Singapore will double down on commercializing deep technology applications, with new grants by the National Research Foundation (NRF) and a collaboration with state sovereign fund Temasek to enable investment in cutting-edge ideas coming out of the city-state’s research centers.
Minister of Finance Heng Swee Keat made the announcement this morning during the opening of Switch 2017. The minister said the NRF is working with Temasek on “new commercial entities” that will build and invest in deep tech startups emerging from Singaporean research and development. “This will complement other government support schemes for startups by connecting technical and academic innovators to smart capital,” he added.
Specifically regarding cyber security, the NRF has already awarded grants to nine public-private research projects. Singapore’s research funding body will dispense over US$12 million under the National Cyber Security R&D Program, which is coordinated by the NRF and a number of Singapore government organizations including GovTech, the Ministry of Defense, and the Economic Development Board.
The program calls for translation and deployment of technologies to the market, taking in research proposals from Singapore-based companies in collaboration with institutes of higher learning, research centers, or government agencies. The nine projects were chosen out of 23 submitted proposals.
The program calls for translation and deployment of technologies to the market.
Examples include an automated vulnerability detection and analysis tool developed by local #startup Scantist and Nanyang Technological University (NTU); an encrypted data exchange system for businesses developed by Acronis’ Singapore-based research and development facility and NTU; and a system for secure, data-protecting environments on smartphones by Singaporean company i-Sprint and Singapore Management University.
Meanwhile, the Singapore Cyber Security Consortium set up by the NRF and the National University of Singapore awarded grants to six projects under its seed grant call.
Among them is a method to map internet-of-things devices in a user’s house to monitor potentially malicious traffic while preserving the user’s privacy, developed by Singaporean company Custodio and the Singapore University of Technology and Design. Other projects include a security study for malware attacks on iOS conducted by PayPal and NTU, and a secure data exchange platform for clinical data made by local startup Cloak in collaboration with A-STAR’s Bioinformatics Institute.
“Should our cyber security researchers arrive at new findings, industry leads will stand ready to develop them into game-changing soltions,” the minister said.
Additionally, Singapore will launch a national intellectual property (IP) protocol, which is meant to encourage public agencies to work closely with enterprises to develop valuable IP. They will be able to grant exclusive and non-exclusive licenses, as well as assign IP to industry players in order to take more publicly-funded innovations to market.
Cyber security has been a key focus for the Singapore government this year, with the minister emphasizing it during the 2017 budget announcement. The importance of developing Singapore’s tech and IP capabilities was also a big part of the Committee for the Future Economy.
Converted from Singapore dollars. US$1 = S$1.34