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Singapore and Sweden Partner to Help Tech SMEs Scale Up

Enterprise Singapore (Enterprise SG) has launched a new Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) acceleration programme in Sweden, to support the access of Singapore start-ups and tech small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Sweden and the larger Nordic region. Enterprise SG will partner with a Swedish digital accelerator to run the programme, with support from government agencies Business Sweden and Vinnova.

The GIA pilot programme in Stockholm kicks off the first GIA acceleration programme this year to help Singapore start-ups and tech SMEs access opportunities in overseas markets and drive two-way collaboration in innovation. The GIA pilot programme in Stockholm will complement our GIA network around the world.

The first of such GIA programmes in the Nordic region, the Stockholm programme was launched by the Chairman of Enterprise SG; the CEO of Business Sweden; the Director-General of Vinnova as well as the CEO of the Swedish digital accelerator.

Business Sweden is jointly owned by the Swedish state and the Swedish business sector with a mandate and a mission to help international companies gain access to the Swedish market and help domestic ones utilise it as a platform for expansion. Vinnova is the Swedish government agency that administers state funding for research and development.

The GIA is currently running in 15 cities worldwide. The 8-week-long hybrid programme comprises activities such as online coaching sessions on Sweden’s business regulations and culture, as well as market entry strategies.

Participating Singapore start-ups and tech SMEs will also take part in business matching sessions in the market physically and meet potential partners such as investors, research institutes, corporates or fellow start-ups to explore partnership opportunities. This will allow them to testbed and scale their solutions to other Nordic countries through Sweden.

The Chairman of Enterprise SG stated that as borders reopen and global economies recover, it is timely for Singapore companies to resume growth activities, strengthen innovation collaboration with international partners and expand overseas. He added that Europe has a mature innovation ecosystem that Singapore companies can leverage to co-develop new solutions. Sweden, which has produced some of the top tech unicorns, provides tech and innovation opportunities for Singapore companies in areas such as sustainability, healthtech, gaming and smart cities.

With the highest number of unicorns per capita after Silicon Valley, the Nordic region has established a vibrant start-up ecosystem with immense growth potential. Sweden is also the region’s leading innovator, ranking second in the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Global Innovation Index 2021 – the highest among the Nordic countries.

Apart from the GIA Stockholm programme, Singapore and Swedish companies can also collaborate in joint innovation and R&D by participating in co-innovation initiatives within the Eureka Network, which Singapore and Sweden are associated with.

Enterprise Singapore is the government agency championing enterprise development and works with committed companies to build capabilities, innovate and internationalise. They also support the growth of Singapore as a hub for global trading and start-ups and build trust in Singapore’s products and services through quality and standards.

According to statistics by Enterprise SG, 22,100 Singapore enterprises built new business capabilities, innovated and expanded overseas with our support, despite continuous challenges faced amid the pandemic in 2021. This is estimated to catalyse S$17.9 billion in value-add and 23,300 skilled jobs for the Singapore economy over the next few years.

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