Launching a one-stop gateway for aggregating nationwide innovation challenges, how Singapore is driving industry transformation


Enterprise Singapore and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) have jointly launched the Open Innovation Network (OIN), an online directory ( that will serve as a national gateway to feature open innovation challenges happening across the country.

The Open Innovation Network will feature innovation platforms to aggregate nation-wide innovation challenges calling for tech solutions across diverse sectors in sustainable development, advanced manufacturing and engineering, and more. The announcement was made by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat at the Singapore Fintech Festival x Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SFF x SWITCH), earlier last week.

Accelerating innovation in Infocomm sector

Mr Edwin Chow, Assistant Chief Executive Officer (Innovation & Enterprise), Enterprise Singapore said, “Open innovation is an approach where larger companies first identify a market need, and then taps external sources - typically SMEs and startups - for innovative solutions. SMEs and startups get the opportunity to develop new products with a validated market need. Working with larger, more established companies will also help them build a good track record. ESG’s partnership with IMDA aims to build a more innovative culture amongst our enterprises, creating new and commercially-viable solutions for the global market. As a start, the Open Innovation Network will serve as the gateway for both problem owners and solution- providers to plug into our ecosystem for partnerships. Eventually, we hope to scale this up to a regional platform.”

The OIN features various innovation platforms from corporates, government agencies, Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) and ecosystem enablers calling for tech and digital solutions across diverse domains. While Corporates and agencies with pain points can also use the OIN to connect with partners within the ecosystem or discover solutions, SMEs and startups can search for relevant problem statements on OIN to propose solutions to, and access co-development, test-bedding and market opportunities with major organisations.

Driving industry transformation through open innovation

Enterprise Singapore and IMDA are also scaling the impact of open innovation beyond the enterprise-level, to take on challenges posed by entire industry sectors. Enterprise Singapore and IMDA will collaborate with sector leads and other government agencies, to help identify these sector-level problem statements. Open innovation calls promote the development of new tech solutions that have the potential to benefit the industry. SMEs and startups that developed the solutions can also strengthen their competitive edge by implementing them on a larger scale across the whole sector.

For instance, IMDA launched the Open Innovation Platform (OIP) which is accessible on the OIN gateway. The platform aims to provide businesses in getting quality and multi-disciplinary ideas, talent and resources to meet their innovation and business needs more effectively. And, OIP’s latest innovation call not only included challenges for financial services, food manufacturing and Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) sectors, a first for these sectors, but also had over 35 challenge statements with over S$1 million prize monies. Of these, at least 15 sector-wide problem statements were led by the Singapore Manufacturing Federation, Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers and Investment Management Association of Singapore.

Mr Howie Lau, Chief Industry Development Officer, IMDA said, “We are excited to scale up the OIP to offer sector-wide challenges. Now, our vibrant pool of problem solvers can tackle issues of a larger scale and deploy good solutions across sectors, contributing to Singapore’s digital economic transformation. Our partnership with Enterprise Singapore allows us to build on the traction of our OIP to support the Whole-of-Government digital transformation and Services 4.0 efforts."

More efforts are in the pipeline to encourage and scale demand-led open innovation through the OIN. These include plans to on-board more local and overseas demand drivers and to connect them to local and overseas solution providers, developing industry resources to guide companies to embark on open innovation, and providing a comprehensive directory of open innovation enablers who can support corporates in their open innovation journeys.

YourStory is the supporting media partner of SFF X SWITCH.


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