Singapore to invest $107M in IP-rich startups, creates $716M innovation fund

Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and the Ministry of Law have made updates to the IP Hub Master Plan which include pumping $1.07 billion into the Singapore economy

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The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and private equity firm Makara Capital have announced the launch of a SGD 1 billion ($716 million approx.) Makara Innovation Fund (MIF) targeting high-growth companies with strong intellectual property to expand globally.

The MIF has been developed by IPOS, through its enterprise engagement arm, IP Value Lab, and Makara Capital. MIF is being called Southeast Asia’s first private equity investment fund that sources IP-driven companies internationally and capitalizes on cross-border regional expansion.

This pilot project leverages on IPOS’ strong IP expertise and networks, along with Makara Capital’s commercially-driven investment approach and private equity expertise. It will invest SGD 30 million to SGD 150 million ($21 to $107 million approx.) across 10-15 IP-rich and high-growth potential companies with globally competitive technologies from anywhere in the world, including Singapore.

These companies will then tap on Singapore’s IP ecosystem to help them deepen their value creation, compete effectively and expand into the global markets. Employing a “from Singapore and through Singapore” approach, MIF will help to anchor the nation as a destination for ideas to be translated into assets and revenue.

Updates to IP Hub Master Plan

MIF was a part of recommendations from the Committee on the Future Economy’s (CFE). Taking the recommendations into consideration IPOS and the Ministry of Law have made updates to the IP Hub Master Plan, which includes strengthening Singapore’s innovation ecosystem and building capabilities to help enterprises innovate and scale up. (The IP Hub Master Plan was launched in 2013, a 10 year plan to position Singapore as the global IP hub in Asia).

Both bodies will also be injecting at least SGD 1.5 billion ($1.07 billion approx.) value-add into the nation’s economy, with further benefits as it catalyzes more innovation-driven enterprises, in the next five years.

IPOS and the MoL will also be doubling the skilled IP experts will to 1,000 over the next five years to support the growing demand for innovation expertise, and create good, well-paying jobs.

Company-level engagements will also be stepped up to help local innovators and businesses identify and understand their IP, and use it for growth and expansion. The IP Hub Master Plan also focuses building an innovation and IP ecosystem in Singapore where good ideas from over the world can be transformed into assets, revenue and enterprise growth.

“The IP Hub Master Plan is the blueprint for developing Singapore into a Global IP Hub in Asia. We have made significant progress over the last four years. IP is going to be an important enabler of Singapore’s growth moving forward. It protects business innovation and thereby encourages commercialization,” said Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance.

“Singapore has a strong IP regime, which will enable local businesses to harness IP for growth. We will focus on helping enterprises to integrate IP into their business strategies early, and to commercialise their IP and scale up. As our businesses expand into international markets, they should take advantage of the international IP networks and connectivity that we have built up.”

Collaborations

IPOS and the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) also signed an MoU to collaborate in driving enterprise growth through IP and innovation. The deepened engagement between both organizations will help SBF’s 25,000 member companies build IP awareness and competencies, as well as gain direct access to IPOS’ suite of IP services, such as training, executive education and complimentary IP clinics.

IP ValueLab will also collaborate with EverEdge Global, an international IP management consultancy firm, to reach out to more than 150 local innovative enterprises over the next three years, to provide intensive and customized assistance on IP strategy, management and commercialization, and help them in their long-term growth and expansion.

Daren Tang, Chief Executive, IPOS, said, “IP is key to our future growth and the fuel for an innovation driven economy. Our focus must shift to IP commercialization, 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. We have built deep IP expertise and networks over many years, and are now working hard to build an innovation ecosystem that will help local and foreign enterprises transform their ideas into assets, and use Singapore to springboard into the world.”

*Calculations as on 26.04.2017 SGT 16:40

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