Billion-dollar fund set up to turn IP into assets

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Intellectual property not sufficiently recognised by businesses

A billion-dollar fund has been launched to groom high-growth companies to take on the world while using Singapore as a regional base.

The initiative was one of several announced by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (Ipos) yesterday, as part of efforts to drive innovation and help more companies turn their intellectual property (IP) into assets.

These moves come after the Committee on the Future Economy recommended in its report in February that Singapore tap IP as a key driver of economic growth.

Ms Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance, told a briefing yesterday that IP has not been sufficiently recognised by businesses.

"I don't think many fully appreciate what it can do for them and so Ipos' mission and task is to help our businesses realise this, unlock their potential, commercialise their IP and move ahead," she said.

One key initiative towards this goal is the $1 billion Makara Innovation Fund, a partnership between Ipos and homegrown private equity firm Makara Capital. The fund will source companies that have strong intellectual property internationally and groom them for regional expansion.

It will invest $30 million to $150 million each in 10 to 15 young companies that have high-growth potential and own globally competitive technologies.

"We've always been an economy that understands the value of connectivity, but connectivity now is not just through goods, cargo and money, but through ideas and innovation," said Ipos chief executive Daren Tang.

Through the fund, he added, local innovators will get a chance to connect with innovation centres worldwide, while foreign innovators can use Singapore as a springboard from which to grow across the region.

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