In line with the recommendation of the Committee On the Future Economy (CFE) report earlier this year to strengthen Singapore’s innovation ecosystem and build capabilities to help enterprises innovate and scale up, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) announced a series of initiatives in collaboration with partners in the business and finance community.
Mr. Daren Tang, Chief Executive of IPOS, said, “Our focus must shift to IP commercialisation, to allow our enterprises to use IP strategically for growth and global expansion. We are also working with partners from various sectors who are likewise focused on enterprise growth and aligned with our vision of IP. With these new areas of focus, IPOS will evolve beyond our traditional role as an IP registry and regulator to become an innovation agency.”
One billion Dollar innovation fund – “from Singapore and through Singapore” approach
IPOS and home-grown private equity firm, Makara Capital have launched a S$ 1 billion fund to help innovators and enterprises translate their ideas into assets and support their expansion into world markets using Singapore as a base.
The Makara Innovation Fund (MIF) will invest in small-to-mid cap companies from anywhere in the world, including Singapore, that demonstrate proven and defensible intellectual property/technology, differentiated sector positioning, strong management and pan-Asian growth potential.The average ticket size of investments would be S$30 million to S$150 million.
The fund will focus on urban solutions (logistics, security, waste management, etc.), advanced technologies (AI, big data, cybersecurity, nanotech, etc.), fintech, alternative energy, healthcare and bio-med.
Updates to the IP Hub Master Plan
The IP Hub Master Plan was released in 2013 to develop Singapore as a global IP hub in Asia for IP Transactions and Management, Quality IP Filings and IP Dispute Resolution.. To support the CFE’s recommendations, IPOS and the Ministry of Law have updated the Master Plan.
Recommendations have been made to address gaps in the areas of IP creation, protection and commercialisation, along the verticals of expertise, regime and marketplace. For example to address the high cost of IP enforcement, cost effective options for businesses for IP dispute resolution have to be enabled. To meet the need for stronger returns from R&D investments, a national IP protocol and whole-of-government Master Research Collaboration Agreement (MCRA) can be developed.
It is estimated that the initiatives in the IP Hub Master Plan will inject at least 1.5 billion dollars value-add into the national economy over the next five years. The number of skilled IP experts will be doubled to 1,000 over five years to support the growing demand for innovation expertise. Other targets include achieve efficiency ratio rank of 65 in WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) Global Innovation Index in 5 years and helping 1,500 companies understand the value of their IP by 2019. Singapore was ranked 6th in the 2016 Global Innovation Index, with a score of 59.6.
Engagements with companies will be stepped up to help local innovators and businesses identify and understand their IP, and use it for growth and expansion.
Access to IP knowhow and tools
MoU with Singapore Business Federation
IPOS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) to collaborate in driving enterprise growth through IP and innovation. The MoU will help SBF’s 25,000 member companies to build IP awareness and competencies. They will also gain direct access to IPOS’ suite of IP services, such as training, executive education and complimentary IP clinics.
SBF and IPOS will jointly organise annual IP and innovation seminars and events to promote the understanding and appreciation of IP and innovation amongst Singapore-based businesses and enterprises. IP-related content, including case studies and commentary stories will be shared by IPOS and SBF to help local enterprises understand how value can be extracted from their intangible assets.
SBF and IPOS will collaborate on research projects and studies and they will collaborate to help companies take their IP abroad. SBF and IPOS will collaborate on programmes and events to help companies take their IP abroad.
Collaboration with an international IP management consultancy firm
Plans were announced for collaboration between IP ValueLab, the enterprise engagement arm of IPOS and EverEdge Global Ltd, an international IP management consultancy firm.
As part of the collaboration, 150 local innovative enterprises will be provided intensive and customised assistance on IP strategy, management and commercialisation over the next three years to help them in their long-term growth and expansion plans.
A new, self-help business portal, www.ipvaluelab.com.sg, will be launched for innovators and companies to access a repository of IP business guides and diagnostic toolkits, so that they can access requisite know-how and tools without additional costs. These resources are expected to help business owners understand the value of their technology, brands, content and databases in a simple and yet strategic manner.
Read the press release here.