Singapore is creating a S$1 billion (€657 million) fund to help innovative companies develop their businesses and expand overseas as part of the city state’s drive to boost economic growth. The Makara Innovation Fund – a collaboration between the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and local private equity fund Makara Capital – will invest S$30 to S$150 million each in 10 to 15 companies with globally competitive technologies over the next eight years.

Interestingly, the measure is part of a strategy presented by the government-led Committee on the Future Economy which recommended that IPOS take a stronger role in driving innovation. The committee is tasked with charting Singapore’s growth path over the coming years.

“IPOS will build up from a regulator into an innovation agency,” said IPOS Chief Executive Officer Daren Tang. “This is a concrete and tangible way to show that Singapore can be a hub for intellectual property commercialization.” Is this a role that could be replicated by some of Europe’s national patent offices?

Singapore filed 10 814 patent applications in 2015, the largest number of any Southeast Asian nation, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization. IPOS plans to double the number of intellectual property experts in Singapore to 1 000 over the next five years and will train 4000 people a year, Tang said.

The agency will also assist companies in using intellectual property as collateral for financing. These initiatives, he said, should add about S$1.5 billion in value to the city-state’s economy over the next five years.


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