To date, more than S$1.1 billion of new growth capital has been invested in IMDA’s portfolio start-ups with 21 of these start-ups exiting through Merger & Acquisitions or IPOs.
11. Supported under IMDA’s Accreditation and Spark programmes, the Tech Acceleration Lab (TAL) was launched in 2021 to help Singapore-based enterprise technology product companies accelerate and seamlessly transition from initial Proof-of-Concept (PoC) for Government projects to successful deployment.
12. Since the launch of the TAL programme in 2021, 29 companies have been onboarded and has successfully completed 46 Government PoCs. With the success of TAL Government, IMDA is expanding TAL to the enterprise segment, which faces similar challenges as Government PoCs, as announced by Minister for Communications and Information, Mrs Josephine Teo. Since the initial launch in January 2023, there has been good traction with eight companies onboarded, with 12 PoCs completed and eight currently in progress.
13. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is also working with IMDA to provide technical resources and dedicated support for co-selling opportunities via the AWS Marketplace.
SGTech launches three initiatives to support Singapore SMEs and startups in skills knowledge exchange, sustainability and generative AI
14. In collaboration with Enterprise Singapore, the Business-Business (B2B) Mentoring Programme will facilitate meaningful skills and knowledge exchange within SGTech’s dynamic business networks by connecting emerging talents with seasoned business leaders and tech experts. Over the next three years, SGTech aims to facilitate at least 300 mentorships, cultivating a culture of continuous learning and advancement. The B2B Mentoring Programme boasts an esteemed pool of over 100 mentors from diverse domains, including Business Leadership, Digital Transformation, Cybersecurity, Cloud Services, Finance, Social Media Marketing, and more.
15. 50 exclusive mentee slots are reserved for Techblazer Awards participants, offering personalised mentorship matching tailored to their unique business and personal growth aspirations. Interested Techblazer Awards participants are encouraged to initiate the application process by the close of 2023.
16. SGTech has developed the Sustainability Guided Programme (SGP), designed in consultation with government, practitioners, and veteran consultants. This initiative is supported by Enterprise Singapore to help non-listed Singapore SMEs take their first steps towards drafting a full ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) report in compliance with standards accepted by Singapore and major overseas markets.
17. Priority access will be granted to the first 20 Techblazer Awards participants that apply. Participants can expect to use these reports as documentary proof of their sustainability efforts for commercial purposes, such as supporting green loan applications or bidding for contracts. Most importantly, the SGP starter package provides an analysis of a company’s current state and strategies to reduce its carbon emissions.
18. SGTech’s strategic partnership with AI Singapore aims to equip the local workforce with cutting-edge skills through the upcoming Large Language Model Application Developer Programme (LADP). This pioneering initiative aims to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to effectively leverage Large Language Models (LLMs) and develop LLM-powered applications to deploy them in their workplace.
19. SGTech is also actively working with Workforce Singapore to roll out new Career Conversion Programmes that will further facilitate seamless transitions for local workers seeking to enhance their skills in the field of Generative AI (GenAI). These programmes will provide structured on-the-job training to allow mid-career individuals from different domains to move into the dynamic world of AI applications. SGTech will be actively reaching out to Techblazer Awards participants, enabling them to be among the first beneficiaries of this GenAI upskilling initiative.