One-billion dollar innovation fund launched in Singapore to drive enterprise growth for our future economy


Innovation fund is part of new initiatives in response to CFE Report

Singapore, 26 April 2017 – Innovators and enterprises in Singapore will soon benefit from a range of new initiatives that helps them translate their ideas into assets. This includes the launch of a one-billion dollar Makara Innovation Fund (MIF) by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and home-grown private equity firm, Makara Capital. Commercially-driven, MIF will target high-growth companies with strong IP and proven business models, leveraging Singapore as a base for their growth and expansion into world markets. This was announced by IPOS and Ministry of Law today, along with updates to the IP Hub Master Plan. 

Updates to the IP Hub Master Plan

2.         The Committee on the Future Economy’s (CFE) Report has identified IP as a key driver of economic growth. In response, IPOS and the Ministry of Law have updated the 2013 IP Hub Master Plan to support the CFE’s recommendation to strengthen Singapore’s innovation ecosystem and build capabilities to help enterprises innovate and scale up. For a start, the initiatives in the IP Hub Master Plan is estimated to inject at least 1.5 billion dollars value-add into the nation’s economy, with further benefits as it catalyses more innovation-driven enterprises, in the next five years. The number of skilled IP experts will be doubled to 1,000 over the next five years to support the growing demand for innovation expertise, and create good, well-paying jobs. Company-level engagements will be stepped up to help local innovators and businesses identify and understand their IP, and use it for growth and expansion. The IP Hub Master Plan also focuses building an innovation and IP ecosystem in Singapore where good ideas from over the world can be transformed into assets, revenue and enterprise growth (See Annex A for Executive Summary of Updates to the IP Hub Master Plan).

3.         Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance, Ms Indranee Rajah, said: “The IP Hub Master Plan is the blueprint for developing Singapore into a Global IP Hub in Asia. We have made significant progress over the last four years. IP is going to be an important enabler of Singapore's growth moving forward. It protects business innovation and thereby encourages commercialisation. Singapore has a strong IP regime, which will enable local businesses to harness IP for growth. We will focus on helping enterprises to integrate IP into their business strategies early, and to commercialise their IP and scale up. As our businesses expand into international markets, they should take advantage of the international IP networks and connectivity that we have built up."

Strategic Collaborations for Singapore’s Success

4.         To deliver on the priorities mapped out, IPOS announced several new collaborations with partners in the business and finance community.

I. Makara Innovation Fund for IP-driven companies

5.         IPOS, through its enterprise engagement arm, IP Value Lab, and Makara Capital have established a one-billion dollar Makara Innovation Fund (MIF). MIF is Southeast Asia’s first private equity investment fund that sources IP-driven companies internationally and capitalises on cross-border regional expansion. This pilot project leverages on IPOS’ strong IP expertise and networks, along with Makara Capital’s commercially-driven investment approach and private equity expertise. It will invest $30 to $150 million across 10-15 IP-rich and high-growth potential companies with globally competitive technologies from anywhere in the world, including Singapore. These companies will then tap on Singapore’s IP ecosystem to help them deepen their value creation, compete effectively and expand into the global markets (See Annex B for MIF factsheet). Employing a “from Singapore and through Singapore” approach, MIF will help to anchor the nation as a destination for ideas to be translated into assets and revenue. 

II. New MoU with SBF to help enterprises innovate and scale up

6.         IPOS and the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) also inked a new Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate in driving enterprise growth through IP and innovation. The deepened engagement between both organisations will help SBF’s 25,000 member companies build IP awareness and competencies, as well as gain direct access to IPOS’ suite of IP services, such as training, executive education and complimentary IP clinics (See Annex C for MoU details). Mr Ho Meng Kit, CEO of SBF, explained, “As we transit to the Future Economy, it will be increasingly important for Singapore-based enterprises to systematically create, manage and leverage intellectual property in order to be globally competitive. The partnership between SBF and IPOS will promote companies’ understanding, appreciation and use of IP to create a strategic edge for themselves through the various initiatives that we will jointly work on. IP is vital to the success of businesses; it is intangible yet highly valuable in its ability to set businesses apart from their competitors.” 

III. Access to local and international expert IP advisory and management tools

7.         IP ValueLab will also collaborate with EverEdge Global Ltd, an international IP management consultancy firm, to reach out to more than 150 local innovative enterprises over the next three years, to provide intensive and customised assistance on IP strategy, management and commercialisation, and help them in their long-term growth and expansion plans (See Annex Dfor IPVL-EverEdge advisory services). Part of this collaboration will feature the launch of a new, self-help business portal – www.ipvaluelab.com.sg – for innovators and companies to access a repository of IP business guides and diagnostic toolkits. These resources will be pitched at business owners and help them understand the value of their technology, brands, content and databases in a simple and yet strategic manner. Innovators and companies will acquire the requisite IP know-how, and be provided with useful IP management tools without the burden of additional costs.

Intellectual Property, Innovative Economy

8.         Mr Daren Tang, Chief Executive of IPOS, said, “IP is key to our future growth and the fuel for an innovation driven economy. Our focus must shift to IP commercialization, to allow our enterprises to use IP strategically for growth and global expansion. We are also working with partners from various sectors who are likewise focused on enterprise growth and aligned with our vision of IP. With these new areas of focus, IPOS will evolve beyond our traditional role as an IP registry and regulator to become an innovation agency. We have built deep IP expertise and networks over many years, and are now working hard to build an innovation ecosystem that will help local and foreign enterprises transform their ideas into assets, and use Singapore to springboard into the world.”

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About IPOS

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) is a statutory board under the Ministry of Law. We are an innovation agency that uses our IP expertise and networks to drive Singapore’s future growth. Our focus is on helping enterprises grow through IP and innovation strategies, developing skills and expertise in these areas, and creating a vibrant ecosystem where today’s ideas become tomorrow’s assets. More information on IPOS can be found at https://www.ipos.gov.sg/.

About IP ValueLab

IP ValueLab (IPVL) is the enterprise engagement arm of IPOS and helps businesses compete globally through solutions in innovation and IP management. It educates local companies and entrepreneurs on using IP to gain and sustain a competitive edge, develops industry best practices, and facilitates IP valuation and financing. More information can be found at https://www.ipvaluelab.com.sg/

About Makara Capital

Founded in Singapore in 2005, Makara Capital is a global financial services company with strategic operational hubs in Asia, Europe, the US and Middle East. The company specializes in fund management, private equity as well as structuring and financing with a core focus on innovation, infrastructure and energy. Makara Capital creates synergies across businesses by capitalizing on its intellectual capital, relationships and experience to drive value creation for its investment partners, corporates and select governments around the globe. More information on is available at: www.makaracapital.com

About Singapore Business Federation

As the apex business chamber, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) champions the interests of the business community in Singapore in trade, investment and industrial relations. Nationally, SBF acts as the bridge between businesses and government in Singapore to create a conducive business environment. Internationally, SBF represents the business community in bilateral, regional and multilateral fora for the purpose of trade expansion and business networking. For more information, please visit our website:www.sbf.org.sg

About EverEdge Global

EverEdge is a global intangible asset specialist. Intangible assets, including data, content, software, brands, confidential information and design, are the most important assets companies today own. However these assets are frequently left off company balance sheets, creating or hiding major risks and opportunities. EverEdge helps corporations identify and manage both intangible asset downside risks and upside value. Employing more of the world’s top intellectual property strategists than any other firm globally, EverEdge has offices in Los Angeles, London, Sydney, Singapore and Auckland. EverEdge’s has delivered over 500 completed client engagements across the spectrum of business sizes, stages, and industries; from the Fortune 100 to ambitious start-ups.

For enquiries on the Makara Innovation Fund, please email us at enquiries@ipvaluelab.com.sg.

 

Annex A - Updates to the IP Hub Master Plan

Annex B - Factsheet on Makara Innovation Fund

Annex C - MoU between IPOS and Singapore Business Federation

Annex D - IPVL-EverEdge Advisory Services