Singapore companies can look forward to more partnership opportunities with Nanjing in innovation and sustainable urban management as the city increases its focus on sustainable living as part of its 13th Five-Year Plan. This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the Singapore Nanjing Eco Hi-Tech Island (SNEHTI). Moving forward, the Singapore Nanjing Cooperation Panel1 (SNCP) hopes to see more Singapore innovative startups and sustainable urban solutions companies using SNEHTI as a platform to increase their business footprint in Nanjing and China.
Said SMS Koh, Co-Chairman of SNCP, “The economic relations between Singapore and Nanjing have expanded beyond infrastructure development to include other aspects such as services and knowledge exchange. Building on the strong foundation developed, we see great potential for our companies to foster deeper collaborations in innovation, urban development solutions, and talent exchanges. The Singapore Nanjing Eco Hi-Tech Island will continue to be a key platform to drive such efforts.” The SNCP is a city-level platform under the Singapore-Jiangsu Cooperation Council (SJCC) set up to bolster bilateral cooperation in special projects in Nanjing.
Deepening collaboration in innovation and sustainable urban management
The SNEHTI has achieved good progress over the past 10 years, focusing on urban infrastructure development to attract high-tech companies, talents and residents. Singapore’s investments in SNEHTI have grown in the past five years, reaching US$1.89 billion in 2018. From 30% in 2014, it now accounts for 60% of the cumulative investment into Nanjing. The project’s next phase of development will focus on creating an innovation ecosystem centred on artificial intelligence (AI), water technology research & development (R&D) and application. Singapore and Nanjing companies can also leverage SNEHTI as a platform to test-bed ideas and develop new solutions in sustainable urban management.
Enhancing Singapore and Nanjing’s innovation ecosystem
The Action Community for Entrepreneurship Ltd (ACE) is partnering the Sino-Singapore Nanjing Eco Hi-tech Island Development Co., Ltd. (SNECO) to set up the ACE SingaporeNanjing International Centre on SNEHTI. Facilitated by Enterprise Singapore, this collaboration builds on an MOU signed at the last SNCP meeting in 2018.
The centre provides co-working spaces and business support services such as market advisory, mentorship programmes and networking opportunities to Singapore and foreign startups looking to expand into Nanjing. The centre, which opens this week, bolsters ACE’s ongoing efforts to drive innovation and to support Singapore SMEs and startups in Nanjing with its networks and resources.
ACE will also be working with partners to drive the exchange of knowledge and ideas between startups and enterprises. Enterprises in Nanjing can tap the ACE Regional Innovation Hub to gain access to over 25,000 startups and multiple innovation labs globally. This will drive the acceleration of startups and co-innovation of solutions in clean technology, advanced manufacturing, medical technology and water technologies between SNEHTI and ASEAN.
Conversely, Nanjing companies looking to expand into Southeast Asia can tap into Singapore’s connections and familiarity with the region. With a vibrant innovation and startup ecosystem, Nanjing companies can develop and test-bed new products and services in Singapore before rolling them out in the region.
Partnerships in sustainable urban management with strong focus on water
SHEHTI is shaping up to be a platform for international water technology companies, research entities and incubators to set up operations targeted at the Chinese market. Sembcorp Development’s International Water Hub (IWH) will be completed in 2019. This will provide more test-bedding facilities and opportunities for Singapore and international companies to develop and pilot innovative water solutions in Nanjing.
To develop a strong water ecosystem within the IWH, Enterprise Singapore is also working with organisations in the public and private sectors to help Singapore-based water technology companies expand into Nanjing. These organisations include the Singapore Water Association, Nanjing Bureau of Commerce and Jiangsu International Environmental Development Center. In April 2019, Enterprise Singapore led a mission trip for companies in this sector, and many have deals in discussion.