A two-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed on June 19 between Singapore Exchange (SGX) and Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd (ETPL), the commercialisation arm of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) to help start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) tap on innovative technologies and capital more efficiently. A*STAR is the lead public sector agency in Singapore for mission-oriented research that advances scientific discovery and technological innovation.
SGX and ETPL will jointly identify companies with growth potential to help them access growth capital from private or public capital markets in Singapore efficiently. The partnership will also help start-ups and SMEs better translate their inventions and intellectual capital into marketable products, processes and services.
The selected enterprises can receive ETPL’s guidance in productisation and business development and tap on A*STAR’s multidisciplinary research and development (R&D) capabilities ranging from biomedical sciences to physical sciences and engineering.
SGX and ETPL will raise awareness amongst these fast growing innovative companies on the technology transfer opportunities in Singapore. SGX will organise forums on how the identified companies can raise capital and use Singapore as a springboard for entering into the Asia-Pacific region.
The partnership will also provide financial education to enterprises, which include A*STAR’s spin-offs and licensees. These education efforts will include offering insights into different channels of capital raising for growth, along with business models and industry outlooks.
The partnership is targeted at companies in the technology sector, including sub-sectors such as medtech, biotech, cleantech, digital tech and consumer tech.
It is expected to foster greater information sharing and engagement between the financial and technology communities, and allow technology companies to develop a keener appreciation of using Singapore’s capital markets as a source of funding and a platform to expand their businesses globally.
To facilitate the collaboration, six market professionals have committed to come onboard and provide professional support to the companies identified by ETPL and SGX. These organisations are: Catalist Sponsors SAC Capital Private Limited and UOB Kay Hian Private Limited, law firms Virtus Law LLP and WongPartnership LLP, and audit firms Deloitte Singapore and PwC Singapore.
Mr Chew Sutat, Head of Equities and Fixed Income, SGX, said, “Our partnership with ETPL is another step towards our vision of supporting innovative and high-potential businesses, bringing their ideas, technologies and growth plans to fruition. By marrying our capital markets expertise with ETPL’s technology commercialisation capabilities, we look forward to playing a part in nurturing competitive and future-ready companies and strengthening Singapore’s position as a technology hub.”
"Our strategic partnership with SGX enables us to deepen our R&D engagement with industry including our local enterprises, and increase the speed to market of emerging technologies. Access to finance and in-house technological capabilities continue to be key challenges for entrepreneurs in today’s increasingly competitive business environment. The SGX- ETPL partnership will leverage each other’s complementary strengths to address these challenges, and help grow a pipeline of quality enterprises and promising intellectual properties that deliver greater economic impact for Singapore," Mr Philip Lim, CEO of ETPL said.
In May 2017, Singapore Exchange (SGX) signed an Memorandum of Intent (MOI) with Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to lower the barriers for IMDA-accredited companies to access capital markets. Under the MOI, SGX is partnering with Accreditation@IMDA to identify and galvanise key parties in the financial ecosystem, to support the accredited companies in their IPO journey, by lowering information barriers and costs for them.
Read the press release here.