Singapore unveils schemes to help businesses digitalise

By Kate Birch
With the aim of driving greater digital transformation across business, Singapore Government announces various initiatives to support mature enterprises...

As part of its Budget 2021, the Singapore government has announced it has earmarked SG$24 billion (US$18.1 billion) over the next three years to help Singaporean businesses innovate and transform. 

Of this, SG$1 billion (US$754 million) has been set aside for new digital transformations programmes for mature businesses. 

Recognising that digital transformation is critical to ensuring mature enterprises not only survive but emerge stronger from the pandemic, the government has unveiled a number of initiatives to give mature enterprises the tools they need innovate, transform and scale up their businesses.  

Three programmes will help fund and support business

The new tech-focused Emerging Technology Programme will co-fund the costs of traits and adoption of emerging technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence, and trust technologies. 

According to Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, the Emerging Technology Programme will “support commercialisation of innovations and diffusion of technology downstream”. 

A new Digital Leaders Programme would further support companies in becoming digital leaders by helping them with the hire of digital talent and in developing and implementing digital transformation strategies. 

Finally, the Chief-Technology-Officer-as-a-Service (CTOaaS) initiative has been set up to help firms identify their digital needs and adopt relevant solutions, offering them access to professional IT consultancies. 

The Government also announced it was extending its existing support of up to 80% across a number of schemes, including Scale-up SG, Productivity Solutions Grand, Market Readiness Assistance, and Enterprise Development Grant, until end of March 2022. 

“The Budget’s Emerging Technology Programme, especially CTO-as-a-Service and Digital Leaders Programme, will help address this gap to drive greater digital transformation in local businesses,” Ajay Kumar Sanganeria, Head of Tax, KPMG in Singapore

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