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Singapore is Determined to Boost its Innovation Capabilities — Here’s How

Singapore is Determined to Boost its Innovation Capabilities — Here’s How

Singapore is likely known to many as a bustling metropolis focusing on all things finance, and of course, a favourable tax structure for entrepreneurs of all types. 

However, the city-state looks set to become a global leader in innovation that will touch upon sectors across fintech, medtech, agritech, and beyond.

Start Innovative Company in Singapore

The Singaporean government has made it clear that they intend to use technology and innovation to keep up with global competition — making them an attractive location for tech-based businesses. 

In order to achieve this goal, the Singaporean government has invested heavily in programmes to foster education, research, and development. Given Singapore’s nearly 60-year record of famous foresight, its prospects for tech-driven growth are promising.

This article explores the various initiatives and schemes that Singapore has implemented to foster innovation and attract international investors, providing a comprehensive guide for those interested in the city-state’s innovation landscape.

Related Read: How Does the EIS Create Tax Savings From IP and R&D Costs?

Singapore’s Government Schemes and Initiatives for Innovation


The Tech@SG programme is a strategic initiative that offers a wealth of benefits to tech companies and their investors. This programme is designed to foster innovation and growth by providing endorsement for up to ten new Employment Passes (EPs) over two years. 

This unique advantage allows tech companies to build a strong core team in Singapore, a critical factor for success in the competitive tech industry.

For investors, the Tech@SG programme presents a compelling opportunity. By investing in companies that are part of this programme, they gain access to a team of highly skilled professionals who are driving innovation and growth. 

This not only enhances the value of their investment but also positions them at the forefront of technological advancements.

Moreover, the Tech@SG programme is part of Singapore’s broader strategy to attract and anchor global tech companies, thereby creating new businesses, transforming industries, and providing good jobs. 

This strategic focus on fostering a vibrant tech ecosystem makes Singapore an attractive destination for investors looking for dynamic and high-growth investment opportunities.

In essence, the Tech@SG programme is more than just a talent acquisition initiative; it’s a gateway to a thriving tech sector, offering investors the chance to be part of Singapore’s vibrant innovation landscape and reap the rewards of their investment.


Singapore’s Tech.Pass is another initiative aimed at attracting top-tier tech individuals to the city-state. 

This visa program allows established tech professionals to contribute to multiple tech-related roles and projects, thereby enriching Singapore’s tech ecosystem. For investors, this means access to a pool of world-class tech talent.

The Tech.Pass offers a flexible work pass for foreign tech professionals to perform various activities such as: 

  • Starting and operating a business
  • Investing in and becoming a director of Singaporean companies
  • Lecturing at local institutions
  • Mentoring startups
  • Conducting corporate training

This flexibility makes Singapore an attractive destination for tech talent, which in turn benefits companies and investors in the tech sector.

Related Read: Why is Singapore a Prime Spot for Top-Tier Foreign Talent?

RIS(C) Scheme

The Research Incentive Scheme for Companies (RIS(C)) encourages companies to establish their R&D operations in Singapore. 

It offers substantial tax incentives, providing a 50% concessionary tax rate on incremental income derived from qualifying intellectual property and innovation, and super deductions capped at 250% for qualifying R&D expenses undertaken in Singapore. 

This scheme significantly reduces the financial burden of R&D activities, increasing the return on investment for companies.

The RIS(C) scheme is part of Singapore’s broader strategy to develop a vibrant and innovative economy. 

By incentivising companies to conduct R&D activities in Singapore, the scheme helps to foster a culture of innovation and creativity, which is crucial for economic growth and competitiveness in the digital age.

Training Grant For Company (TGC)

The Training Grant for Company (TGC) is another initiative aimed at developing the capabilities of Singapore’s workforce. 

This scheme supports companies that invest in the training and development of their employees, particularly in the application of new technologies and industrial skills. Companies can receive support of up to 30% for costs such as overseas training expenses and trainee salaries.

The TGC is a testament to Singapore’s commitment to lifelong learning and skills development. By supporting companies in their training efforts, the scheme helps to ensure that Singapore’s workforce remains competitive in the rapidly evolving global economy.

Intellectual Property Development Incentive (IDI)

The Intellectual Property Development Incentive (IDI) encourages the use and commercialisation of intellectual property rights arising from research and development activities. 

The IDI confers a concessionary tax rate of 5% or 10% on a percentage of qualifying IP income, making it an attractive proposition for investors.

The IDI is part of Singapore’s strategy to become a global IP hub in Asia. By incentivising the use and commercialisation of IP, the scheme helps to foster a vibrant IP ecosystem in Singapore, which is crucial for innovation and economic growth.

Listen to Podcast: Episode 6: Consumer Innovation – Driving Corporate Venturing

Case Study: Siemens’ Investment in Singapore

Siemens, a global powerhouse in the fields of industry, energy, and healthcare, recently announced a €2 billion investment strategy to boost future growth, innovation, and resilience. 

This includes an investment of around €200 million for a new high-tech factory in Singapore. The factory will serve the booming Southeast Asian markets, creating over 400 jobs and setting a new standard for connectivity and digitalisation.

This investment is a clear endorsement of Singapore’s innovation strategy, which includes initiatives like Tech@SG and Tech.Pass. 

Siemens’ decision to invest in Singapore is not just about capital; it’s about foresight. The company recognises the potential of Singapore’s innovation strategy and the benefits it can bring. The new high-tech factory will create jobs and contribute to the technological advancement of the region. 

Moreover, Siemens’ investment is a strong signal to other investors about the potential of Singapore’s innovation landscape. If a global giant like Siemens sees the value in investing in Singapore, it shows that other investors can also benefit from the city-state’s innovation strategy. 

This case study serves as a compelling example of how international investors can reap significant benefits from Singapore’s robust innovation ecosystem.


Where to Next for Being A Part of Singapore’s Bright Future of Innovation

Singapore’s innovation strategy is proving to be a magnet for global investors. The city-state’s commitment to fostering innovation, coupled with attractive incentives like the IDI and RIS(C), makes it a prime destination for companies looking to invest in the future. 

Siemens’ recent investment is a testament to this, and it’s likely that other investors will follow suit. If you’re considering investing in Singapore’s vibrant tech sector, now is the time to act. 

Contact us at InCorp to find out how you can make the most of Singapore’s bright future in innovation. Capture this opportunity to be part of Singapore’s thriving innovation landscape!


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  • Singapore's strategy for boosting innovation includes various initiatives and schemes like tech@sg, Tech.Pass, RIS(C), TGC, and IDI. These initiatives aim to foster a vibrant tech ecosystem, attract top-tier tech talent, and encourage R&D activities.
  • Siemens is investing in Singapore because of the city-state's robust innovation strategy, which includes initiatives like tech@sg and Tech.Pass. Siemens sees the value in Singapore's tech ecosystem and the benefits it can bring to their business.
  • You can invest in Singapore's tech sector by investing in tech companies that are part of initiatives like tech@sg and Tech.Pass. You can also contact us at Incorp to find out more about investment opportunities in Singapore's tech sector.

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About the Author

Eric Chin

Eric Chin is the Group Chief Commercial Officer at InCorp Global, leading sales, marketing and consulting teams in 8 countries. With 11 years of corporate banking experience with HSBC and OCBC, Eric is highly skilled in creating market-entry strategies and structuring operations for diverse industries in the Asia-Pacific. He also advises fund managers and family offices on corporate structuring and tax incentives and has set up VCC structures for licensed fund managers.

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