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IMDA’s Open Innovation Platform to Offer Digital Solutions

Image credit: www.imda.gov.sg/

Singaporean firms and public agencies can soon find solutions to technology adoption challenges they face in going digital easier and efficiently, with new features from the Open Innovation Platform (OIP), managed by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

The OIP will soon have a new search function on its website, called the Discovery Engine that makes the searching and matching of Problem Solvers to Problem Owners easier, through automated recommendations by analysing problem statements and recommending solvers with relevant experience. This will increase the accessibility of innovation to more enterprises.

The second feature is called the Digital Bench that speeds up Proof-of-Concept (POC) development through a virtual sandbox and testing environment. It will provide direct access to digital tools, reusable software assets, testbed environments and community partners – to support the testing and development of POCs. By providing a digital testbed hosted on cloud infrastructure, the OIP will fast-track development and the eventual commercialisation of innovative solutions.

The OIP is a virtual crowd-sourcing platform that connects and matches real business challenges or digitalisation opportunities of Problem Owners to Problem Solvers. IMDA will launch Innovation Calls on the OIP every few months. Each Innovation Call comprises a set of challenges from different Problem Owners from different sectors. Each challenge is accompanied by prize monies for the best solutions that are selected based on the criteria of Problem Owners. IMDA guides, supports and offers technical expertise to organisations through this.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, the OIP aims to achieve the following:

  • Provide Singapore-based companies and sectors with access to multi-disciplinary talent, expertise, and technology to accelerate their digitalisation efforts,
  • Provide Singapore ICM companies with access to regional business needs and opportunities to co-create, develop and bring to market exportable and innovative solutions, and
  • Catalyse innovation capacity by anchoring and developing a vibrant community of problem owners and solvers in Singapore.

With the Discovery Engine, the matching can be done faster to shortlist potential solutions. An organisation can key in the details of its tech problem in the Discovery Engine on the OIP site to search for potential solutions. The search results for solutions are ranked, based on factors such as whether the solutions have been used for similar problems previously. IMDA said this means the engine will reduce the need for evaluating submissions by solution providers.

But if there are no current solutions relevant to the problem, the organisation searching will be prompted to go through a guided process, and IMDA will help the organisation better define its problem statement. The problem is later opened to OIP’s pool of tech solution providers to submit proposals. IMDA will also look out for and curate potential matches for the problem statement.

Meanwhile, the Digital Bench is expected to shorten the development of proofs of concepts from months to weeks. The Digital Bench is expected to include tools that can, for example, help tech companies monitor different components of a software being built, integrate them, and deliver a new version of the software. Another set of tools can scan the code of prototype software so that any issues, such as bad code that could result in a security breach, can be identified. IMDA said the Digital Bench gives solution providers a testing environment so they can quickly prototype and commercialise their solutions.

Currently, when an organisation with a problem is matched with a tech solution provider on OIP, a considerable amount of time is spent preparing for the prototyping environment, acquiring data sets, or getting a software development platform ready for testing. But with the Digital Bench, software such as open-source development tool kits and data sets will be readily available, IMDA said. Solution providers can also offer software that can be reused by other providers for subsequent projects, which can speed up the prototyping process.

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