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Speech By SPS Tan Wu Meng at Hello Tomorrow Singapore Regional Summit, at the National Museum Of Singapore

Speech By SPS Tan Wu Meng at Hello Tomorrow Singapore Regional Summit, at the National Museum Of Singapore

H.E. Marc Abensour, Ambassador of France to Singapore, 

Mr Ernest Xue, Head of Hello Tomorrow Singapore, 

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning.

I am pleased to join you today at the inaugural Hello Tomorrow Singapore Regional Summit.

Strong synergies between the innovation ecosystems of France and Singapore.

France and Singapore may be more than 10,000 kilometres apart, but we have much in common in the area of innovation. Both our countries share the aim of deepening innovation to drive the future of our economies. French companies recognise that there are strong synergies between our innovation ecosystems. Close to 2,000 of them have operations here. Many manage extensive innovation activities across Asia from their base in Singapore. 

To celebrate the growing number of innovation partnerships between our two countries, we designated 2018 as the France-Singapore Year of Innovation (YOI). And this year we forged even more innovation links between our two countries. Joint laboratories in deep tech areas such as nanotechnology and quantum research, as well as the promotion of student exchanges. 

Hello Tomorrow Singapore is good example of a ground-up movement in the spirit of Year Of Innovation. It has built links across geography and ecosystems. Hello Tomorrow Singapore was launched in May this year as the regional chapter, covering Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, for Hello Tomorrow – a global non-profit organisation founded seven years ago in France to accelerate deep tech research and entrepreneurship. Today’s Summit is the first major event organised by Hello Tomorrow in the region. It shows France and Singapore’s commitment to deepen ties, through knowledge sharing and collaborations between our innovation ecosystems and communities.

Singapore places a high importance on deep tech innovations. 

Since its launch, Hello Tomorrow Singapore has been working closely with key partners here to grow the deep tech ecosystem. Business model innovations can bring about benefits, such as the sharing economy enabled by mobile apps. But business models alone may not be able to solve tomorrow’s challenges. Deep tech will be needed to tackle challenges such as sustainable energy generation, storage and distribution; new modes of transportation in future cities; electronic-waste and toxic waste plastics management. The entrepreneurs of tomorrow will need the science and tech of tomorrow.

However, deep tech needs significant efforts in research and development, product design and trials. It also needs deep skills in cutting-edge areas such as new materials and robotics. Some of these areas will need innovation in regulations too. 

This is why in Singapore, we believe in building a deep tech environment that supports innovation, underpinned by an ecosystem which is pro-enterprise. Our regulatory sandboxes create space to experiment, to innovate, to thrive. This will help Singapore compete, harnessing innovation to grow our economy and improve people’s lives.

The Hello Tomorrow Singapore Regional Summit is a useful platform to encourage collaborations.

Deep tech is not just drilling deep. It is also about cracking the barriers between narrow silos. Today, some of the most interesting and ground-breaking innovations take place at the intersections. Different fields and specialisations meeting. Different skills meeting. And all of it combining to create something completely different.
So I am glad to see diversity in our participants – researchers, entrepreneurs, corporate innovators, policymakers and investors. This regional summit is also a platform for key stakeholders in the deep tech ecosystem to exchange perspectives and encourage discussions on using deep tech to solve new challenges, while connecting with potential collaborators across the region. 

In conclusion, I hope that today will be the start of many new conversations and collaborations in deep tech. I understand that there will be many panel discussions later on topics ranging from Future Cities, Food and Agriculture, to Industry 4.0 and Healthcare. I wish the participants of the Hello Tomorrow Southeast Asia Finals all the best as they showcase their best deep tech innovations in their pitches later today.  Keep imagining, keep innovating, and keep on inventing tomorrow!

Thank you.

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