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Speech by Minister Gan Kim Yong at the Global Innovation Summit 2021

Speech by Minister Gan Kim Yong at the Global Innovation Summit 2021

Dr Margarete Schramböck, Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs, Austria, 

Dr Ulrich Schuh, Eureka Chairperson and President, Eureka Association,

Dr Henrietta Egerth, General Manager, Austrian Research Promotion Agency,

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

1. Good evening. I am pleased to join you virtually, to formalise Singapore’s entry into the Eureka Network as an Associate Country, under Austria’s chairmanship. 

Significance of the Eureka Network 

2. Our participation in the Eureka Network comes at a juncture where not just innovation, but co-innovation, has become more crucial than ever. 

a. Since its founding in 1985, Eureka has facilitated more than 7,000 international collaborations, and catalysed total public-private investment of more than 48 billion euro. 

b. Eureka programmes have also enabled market-oriented innovation, connecting the best of businesses, talent, and ideas, from around the world. 

3. Singapore’s partnership with Eureka has seen a strong start. 

a. We have launched two successful Eureka GlobalStars Singapore Calls, for cross-border joint innovation projects. 

b. In particular, the second call launched last year garnered strong industry interest, drawing more than 80 applications from 14 participating countries. This made it the largest Eureka GlobalStars Call, out of eight previous editions.

4. The Eureka Network complements two key thrusts in our innovation strategy, as Singapore aspires towards becoming a Global-Asia node of technology, innovation, and enterprise.

Fostering a trusted and vibrant business environment for innovation 

5. First, Singapore is committed to fostering a trusted and vibrant business environment, where our businesses and workers are empowered to innovate. 

6. Singapore has always competed not on size or physical resources, but on our intangible capabilities.

a. Our transparent and progressive regulations;
b. Our strong protection of intellectual property;
c. And our physical and digital connectivity to the world; 
d. These enablers allow businesses to anchor in Singapore, while accessing a global pool of capital, talent, and opportunities. 

7. We have also spared no efforts in investing in our R&D capabilities. Under the Research, Innovation, and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 Plan, we will commit S$25 billion, or around 15 billion euro, over the next five years.

8. Through the Eureka Network, our global partners can tap on Singapore’s vibrant innovation ecosystem. 

9. For Singapore businesses, this is an opportunity to entrench themselves in the global R&D value chain, through co-innovation with international partners. 

a. One example is Singapore solutions provider, GUUD1. As part of the 2019 Eureka GlobalStars-Singapore Call, GUUD partnered T-Mining, a Belgium startup, to develop technologies for the secure exchange of trade documents.

b. Their pilot solution targets the 1,000 Belgian SMEs exporting to Singapore, and could subsequently be scaled to the wider Asian and European markets. 

10. Our participation in Eureka programmes also forms part of the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA). Through its Acceleration Programmes and Co-Innovation Programmes, the GIA catalyses cross-border collaboration between Singapore and major innovation hubs globally.

11. We welcome Eureka members to leverage Singapore as a launchpad to Southeast Asia, wider Asia, and the world. 

Deepening our international partnerships to reach new frontiers of innovation  

12. Second, we will continue to deepen our international partnerships, to reach new frontiers of innovation.

13. Singapore has robust and longstanding ties with all Eureka members. 

a. The EU is amongst Singapore’s top four trading partners2,  and is Singapore’s second largest investor and investment destination3.  

b. Singapore companies are also active in many of the other Eureka member markets, such as Russia, Israel, and Turkey. 

14. Strong collaboration in R&D and innovation is a hallmark of our relations. For instance, over 18,000 European businesses are based in Singapore, many of whom have set up dedicated innovation hubs here.

15. Amidst the pandemic, countries must grow and deepen capabilities for collaborative innovation. 

16. There remain many opportunities, especially in emerging growth areas that are transforming the global economy.

a. These areas include the digital economy, the green economy, and advanced manufacturing. 

b. Over the past two Eureka GlobalStars-Singapore calls, we received strong interest from companies keen to co-develop new solutions in all three domains.

c. We will continue to work with Eureka partners, to support more of such co-innovation proposals. 

Conclusion

17. To conclude, co-innovation and collaboration are critical to global recovery and growth. 

18. We are proud to play a part in the Eureka Network, and look forward to strengthening our partnership, as we build a more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive global economy together. 

19. Thank you and I wish everyone a fruitful Summit. 

 

Notes

[1] Previously known as vCargo Cloud. 

[2] The EU was Singapore’s 2nd largest trading partner for services in 2019, and 4th largest trading partner for goods in 2020. 

[3] As at end-2019. 

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