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SPRING Singapore and Workforce Singapore commit S$2.8 million to support startups and develop talent in logistics industry

Photo credit: Supply Chain Asia

Supply Chain Asia’s (SCA is a not-for-profit professional body for professionals from the logistics and supply chain industry) Supply Chain & Logistics Innovation Playground (SCLIP) was formally launched in Singapore today to help strengthen Singapore’s position as Southeast Asia’s leading logistics hub. SCLIP focuses on impact of Industry 4.0 and is designed to showcase and host applications and solutions for the supply chain and logistics industry.

SCLIP is in line with a key strategy of the Committee on the Future Economy – robust partnerships to enable innovation and growth. The initiative is supported under the Startup SG[1] Accelerator scheme, as an industry-specific incubator to groom innovative startups for logistics. Through SCLIP, startups can access supply chain expertise, client networks, potential investors, as well as the sharing of knowledge and resources among partners.

To support this initiative, SPRING Singapore and Workforce Singapore (WSG) have committed S$2.8 million to (i) groom the next generation of startups, and (ii) develop supply chain talent and capabilities in SMEs, through SCLIP.

SCLIP curates innovative solutions that SMEs can deploy to upgrade capabilities. This includes innovative equipment, Augmented Reality (AR) devices and Internet of Things (IoTs) in an “applied” logistics-operating environment, software technologies, data analytics and control tower solutions. It also has an Urban Logistics/Smart Nation, which will present the latest innovations that affects the urban logistics and Singapore Smart Nation initiative, including adoption of driverless vehicles for fixed distance drops, last mile logistics and distribution, e-commerce, drones and lockers system.

In his speech at the opening of SCLIP, Dr. Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State, Ministry Of Trade And Industry & Ministry Of National Development, encouraged the supply chain community to support and engage SCLIP to test-bed new technology and innovative solutions.

SCLIP will groom 12 startups over the next 18 months and support them in piloting solutions for the logistics industry.

For instance, Cosmiqo International Pte Ltd (Cosmiqo), a supply chain and operational analytics company established in 2013, specialises in logistics and manufacturing. It has partnered Infolog Pte Ltd, a software solutions company specialising in the distribution, logistics and supply chain industries, and the National University of Singapore (NUS) to develop and pilot autonomous robots. If successful, these robots can be deployed in warehouses to support picking processes to enhance the productivity of warehouse operations.

While the official opening was held today, the platform is already home to 27 partners specialising in supply chain and logistics innovation solutions. Around half of the partners are startups, while the rest comprise shippers, logistics service providers, solution vendors, as well as academic and research institutions. By bringing these partners together, SCLIP aims to generate more than S$50 million in business ventures over the next 18 months.

To take an example of such collaboration, HUB Distributors, a local SME that specialises in warehousing, haulage, freight and distribution services, has partnered Infolog, a local startup focusing on supply chain and logistics software solutions, to design and pilot an integrated vision and voice picking application. This project aims to improve the productivity of HUB Distributors by 20%. When ready, the prototype by Hub Distributors and Infolog will also be showcased in SCLIP and visitors will be able to have a hands-on experience and try out this technology.

Professional Conversion Programme for e-Commerce Supply Chain Professionals

Dr. Koh also announced that WSG together with Supply Chain Asia (SCA), is rolling out the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for e-Commerce Supply Chain Professionals, which will help develop a pipeline of local professionals to support the growing e-commerce sector.

This PCP is one of WSG’s Adapt and Grow suite of programmes which encourages employers to hire and up-skill mid-career individuals to stay relevant in a high growth industry, such as logistics. Through this PCP, up to 60 mid-career individuals, over the next two years, will acquire new skill sets in areas such as merchandising, sourcing, procurement, and account management to take on job roles in the e-commerce supply chain.

Dr. Koh urged more companies to tap on the PCP and consider mature workers with complementary work experience to strengthen your business operations.

In addition, to help supply chain professionals keep up with current and future trends, WSG is also working with SCA to deliver a series of workshops focusing on robotics, automation, digital technologies, and business intelligence through SCLIP.

Concluding his speech Dr. Koh said, “I would like to encourage the supply chain community to deepen partnerships with SCLIP and tap on their expertise and resources to transform and innovate. The Government is committed to working with all logistics stakeholders to achieve a successful industry transformation and continue to create good jobs for Singaporeans.”

[1]Startup SG, led by SPRING Singapore, was launched earlier this year, to unify all support schemes for startups. Startup SG provides startups and other players in the ecosystem assistance on various fronts –mentorship for first-time entrepreneurs, grant support for fast-track commercialisation of technology solutions; Government co-investment to catalyse private equity, resources for incubators and accelerators to expedite the growth of startups and more.

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