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New measures to help tech start-ups market products

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If the next big tech innovation is being developed in Singapore, the Government wants to make sure start-ups can cut short the process of making it a viable product.

It yesterday announced measures meant to help local tech entrepreneurs market their research and products faster.

These include a new incubator that will support start-ups from polytechnic students and alumni, as well as a 10-week programme for research scientists and engineers.

Giving the opening address at the second Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat signalled the continued support for technopreneurial talent here.

"Innovation is driven by people," he said, at the start of the three-day tech conference at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre.

"Even as we bolster institutional support, we will continue to actively develop technopreneurial talent to drive innovation and enterprise."

One new initiative is a polytechnic-centric start-up incubator called Pollinate, which was launched yesterday at Block 71, located at Buona Vista's one-north research hub.

Run by Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic, Pollinate will help start-ups commercialise their products and expand their markets.

The National Research Foundation (NRF) will be supporting it with a $1 million fund over three years.

Another initiative, the National Lean LaunchPad, is a 10-week programme for scientists and engineers from local universities and polytechnics to learn how to market their academic research into usable, commercial prototypes or products.

The programme is Singapore's extension of Lean LaunchPad, developed in the US and first brought here in a pilot by the National University of Singapore's entrepreneurship cluster, NUS Enterprise in 2013.

The NRF is pumping $8 million over five years to support this national effort, which aims to train more than 1,000 participants, and create 300 technologies which can be commercialised.


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