Singapore to grow its digital sector by attracting tech companies with new targeted program

The program promises to help qualifying companies with the Employment Pass application.

Photo from Unsplash.

Singapore will pilot a program called [email protected] to help high-potential tech companies grow in Singapore and expand in the region.

[email protected] is a collaboration between the Economic Development Board (EDB) and Enterprise Singapore. It is expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The two-year program targets companies in the fields of digital technologies, medtech, biotech, cleantech, agritech, and fintech. It will help these companies widen their access to business networks by connecting them to the local startup scene.

It will also help the qualifying tech companies set up new teams in Singapore by easing the requirements for Employment Pass (EP) holders, which is known to be a hurdle in talent acquisition in Singapore.

Specifically, the program looks at professionals equipped with skills in what it calls “frontier technology” like data science, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and the internet-of-things (IoT).

Singapore has a shortage of personnel fit for high-tech jobs and this is holding its tech ecosystem back. One way to resolve this is to either increase the local tech supply or loosen immigration regulations. [email protected] was developed with these goals in mind.

“[[email protected]] will enable Singapore to upskill our local talent pool to root more technology companies here and grow the sector,” said managing director of EDB, Chng Kai Fong.

Technology is a strong area of focus for Singapore as it enters the digital age. Just this month, the government announced a coding pilot program for all upper primary students to nurture digital readiness. It is also attempting to grow local tech supply by exposing the population to technology from a young age.