Growing a Vibrant National Innovation System


To build up a strong core of innovative enterprises that drive value creation and economic competitiveness

A vibrant and robust Innovation and Enterprise (I&E) ecosystem enables research outcomes to be successfully translated into products, processes and services that benefit Singaporeans. This allows our industries to remain competitive and to capitalise on new growth areas. 

Strategic Goals in RIE2020

Over the past five years, the local landscape has seen the formation of more start-ups, larger financing deals and public-private research partnerships. In RIE2020, we will build a strong core of innovative enterprises, strengthen linkages between private-private and private-public entities, and create economic returns and good jobs from research and innovation. Four key priorities have been identified: 

Key Priorities

 Provide targeted support to help firms scale up

  • Government will provide equity co-investment funds for start-ups. The support will cover early-stage seed funding to post-Series A, to help start-ups scale up.
  • Government will partner multinational companies and Large Local Enterprises (LLEs) to co-invest in promising start-ups, incubators and accelerators. This will allow start-ups to access the management expertise and global supply / marketing networks of large firms.

 Foster stronger collaboration and cohesion

  • The role of Technology Transfer Offices in public research organisations will be expanded to include technology transfer, I&E education and incubation services to form integrated Innovation & Enterprise Offices (IEOs).
  • Government will establish a central fund that supports national collaborative initiatives amongst IEOs.

 Encourage greater industry participation

  • Expanded the size of the Industry Alignment Fund, which supports collaborations between public and industry researchers.
  • Intermediaries (e.g. Intellectual Property Intermediary, IPI) will be strengthened to facilitate the engagement between public researchers and industry.
  • Government will catalyse the flow of talent to industry by supporting full-time secondments and part-time attachments of Research Scientists and Engineers (RSEs) to enterprises.

Support domain-specific strategies

  • Funding will be set aside for initiatives that address domain-specific needs.

Key Schemes Administered by Various Government Agencies

In RIE2020, there will be more incentives for public research performers to work together with industry players. Economic agencies will work with research performers to strengthen alignment with industry development plans.

Administered by the National Research Foundation (NRF)

Scheme Description
Centralised Gap Funding
A national-level platform for public research performers to translate research outputs into outcomes with economic and social impact. Projects must aim to develop early technologies into working prototypes or functional processes that are closer to market, attracting private sector investments and/or partners to fully take technologies to market or implementation.
Centralised Core Funding This scheme aims to build and develop the I&E capabilities of IEOs and other public research performers in a concerted approach across the entire local ecosystem. This is done through collaborative programmes and activities, leveraging on existing strengths and capabilities of IEOs and stakeholders. 
I&E Cluster Fund  This scheme supports projects catering to the specific needs of each domain and to help capture value through translation of research to impact. As pathways to commercialisation vary across domains, are often complex, multi-factorial and may not be addressable through generic schemes, domains can tap on the I&E Cluster Fund for a broad range of possible applications.

The Fund seeks to strengthen partnerships across companies, universities, research institutes and government to bring ideas quickly to market, raise productivity, create jobs and grow the sector. Previous Innovation Clusters under RIE2015 have been folded under this initiative.
Early Stage Venture Fund (ESVF) ESVF catalyses the formation of funds to invest into start-ups. Government will partner selected LLEs to invest into start-ups, thereby allowing start-ups to leverage their networks and resources for growth. The LLEs benefit via greater access to disruptive ideas and technologies from start-ups.

Administered by the Ministry of Education (MOE), Ministry of Health (MOH), and A*STAR

Scheme Description
Decentralised Gap Funding
This scheme supports the development of demonstration prototypes hence reducing the risks involved in commercialising technology developed by public sector researchers. This scheme will be managed by the respective IEOs and they will be encouraged to obtain market validation through industry participation.

Research performers can contact their corresponding administrators in MOE, MOH and A*STAR for more information.

Administered by A*STAR

Scheme Description
Industry Alignment Fund (Industry Collaboration Projects) (IAF-ICP)
IAF-ICP supports public research performers in strategic R&D projects with companies (including SMEs and startups). Potential economic impact is a key criteria.  Companies are expected to provide tangible commitments (cash and in-kind) as part of the collaboration.

This scheme is open to all research performers. It is governed by EDB / Enterprise Singapore, A*STAR and NRF.

Administered by EDB

Scheme Description

Research Incentive Scheme for Companies (RISC)

RISC facilitates the establishment and expansion of private sector research laboratories in Singapore.

Companies will be able to defray some of the cost arising from qualifying R&D activities in strategic areas leading to improved industrial competitiveness.

Administered by Enterprise Singapore

Scheme Description

Startup SG Equity

Start-ups looking to raise capital for scale up could benefit from direct government co-investment. There will be a higher support ratio at the early stage to de-risk private sector investors, and higher investment quantum to support start-ups in high-tech sectors that require larger investments and longer runways to scale-up for success.

Administered by A*STAR and Enterprise Singapore

Scheme Description

Secondment of Experts

Provide support for full-time secondments or part-time attachments of Research Scientists and Engineers (RSEs) from research institutes and institutes of higher learning to provide technical expertise and strategic guidance to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This strengthens the SMEs’ technological capabilities and innovation capacity, while allowing RSEs to gain industry exposure.

Contact Points

For schemes administered by NRF:

For schemes administered by MOE:

For schemes administered by MOH:

For schemes administered by EDB:

For schemes administered by Enterprise Singapore: 

For schemes administered by A*STAR:


#12-02, CREATE Tower

Singapore 138602

Tel: 6684 2900 Fax: 6684 0384