SPRING Singapore, the agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry charged with helping Singapore enterprises grow, has reported that over 16,000 companies boosted their capabilities in 2016 despite a slowing economy.
were supported through the
Singapore government's Capability Development Grant
schemes, SPRING said, and anticipated to generate S$7.8 billion in value
plus about 21,400 skilled jobs
when they are completed. These figures represent increases of
43% over 2015 respectively.
A total of 16,300
began some 16,700 projects of which
were supported through CDG. This is
supported through CDG
the highest number of CDG projects
over the last five years.
Other initiatives that SPRING worked on in 2016 included Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs)
for the retail, food services
and food manufacturing
sectors, as well as for logistics and precision engineering.
ITMs foster innovation
and productivity, help to drive business growth, and support internationalisation. The ITMs also address the reskilling
and upskilling of workers to
the skilled jobs that are created.
"Our businesses are committed to this as
well as upgrading their overall HR capabilities, with about
small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) having
used the HR Diagnostic Tool to diagnose gaps in their HR policies and
practices," SPRING shared in a statement.
Singapore SMEs started on 920 human capital-related
projects, including to strengthen core HR functions like compensation and benefits, performance management, as well as recruitment and selection.
SPRING is also investing in building a vibrant and conducive ecosystem to
enable startups to grow. In May 2016, seven sector-specific accelerators were appointed to incubate and/or co-invest in high-potential startups in
the advanced manufacturing and engineering (AME) and clean technology
Financing, a key concern for local high-growth enterprises
and startups, saw a new alternative option to support expansion with the
Venture Debt Programme (VDP) in April 2016. Launched by SPRING
in collaboration with participating financial institutions
the programme has hosted 13
from emerging sectors such as
AME, cleantech and biomedicine.
In 2016, the SME
was also launched
to provide debt financing support for SMEs through
PFIs to support their growth and restructuring needs. So far,
have had their applications for the loan approved.
SPRING further supported 42 more startups
in getting third-party financing.
SPRING SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of SPRING, co-invested
catalysing private investments of
On the quality & standards (Q&S) front, SPRING launched
two world’s-first standards in 2016, for remote vital signs monitoring,
for smart health,
and for bunker mass flow metering, which facilitates marine fuel oil
A last mile delivery standard was also introduced to support e-commerce retailers and logistics players.
Another key development was SPRING's appointment as the
administering agency of the amended Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act.
The amendments provide SPRING with investigative and enforcement powers
to take timely action against
with the aim of better safeguarding
consumers’ interests and ensuring Singapore remains an attractive retail and
SPRING continually invests in efforts to deepen collaborations with industry
partners. Last year, the agency introduced the Local Enterprise and Association
(LEAD)+ Programme, aimed at raising the competencies of trade associations
and chambers (TACs) to enable them to play a bigger role in driving sector
transformation. To date, five TACs
are on board
and are receiving support in areas such as strengthening leadership and
secretariat capabilities, developing knowledge management systems, and
driving the adoption of business solutions.
In 2017, SPRING shared that it will focus on the implementation of ITM strategies. At
the same time, the organisation will scale up promising SMEs,
position as a startup hub and enhance
ecosystem to support enterprise growth.
Chief Executive of
SPRING Poon Hong Yuen said,
“The success of
is critical to Singapore’s economy. Together with our partners,
SPRING is committed to
supporting enterprises to grow and to upgrade their