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Singapore rolls out Open Innovation Platform to support innovative solutions

On 21 May, it was announced that Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will implement an Open Innovation Platform (OIP) to provide companies with better access to business needs and opportunities.

First mentioned in the Budget 2018-19 earlier this year, the OIP aims to facilitate innovation and narrow the gap between research and commercialisation. It is one of the measures through which the Singapore Government foster pervasive innovation.

The Platform is supported by a structured innovation process from ideation to commercialisation, as well as a physical innovation facility at PIXEL that can support rapid prototyping and other innovation activities.

As a virtual crowd-sourcing platform, the OIP aims to achieve the following:

(1)    Provide Singapore-based companies and sectors with access to multi-disciplinary talent, expertise, and technology to accelerate their digitalisation efforts,

(2)    Provide Singapore ICM companies with access to regional business needs and opportunities to co-create, develop and bring to market exportable and innovation solutions, and

(3)    Catalyse innovation capacity by anchoring and developing vibrant community of problem owners and solvers in Singapore.

On one hand, problem owners including trade associations, SMEs, government sector leads, and Singapore-based companies will be able to tap on a wide community through the OIP to solve their business problems.

They can propose innovation challenges at various stages:

(1) Ideation, where problem owners seek new innovative ideas to address a specific problem, typically requiring a written proposal with potential implementation option,

(2) Proof-of-Concept, where problem owners seek the ability to demonstrate the technical viability of key concepts or features within the proposed solution, typically occurred in a lab setting or as an isolated exercise, and

(3) Prototype, where problem owners seek a demonstration of a working prototype tested in an intended or simulated environment, which could be extended into a larger pilot deployment.

On the other hand, IMDA will work with Singapore-based ICM companies, researchers from research institutes and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), or other regional problem solvers to bring in relevant expertise.

Through the OIP, problem solvers will have access to real business needs articulated to potential customers, and the opportunity to co-create solutions. A prize award would be given for each challenge posted on the OIP. The amount of prize money is determined by the problem owner and is only awards to the problem solver if the solution meets the evaluation criteria and is selected by the problem owner via the OIP platform.

The OIP will be launched by mid-2018, together with the first Challenge Call. Over 20 organisations have already committed to come on-board the OIP programmes as IMDA’s supporting partners.

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