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Singapore, Israel Sign MOU to Accelerate Cross-border Collaboration in Artificial Intelligence

Singapore and Israel have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Artificial Intelligence (AI) cooperation, indicating that both nations want to speed up cross-border collaboration in the field. The MOU between Singapore’s Smart Nation and Digital Government Office and Israel’s Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology on AI cooperation would assist AI development and implementation for “common benefit,” according to the MOU.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Singapore-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation. The foundation has supported around 190 projects between Singapore and Israel since its creation in 1997, delivering approximately US$120 million to initiatives in sectors such as information and communications technology, electronics, and biomedical and life sciences.

Companies from both Singapore and Israel have been exploring prospects in both nations. With a total foreign direct investment of US$875 million, Israel is Singapore’s fourth-largest commercial partner and foreign investor among Middle Eastern countries.

As the globe recovers from the COVID-19 epidemic, Singapore and Israel should expand their engagement in new fields such as agri-food tech, health-tech, AI, and digitalisation. In addition, Singapore will open an embassy in Tel Aviv to act as a focal point and encourage Singapore enterprises wanting to expand their partnership with potential Israeli partners.

Singapore has traditionally supported a negotiated two-state solution with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security, in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions, in order to establish a long-term, just, and comprehensive settlement.

Singapore believes that both the Israeli and Palestinian sides can participate in direct negotiations based on a two-state solution. All parties should avoid unilateral moves that could “intensify tensions and jeopardize peace prospects.

Singapore and Israel will financially support joint projects of their hi-tech companies, the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA). Covering start-ups in all hi-tech fields, the support will finance joint research and development (R&D) projects or pilot programs. Eligible companies will receive up to 1.5 million U.S. dollars for a joint project, and projects in the fields of healthcare, agriculture and food technology will receive increased grants.

The funding will be provided through the Singapore-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (SIIRD), run by the government agency Enterprise Singapore and the IIA. To receive the support, a joint project must be undertaken in Singapore and Israel, and each country is expected to contribute at least 30% of the total project work and expenses.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, France and Singapore will step up cooperation in areas such as smart transport, smart cities, financial innovation and agri-food technologies, under a new pact. The France-Singapore Digital and Green Partnership (DGP) will see both countries developing a work plan comprising cooperative projects with clear and tangible outcomes in the digital and green sectors.

The DGP provides a structured platform for France and Singapore to cooperate on a wide range of digital and green issues. The intent is to support public-private partnerships and private sector-led approaches that harness digital and green technologies to enhance the competitiveness of the economies and create good jobs for our people in a sustainable manner.

Singapore and France enjoy strong bilateral trade and investment relations, underpinned by the Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership signed in 2012, the Joint Declaration on Innovation signed in 2017, the France-Singapore Year of Innovation in 2018, the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement which entered into force in 2019, and the Joint Ministerial Statement to maintain open and connected supply chains for essential food supplies that were issued in June 2020.

France is Singapore’s second and fourth-largest EU trading partner in goods and services respectively. France is also Singapore’s fifth largest EU investor. Singapore is France’s top trade and investment partner in ASEAN. There is an active community of over 2,500 French businesses and 300 French startups in Singapore, as well as over 200 French researchers within Singapore academic and research centres.

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