IPOS launches S$1 billion Innovation Fund and upgrades Intellectual Property Masterplan!

Reportedly[1], the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has announced that Singapore is launching a S$1 billion (US$717 million approx.) innovation fund to help companies with strong intellectual property strategies to grow and expand overseas.

The Makara Innovation Fund, a partnership between IPOS and local private equity firm Makara Capital, will invest S$30 to S$150 million on each of 10-15 “IP-rich and high-growth potential” companies from all over the world, including Singapore. These companies will then tap on Singapore’s IP ecosystem to help them deepen their value creation, compete effectively and expand into the global markets.  MIF will help anchor the nation as a destination for ideas to be translated into assets and revenue by employing a ‘from Singapore and through Singapore’ approach.[2]

The IPOS has also updated a 2013 IP Hub Master Plan aimed at building up Singapore’s competencies in managing and exploiting intellectual property (IP).

The Committee on the Future Economy’s (CFE) Report had identified IP as a key driver of economic growth; and in response, IPOS and the Ministry of Law have upgraded the masterplan to support the CFE’s recommendation, to strengthen Singapore’s innovation ecosystem and shape competencies to help enterprises innovate and scale up.

For starters, a master’s programme in IP Innovation and Management, offered by the Singapore University of Social Sciences, will take in its first batch in July 2017.[3] IPOS’ IP Academy will also work more closely with institutes of higher learning to roll out IP electives to undergraduates, and ramp up training for working adults too. The number of skilled IP experts will be doubled to 1,000 over the next five years to support the growing demand for innovation expertise, and create good, well-paying jobs. Company-level engagements will be stepped up to help local innovators and businesses identify and understand their IP, and use it for growth and expansion.

Taken together, the initiatives under the updated masterplan is estimated to inject at least $1.5 billion value-add into Singapore’s economy, with further benefits as it catalyses more innovation-driven enterprises, in the next five years.[4]

IPOS also plans to step up engagement with companies to help them identify and understand their IP and use it for growth.

For example, IPOS signed a memorandum of understanding with the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) to reach out to the body’s 24,200 member firms to raise IP awareness and competencies. The deepened engagement between both organisations will help SBF’s 25,000 member companies build IP awareness and competencies, as well as gain direct access to IPOS’ suite of IP services, such as training, executive education and complimentary IP clinics.[5]

About the Author :Abin T. Sam, Jr. Patent Associate at Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys. Can be reached at abhijeet@khuranaandkhurana.com

REFERENCES

[1] Yahaya, Yasmine. “Intellectual property masterplan upgraded to drive innovation”. straitstimes.com. http://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/intellectual-property-masterplan-upgraded-to-drive-innovation. (accessed 18th May, 2017).

[2] Huang, Claire. “   IPOS, Makara Capital launch S$1b fund to drive innovation”. Businesstimes.com.sg. http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/ipos-makara-capital-launch-s1b-fund-to-drive-innovation  (accessed 18th May, 2017).

[3] Yahaya, Yasmine. “Intellectual property masterplan upgraded to drive innovation”. straitstimes.com. http://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/intellectual-property-masterplan-upgraded-to-drive-innovation. (accessed 18th May, 2017).

[4] Yahaya, Yasmine. “Intellectual property masterplan upgraded to drive innovation”. straitstimes.com. http://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/intellectual-property-masterplan-upgraded-to-drive-innovation. (accessed 18th May, 2017).

[5] “One-billion dollar innovation fund launched in Singapore to drive enterprise growth for our future economy”https://www.ipos.gov.sg/MediaEvents/Readnews/tabid/873/articleid/381/category

/Press%20Releases/parentId/80/year/2017/Default.aspx.

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