A Singaporean delegation headed by Peter Ong, the chairman of Enterprise Singapore, met online with the Skolkovo Foundation chairman, Arkady Dvorkovich, to discuss ways to enhance cooperation between the organizations. This expansion focuses on several key areas including collaboration in the field of R&D and supporting the startups seeking to establish a presence in either the Russian or Singaporean market, with a particular emphasis on SmartCity and AgriTech.
Although Singapore is a state comprised of only 5.5 million people, it is regarded as the gateway to the rest of South East Asia’s markets. Such is the reputation of its ecosystem that it has drawn the likes of Hyundai and many other multinationals to create their own innovation hubs there. Indeed, one of Singapore’s largest logistics companies is now looking to create its own Talent Hub at Skolkovo Innovation Center with the goal of linking up Russian tech experts, engineers, and researchers with Singaporean startups.
Mr. Dvorkovich highlighted that Skolkovo has much to offer Singapore in terms of expertise from its technology clusters.
“We have accumulated experience that was previously unknown in Russia,” he said. “This is especially true with regard to creating a pipeline of around three thousand startups that are working in different areas such as IT, robotics, biomedicine, artificial intelligence, energy efficiency, and so on. We are also working with European companies in quantum technologies, AI, and new generation telecom technologies.”
Another point of collaboration between Skolkovo and Singapore is the agriculture technologies sector. The Singaporean government is seeking to decrease the country’s reliance on imported food, which amounts to 90% of the country’s food sources. Although Singapore has been looking into long-term food security plans for many years, the pandemic has disrupted global supply chains and heightened the need for it to build food resilience. This includes pushing to increase food production with innovative and precision food production technologies, the likes of which several Skolkovo companies are already exporting.
“I believe that one of the areas of interest is SmartCity technologies that combine the things I’ve already mentioned,” said Mr. Dvorkovich. “This is a combination of AI solutions for logistics, safety, city management, education, health, and so on. We have all the necessary components for this and the important thing is to find a way to integrate those solutions so that they could be useful for other South East Asian cities, and Singapore would be a great place to begin.”
Mr. Ong agreed that SmartCity solutions have great potential and that Singapore is placing a large emphasis on implementing practical solutions to make Singapore a ‘smart nation’.”
Both sides also aim to increase mutual participation in events such as the Skolkovo Softlanding program, Singapore’s SLINGSHOT, and SWITCH 2021.