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New partnerships between IMDA, A*STAR and Institutes of Higher Learning to support SMEs’ digitalisation efforts

New partnerships between IMDA

Photo credit: IMDA

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has entered
into new partnerships with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research
(A*STAR), the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and ten IHLs (Institutes
of Higher Learning) under the SMEs
Go Digital
Programme to further support SMEs’ digitalisation efforts.

Announced at Budget 2017 and officially launched in April
2017, the SMEs Go Digital Programme helps SMEs (small and medium enterprises)
in the adoption and use of digital technology to boost their productivity and
build their digital capability. Till date 480 SMEs have adopted pre-approved
digital solutions. This has also generated over S$8.5 million in revenue for
Infocomm media solution providers. To accelerate the pace of digitalisation of
SMEs, IMDA has issued an open call for pre-approved digital solutions for SMEs.

SMEs can approach these partners through the SME
Digital Tech Hub
’s Principal Consultants. The Consultants will be able to
assist the SMEs and connect them to the most appropriate partners, such as
A*Star or an IHL. The SMEs can then receive advanced consultancy services, on a
complimentary basis, to help them make the most of digital technology and
assist them in developing their digital transformation roadmap.

SMEs that do not have market-ready digital solutions can
also tap on Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) expertise and resources to
develop and prototype customised solutions for them.

“Digitalisation is massively transforming every sector of
our economy. Through the SMEs Go Digital programme, SMEs can access resources
and partners to help them develop digitial capabilities and take full advantage
of the opportunities in a Digital Economy. IMDA is excited to expand the
network of partners available to SMEs with this latest collaboration with
A*STAR, the Institute of Technical Education and our Institute of Higher
Learning partners. SMEs can look forward to getting support in areas such as
strategic technology planning, protoyping of digital solutions and training in
frontier technologies” said Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive, IMDA.

Partnership with A*STAR

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between IMDA
and A*STAR to leverage A*STAR’s Operation and Technology Roadmapping (OTR)
initiative to support the SMEs Go Digital programme through strategic

Through the OTR exercise, A*STAR facilitators will help SME
develop a customised roadmap to strategically allocate resources to the
relevant digital technologies at the suitable timing for the optimal business

In addition, the SME Digital Tech Hub will work with the SME
Centres and Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) to gather together SMEs from
the same industry to identify common digital needs for participating companies.
The aim is to identify industry-wide needs and kick-start new projects or
programmes that can create a collective impact for the sector. The initiative
also serves to create awareness amongst SMEs on OTR, enabling companies to
understand the importance of roadmap planning for business success.

Partnership with IHLs and ITE

IMDA has partnered the ITE and IHLs, including polytechnics
and universities to help SMEs build strong digital capabilities. The list
includes Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore
Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic, National University of Singapore, Singapore
University of Technology and Design, Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore
Management University, and Singapore University of Social Sciences.

Some of the areas that SMEs can look forward under this
collaboration include prototyping of solutions, specialised consultancy in
specific domains (such as Data Analytics, Cybersecurity, Internet of Things), as
well as tailored workshops and courses designed for the SME community.

ITE and IHL partners will help to develop prototypes for
SMEs to test. If the concept of the prototype addresses the SMEs’ challenges,
SMEs can then engage them. These partners will work with infocomm media (ICM)
vendors to develop the solution for actual deployment. This would help to lower
the barrier to grow SME’s adoption of digital solution.

Digitalisation not only requires the implementation of
digital technology but also a skilled digital workforce. The partners provide
courses and workshops tailored to equip an SME’s employees with essential
digital skills.

In line with the national SkillsFuture movement, the partners will
also provide ICM courses tailored for SMEs, to equip their workforce with
digital capabilities to support their digitalisation. SMEs can also make more
informed decisions on the choices of courses for their employees by referring
to the listing of courses provided by the partners, and partners can create
platforms to share more SME-centric digital workshops or events for the SME

The institutions will also organise training and workshops
to help drive awareness of the SMEs Go Digital programme and help SMEs with
their digital transformation.

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