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Singapore Embraces Tech Innovation to Build Resilient Digital Nation

Singapore continues to grow in stature as a global tech and innovation hub as many tech giants build their companies in the nation. Built on high-quality infrastructure and a vibrant ecosystem of over 3,400 start-ups and 600 investors, the city-state was ranked the fifth most innovative city in the World Economic Forum’s 2019 Innovative Cities Index. In 2021, it has now emerged as the second most innovative economy on a media company’s Innovation Index, for showing resilience amidst the tumultuous COVID-19 situation.

The country’s efforts to spur innovation form part of a larger vision to build a resilient, sustainable and digital nation. In December 2020 Singapore’s five-year Research, Innovation and Enterprise plan was released, committing S$25 billion in funding research and development efforts to maximise the unique opportunities unveiled by the pandemic.

Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated technological trends and structural changes that will reshape the global economy and throw up new challenges for societies. Science, technology and innovation will be critical to overcome COVID-19, and in enabling the country to emerge stronger.

To further catalyse Singapore’s innovation ecosystem, IMDA is supporting the growth of local companies, providing avenues for collaboration, commercialisation and internationalisation. Accordingly, IMDA has launched various programmes to help businesses embrace innovation, such as a virtual crowd-sourcing platform, accreditation programme, and award programme for tech innovations.

The virtual crowdsourcing platform bridges hundreds of enterprises according to their needs. No longer do companies have to rely only on internal teams to address their biggest pain points. Instead, companies present their challenges through the platform, opening themselves to a wider spectrum of possible problem solvers for their challenges. In turn, up-and-coming tech providers rise to the occasion—engaging enterprises they might never have reached otherwise and embellishing their portfolio with successful innovation projects.

Meanwhile, the accreditation programme spotlights promising Singapore-based tech companies to help them establish credentials and build business traction. By positioning these companies as qualified tech providers with the capability to deliver, the programme enables their solutions to reach potential government and large enterprises.

One IMDA-accredited company developed visual search technology that revitalised the shopping experience for a global sportswear brand in response to COVID-19 restrictions. Given the need to minimise interactions, the company’s visual search provides customers with a self-serve shopping experience. Through the app, customers can scan items on display with their smartphone cameras and search for size and stock availability.

While innovation may initially seem daunting, it usually shines the most during the times of great uncertainty. Innovation not only helps enterprises stay afloat, but the solutions generated through such efforts also strengthen Singapore’s resilience as a whole in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.

Singapore has continued to develop new tech innovations in different areas, including cybersecurity. As reported by OpenGov Asia, A Singapore cybersecurity firm launched the world’s first solid-state drive (SSD) embedded with Artificial Intelligence (AI) data security. As the last line of defence to protect data at the hardware level, the SSD can guard against both remote and physical attacks, boasting a range of features including temperature sensors to detect unusual movements that occur.

During an incursion, the device will alert the user via email and lock itself to prevent any physical tampering. Users may then unlock the device via a dynamic authentication process. For clients with high-security needs, such as the military, data may be automatically wiped should the device fall into the wrong hands. This innovation was a breakthrough and a significant step in increasing security and safety for end-users, having put AI into the firmware layer of an SSD.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.