In a press release on 19 May, the Singapore government announced that it has joined 47 other countries across Europe, North America, Africa and Asia as an Associate Country at the Eureka Network, an international ecosystem aiming to foster cross-border collaboration in large scale R&D and innovation projects.
An associate agreement was officially signed by Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong on 18 May at the 2021 Global Innovation Summit. Under the agreement, Enterprise Singapore will be committed to support the facilitation and funding of joint innovation projects between companies from Singapore and Eureka member countries. Singapore’s association with the Eureka network would in turn provide greater access and flexibility to participate in joint innovation projects with entities from other Eureka partner countries.
Singapore companies will also have the rare opportunity to participate in initiatives such as Eurostars, a bi-annual call for innovation projects from member countries, and Eureka Clusters, a series of long-term strategically thematic calls initiated by European member countries. This would allow Singapore companies to access important growth opportunities in overseas markets, which would have an immense impact on their capacity for international expansion by allowing them to act with agility in seizing international opportunities, thus improving their time to market and global competitiveness overall. By reducing barriers to international collaboration, such initiatives also allow companies to access and exchange deep domain expertise with companies in partner countries, creating a win-win situation for all companies involved by fostering innovation through efficient information flows, and saving costs through the cutting down of duplicitous efforts.
Speaking at the summit, Mr Gan noted that the network plays a crucial role in achieving Singapore’s broader goals of becoming a global epicentre for technology, innovation and enterprise - by cultivating a vibrant innovation ecosystem, and building a robust portfolio of international partnerships. We certainly applaud Enterprise Singapore’s decision to join the Eureka Network, and we look forward to seeing how this move will foster innovation in the long term by encouraging the formation of close ties between global MNCs to support innovation incubation and R&D programmes at scale.