Singapore plans collaborative lab to foster 'tinkering environment' for tech ecosystem

Singapore plans collaborative lab to foster 'tinkering environment' for tech ecosystem

Summary: Called IDA Labs, the initiative aims to encourage experimentation and collaboration within the ecosystem. It will also will support local tech companies with testing and marketing.


SINGAPORE--To grow the local technology ecosystem, the government is setting up a space to encourage experimentation and collaboration within the industry, and also support startups.

Yong Ying-I, IDA Chairperson, at Google Big Tent in Singapore. (credit: Ryan Huang/ZDNet)

Called IDA Labs, the initiative is aimed at promoting a "tinkering environment", according to Yong Ying-I, chairperson of Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).

"We want to encourage everyone, regardless of age or roles, to try 'tinkering with technology', to test things, make things yourself right wthin the office space," said Yong, during her keynote speech at industry event, Google Big Tent, on Tuesday.

She added the IDA Labs wiill start off as a collaborative space for IDA staff and industry participants. It will complement other labs in universities, research institutions and companies.

The initiative looks to hit four objectives:

Support local tech companies, through testing, assessing and marketing. This will help build the credibility of local startups and products.

  1. Give startups opportunities to demostrate and showcase their technology to government bodies and industry partners, potentially opening up new markets.
  2. Bring together ecosystem players to interoperate and develop technology standards, guidelines and reference architectures for the local IT industry.
  3. Develop tech talents by encouraging passionate sutudents and professionals to experiment.

This is the latest push from Singapore to give startups a leg up. Last month, it pumped another S$50 million (US$39.9 million) to fill the gap in early-stage funding which local startups face the most difficulty securing.

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Topics: Start-Ups, Government Asia, Singapore, Tech Industry


Loves caption contests, leisurely strolls along supermarket aisles and watching How It's Made. Ryan has covered finance, politics, tech and sports for TV, radio and print. He is also co-author of best seller "Profit from the Panic". Ryan is an editor at ZDNet's Asia/Singapore office.

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  • Government role and funding for local startups in Singapore

    Singapore Government should create an environment to promote private companies and creativity, be a regulator not as a company to run the business. In fact, Singapore should privatize all these GLCs companies (except for those that provide transportation, healthcare, medical or anything that directly impact the lives of common people). And also provide funds or link up with venture funds to help local startups to thrive.

    Look at Singapore today, how many top privately owned or non-government linked companies are we proud of today? I can only think of Creative Technologies but that is already outdated and dying anyway.

    If the Government continues on its current role today like in GLCs, I don't think Singapore will be successful in nurturing local startups.

    So its not just the problem of acquiring talents for startups but most importantly creating the business environment for startups to nurture.