Singapore is creating a US$718M innovation fund; will invest up to US$107M in each startup

It is called The Makara Innovation Fund, a joint venture between the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore and local private equity firm Makara Capital Partners

Singapore’s Smart Nation ambitions has just been dialled up a notch. Today, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) announced the creation of a S$1 billion (US$718 million) fund to help businesses develop their products and expand overseas.

The Makara Innovation Fund (MIF) is a joint venture between IPOS and Singapore private equity firm Makara Capital Partners.

MIF will make S$30 million (US$21.6 million) to S$150 million (US$107 million) deals in a maximum of 15 startups. It will target high-growth companies with strong IP and proven business models.

The creation of the MIF is part of a list of recommendations outlined by the Committee on Future Economy (CFE); and is one critical piece in the city state’s IP Hub Master Plan, which aims to grow Singapore into a global IP hub in Asia.

In related updates, the IP Hub Master Plan is estimated to inject at least S$1.5 billion dollars (US$1.07 billion) value-add into the nation’s economy, said an official press release.

The number of skilled IP experts will also be doubled to 1,000 over the next five years to support the growing demand for innovation expertise, and create well paying skilled 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.

IPOS and the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) also inked a new MOU to collaborate in driving enterprise growth through IP and innovation.

The collaboration 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 IP clinic.

“The IP Hub Master Plan is the blueprint for developing Singapore into a Global IP Hub in Asia. We have made significant progress over the last four years. IP is going to be an important enabler of Singapore’s growth moving forward. It protects business innovation and thereby encourages commercialisation. Singapore has a strong IP regime, which will enable local businesses to harness IP for growth,” said Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance, Indranee Rajah.

IP ValueLab will also collaborate with EverEdge Global, an international IP management consultancy firm, to reach out to more than 150 local innovative enterprises over the next three years to provide intensive and customised assistance on IP strategy, management and commercialisation, and help them in their long-term growth and expansion plans.

Part of this collaboration will feature the launch of a new, self-help business portal for innovators and companies to access a repository of IP business guides and diagnostic toolkits.