Services and Digital Economy


To develop, integrate and leverage Singapore’s digital innovation capabilities to meet national priorities, raise productivity and support key services, create sustainable economic opportunities and high quality jobs

Rapid advances in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) have lowered the cost of digital sensors, expanded computing power exponentially, and achieved ubiquitous connectivity – this has fundamentally altered business models in the services sector and created a whole new digital economy. Developments in artificial intelligence and deep machine learning can also bring about even more disruptive innovation.   

Strategic Goals in RIE2020

Digital innovation will be used as a force multiplier to meet national priorities and enhance productivity in our services sector. Under the Smart Nation banner, three focus areas critical to our national needs where the Services and Digital Economy (SDE) domain can have a decisive impact are:     

  1. Urban Mobility
    The fusion of traditional transport engineering with autonomous technologies, real-time analytics, modelling and simulation will transform how we plan routes, and dynamically manage real-time traffic events.
  2. Healthcare ICT
    Predictive analytics and machine learning, based on real-time data collected from Internet of Things (IoT) healthcare devices, will allow healthcare to be delivered in ways that empower our seniors to enjoy active and confident ageing. 

  3. Services Productivity
    Automation of knowledge work, discovery of insight through data mining and creation of innovative digital applications can be tapped to improve the delivery of government and private sector services. 

Under the Smart Systems Strategic Research Programme (SRP), we will support research centres that anchor strategic capabilities to support these verticals. These may be thematic (e.g. specific to Healthcare ICT) or cross-cutting (e.g. data science). 

We will also support rapid translation of SDE R&D into new products and services by:

  • Supporting R&D activities that encourage future-oriented multinational corporations in the ICT sector to grow their presence in Singapore and provide good jobs.
  • Facilitating strong partnerships with, and between, large local enterprises (LLEs), small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and innovative start-ups to rapidly incorporate innovative technologies into their products and services.

We will also initiate the Emergent Areas Research Project Scheme and the Industry Alignment Fund (Pre-Positioning) Scheme. These will seed and build selected capabilities where demand is still nascent, so as to pre-position our enterprises to capture the global market. 

Key Schemes open to Public Research Performers

Scheme Description 
Smart Systems SRP Emergent Areas Research Projects
  • Seed R&D capabilities in new / emerging areas through projects funding
Industry Alignment Fund (Pre-Positioning) (IAF-PP)
  • Support forward-looking research projects ahead of industry demand
Smart Systems SRP Strategic Capabilities Research Centres 
  • Anchor SDE R&D expertise in our research institutes and universities for deep capability building along strategic sub-themes, by providing economies of scale and some certainty of funding
  • Each centre will be funded via a combination of assured and performance-based components (e.g. dollar matching for industry co-funding), potentially supplemented by other competitive grants attained by the centre
Smart Systems SRP Public Sector-Led Translational R&D Centres / Projects
  • Fund translation of R&D that is driven by demand from the public sector, to address government needs

Key Schemes open to Industry

Scheme Description 
Smart Systems SRP Private Sector-led Translational R&D Centres / Projects
  • Encourage R&D translation, productisation, and adoption of public R&D outcomes by private sector, including building research-industry linkages in bringing technology / intellectual property to the market

In addition to schemes in the SDE domain, digital technology-related R&D can also be funded under each of the other three technology domains.

Contact Point

SDE Secretariat at:   


#12-02, CREATE Tower

Singapore 138602

Tel: 6684 2900 Fax: 6684 0384