S'pore ramps up push for shared ICT tools for SMBs

A S$42 million call-for-collaboration will target sector specific productivity issues and help SMBs leverage on economies of scale through collective adoption.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

SINGAPORE--The country's IT regulator has announced a sector-specific call-for-collaboration (CFC) to drive the productivity of SMBs through the use of ICT.

According to the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore on Thursday, the sectoral productivity CFC was launched to attract proposals which are able to deliver sector-wide impact by aggregating demand, integrating supply chains or strengthening cross-sector collaborations among enterprises.

The CFC, worth S$42 million (US$33 million), in partnership other government agencies such as SPRING Singapore and Singapore Tourism Board, aims to help to raise the productivity of the identified sectors and enable them to adopt ICT at a lowered cost.

For example, within the manufacturing industry, energy supplies are a significant portion of costs but through the CFC, that can be reduced through sensor networks, and more efficient use of electricity supplies and anlaytics, Steve Leonard, IDA's executive deputy chairman said, speaking at a Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI) event here Thursday.

"We are making sure that we have new Call for Collaboration (CFC) in which we believe a variety of sectors can continue to improve their business  performance. We are looking for ways to improve productivity, to enhance competitiveness, and to make sure that it boosts the business growth of businesses," Leonard said.

This initiative is broader than the previous one announced last year worth S$21 million which only focused on software-as-a-service. The current plan goes beyond this such as including premise-based and mobile solutions.

According to IDA, potential sectors include but are not limited to the following:

  • Landscaping,
  • Precision engineering,
  • Private education,
  • Early Childhood,
  • Dental,
  • Retail,
  • Food & Beverage,
  • Hotel,
  • Travel, Attractions,
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine,
  • Waste management,
  • Cleaning and Chemical Industry.

The IT regulator aims to reach out to 1,000 companies and ICT vendors through this CFC.

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