Speeches
21 Feb 2019 Updated 22 Feb 2019

Speech by DCEO Ted Tan at ENGIE Factory Asia Pacific Launch

SPEECH BY MR TED TAN,

DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ENTERPRISE SINGAPORE,

AT ENGIE FACTORY APAC LAUNCH O

N THURSDAY, 21 FEBRUARY 2019, 1840 HRS, GOLDEN AGRI PLAZA

Mr Didier Holleaux, Executive Vice President, ENGIE,

Mr Ngiam Shih Chun, CEO, Energy Market Authority,

Mr David Tan, Assistant Chief Executive, JTC Corporation,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

 

Introduction

1. I am honoured to join you at the official launch of ENGIE Factory Asia-Pacific tonight. On behalf of Enterprise Singapore, I congratulate ENGIE on the set up of its accelerator arm here in Singapore, its first such outfit in Asia Pacific.

2. It is commendable that an MNC such as ENGIE is committed to developing new innovative solutions to make a difference to the way we consume energy. 

3. Innovation is of increasing importance to all companies. In relation to this, I would like to talk about 3 points: Innovation Ecosystem, Global Networks, and Singapore – Your Launchpad.

Firstly, Innovation Ecosystem: A vibrant startup ecosystem is critical for startups to create solutions that will make a sustained impact 

4. It is now a must to innovate, if companies and industries want to grow and stay competitive. Startups play an important role in catalysing innovation.  This is why Enterprise Singapore has worked very closely with both public and private partners to build the startup ecosystem in the past 15 years or so. Today, we are home to more than 4,000 technology startups and over 100 startup enablers like accelerators, incubators and venture capital firms. Enterprise Singapore also works with a community of Startup SG partners to build a culture of innovation and interconnectedness – two enabling factors that we believe would empower startups to make an impact beyond the initial R&D.

5. Startup Genome consistently ranks Singapore as one of the top startup cities in the world1, and Singapore was named the most innovative country in Asia  in 20182. This would not be possible without the support of both international and local partners. As such, it is with great pleasure to welcome ENGIE Factory Asia-Pacific onboard as a valuable Startup SG Accelerator partner.

Secondly, Global Networks: International accelerators bring with them networks and best practices, enabling startups to scale up more rapidly

6. Multinationals and global innovation players add a new dimension to startup activities in Singapore. Their experience enables startups to sharpen business strategies and adapt value propositions to what the industry really requires in different markets. This contributes to a higher probability of clinching the first major customer for startups.

7. With a presence in over 70 countries including 10 in Asia-Pacific, ENGIE’s global network in energy and smart cities will be a boon for startups looking to scale up. By working directly with ENGIE, our startups are exposed to the industry’s needs and challenges first hand. Enterprise Singapore supports such industry-led innovation as it allows for the creation of more effective solutions. Notably, this is the first energy-specific accelerator programme in Singapore that goes beyond incubation activities. It incorporates co-development, test-bedding and actual deployment of solutions.  This opportunity to deploy in appropriate client sites across the region will allow startups to build up much needed track record.

8. ENGIE has also brought on board Rainmaking Innovation as its programme partner. Rainmaking Innovation is an established global cooperative of entrepreneurs and is known for creating the Startup Bootcamp – an industry-focused accelerator programme that is active in 15 cities across 5 continents.  Its global experience will help build up ENGIE’s startup engagement capacity across the region.

Finally, Singapore – Your Launchpad: Startups can leverage Singapore as a launchpad to capture opportunities in the region

9. Regionally, demand for innovative energy and smart city solutions is rising as governments increasingly face issues related to climate change and environmental sustainability as Didier has mentioned earlier. Through dedicated incubator and accelerator activities, corporates can leverage the combined innovation capabilities of startups and research institutes here to create scalable solutions to meet regional demand.

10. With its open economy, established legal and financial infrastructure, and ease of doing business, Singapore serves as a regional hub for over 7,000 multinationals today. Our global connectivity makes Singapore a good launchpad to penetrate the wider Asia market.

11. Recognising these, corporations like GE, Microsoft, 3M, Infineon, P&G, Veolia, and now ENGIE, have set up open innovation teams here to develop and pilot innovative solutions.

12. For startups and enterprises to grow, they must also collaborate with partners worldwide.  Singapore has established connections to 9 cities globally through our Global Innovation Alliance initiative, known as GIA. The GIA has nodes in San Francisco, Beijing, Jakarta, Bangkok, Paris and more, to help startups connect to these markets and explore co-innovation opportunities. We welcome all startups based here, to work with us.

Closing

13. In closing, I would like to once again congratulate ENGIE on the successful launch of ENGIE Factory Asia-Pacific. Enterprise Singapore will continue to work with ENGIE to reach out to local and regional startups and expand its network of partners. We look forward to working with all of you to build a vibrant Innovation Ecosystem, leverage on Global Networks to scale up more rapidly and enhance Singapore as a Launchpad as you embark on your innovation journey. Let me end off with a quote by Minister Ong Ye Kung who once said, to drive innovation, we need to “Think big, start small, act fast.” Thank you.

-End-

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1Startup Genome (2018), Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2018. Singapore is ranked among the top 20 startup cities globally, and top 10 in interconnectedness.

2Global Innovation Index (2018). Singapore is ranked fifth globally and first in Asia in terms of innovation.