The Technology Adoption Programme (TAP) introduced in 2013, will be enhanced to better match technology solutions to the meet the business demands of SMEs in Singapore. This announcement was made by the Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, at the Infocomm Commerce Conference and SME Expo organised by Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI).
Tharman aims to make the programme more sector-focused, to enable more scaling up and quicker adoption of technology for small and medium sized business.
TAP aims to improve productivity of local SMEs by providing ready-to-go technologies and innovation from Research & Development organisations. Tharman outlined three new approaches adopted by the Government to strengthen the Technology Adoption programme. They are:
The Government will be closely working with the respective TACs (Trade Associations and Chambers) to better understand the industry challenges, technology demands and roadblocks to adoption of technology in the SME sector.
Besides support from R&D organisations, the Government will also be reaching out to Institutes of Higher Learning, Centres of Innovation and private sector to hunt for technology solutions that are relevant to SMEs to meet their business demands.
Tharman told Channel News Asia, “The basic challenge in Singapore is not whether we have the schemes, but how to match supply and demand.”
To increase the number of ready-to-go adoptions in the SME sector, SPRING Singapore will facilitate development of a pool of private system integrators, which will help the public sector R&D organisations to commercialise and deploy the technologies to SMEs through licensing and translation.
Tharman also called on banks to be mindful of SMEs cashflow difficulties and take a medium-to-long term view in lending, as the economic slowdown might create a gap between receiving payment from customers and payments to be made to suppliers.
Expressing positive hopes on the plans to improve SME productivity through these initiatives, Tharman noted, “It is only during difficult times that innovations arise. Difficult times are when we invest in capabilities for the long term, and the banks too must take this attitude.”