China-Singapore technology partnership brings mutual benefits to industries in both economies
SUZHOU, 14 JANUARY 2022 – The A*STAR Partners’ Centre (A*PC) officially launched the A*PC Innovative Science & Technology Partnership programme in Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) today. Established in November 2020, A*PC is a launchpad for Singapore technology companies and offers funding and infrastructure support for their expansion and R&D productisation journey in China via Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP).
The hybrid launch event coincided with the first anniversary of the A*PC, and included an exhibition of its member companies’ technologies and products. Key partners such as the Suzhou Industrial Park Administrative Committee, Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) supported the launch event and exhibition. In attendance were Member of the Standing Committee of CPC Suzhou Municipal Committee, Party Secretary of CPC SIP Working Committee，Mr Shen Mi, and Member of CPC SIP Working Committee, Vice Chairman of SIP Administrative Committee, Mr Ni Qian, Mr Chua Teng Hoe, the Consul-General of Singapore in Shanghai; Prof Andy Hor, A*STAR Deputy Chief Executive (Research), Prof Tan Sze Wee, A*STAR Assistant Chief Executive (Enterprise) and Executive Director of A*PC; as well as other long-time strategic partners of A*PC.
A*STAR-SIP Technology and Innovation Partnership Programme
The A*STAR-SIP Technology and Innovation Partnership Programme is a new model for international innovation between A*STAR and SIP. The programme will help A*PC member companies expand their business in China, by connecting them to relevant platforms, institutions, and industry resources such as capital providers and professional services providers. A mentorship initiative has been set up to provide in-depth guidance tailored to each company, with the first 10 mentors officially appointed at the event today.
A*PC intends to bring in outstanding entrepreneurs, scientists, academics and investors to be mentors for member companies from Singapore, and partner companies in China who are interested to expand in Singapore. Mentors will share their start-up experience and understanding of business development in China through lectures and start-up bootcamps, to deepen companies’ understanding of the China market, avoid potential risks and gain access to more resources.
Mr Tan Chuan Seng, Centre Director of A*PC, said, “As their innovation and technology partner, A*PC will continue to help our member companies to succeed, by providing guidance through our entrepreneur mentorship programme.”
A Launchpad for Singapore Tech Companies Entering China
Within A*PC’s first year of becoming fully operational, 22 Singapore technology companies have come onboard as partners. Since its launch, A*PC has set up a series of tailored programmes to connect more Singapore companies with the technology sector in the greater Yangtze River Delta region, covering the key areas of biomedical technology, machine automation, and nanotechnology.
Prof Tan Sze Wee, Assistant Chief Executive, Enterprise, A*STAR, said, “In addition to A*PC’s role as a launchpad for Singapore tech startups and SMEs, we envision A*PC being a key platform for scientific and technological innovation exchanges between Singapore and China. Through A*PC, we also hope to seed greater understanding of Singapore’s scientific research capabilities among local Chinese technology companies.”
About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore's lead public sector R&D agency. Through open innovation, we collaborate with our partners in both the public and private sectors to benefit the economy and society. As a Science and Technology Organisation, A*STAR bridges the gap between academia and industry. Our research creates economic growth and jobs for Singapore, and enhances lives by improving societal outcomes in healthcare, urban living, and sustainability. A*STAR plays a key role in nurturing scientific talent and leaders for the wider research community and industry. A*STAR’s R&D activities span biomedical sciences to physical sciences and engineering, with research entities primarily located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis.
For ongoing news, visit https://www.a-star.edu.sg/
About the A*STAR Partners’ Centre
Located in the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park, the A*STAR Partners’ Centre (A*PC) was launched at the 14th Singapore-Jiangsu Cooperation Council meeting in November 2020. It marks Suzhou Industrial Park’s first collaborative enterprise hub with an overseas government-backed research institution, and is also A*STAR’s first overseas branch. The establishment of A*STAR Partners’ Centre came from consensus within the China-Singapore Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation, with strong support from the Jiangsu Provincial Government, the Suzhou Municipal Government, and the Suzhou Industrial Park Management Committee, reinforcing China and Singapore’s commitment to the co-development and shared expertise in scientific research and technologies.
A*PC is committed to building a community of innovators influenced by Singapore and facilitating synergy and mutual development for both Singaporean and Chinese partners. A*PC supports Singapore's technology companies and helps them "go global" and enter the Chinese market through on-site technology research, commercialisation and marketing, using Suzhou Industrial Park as a launchpad.
A*PC focuses its efforts on three areas: life sciences, manufacturing and logistics automation, and nanotechnology.
Find the official A*STAR website here:
A*PC’s successes and steady progress for internationalisation and technological innovation
- Since A*PC’s launch in November 2020, 22 Singapore technology companies have come onboard as partners. As of today, A*PC member companies own 94 authorised intellectual property rights and one Class II medical device registration certificate.
- Five member companies were recently awarded the title of “Tech Pioneer Award by Suzhou Industrial Park” by the SIP Administrative Committee. Among them, wireless technology startup Xnergy earned the title of “SIP’s Major Leading Talent Enterprise”, and AI medtech company Hexalotus Technology was conferred the municipal title of “Leading Talent Enterprise in Suzhou”.
- Biomedical technology is a growing sector in China but has higher barriers to entry. Therefore, biomedicine and life sciences is A*PC’s primary focus. The centre has been assisting new biomedical companies such as Osteopore, AUM Biosciences, AiTreat and ProfilePrint in registering business entities in the Chinese market, and has begun to provide market development services to its member companies including Lucence, Hexalotus, and Biototem. These companies have already developed mature technologies in Singapore and offer unique advantages that can supercharge technological transformation in Chinese enterprises.
- Automation and high-end manufacturing is another area of focus. A*PC has begun building a resource network and is successfully helping Singaporean enterprises to connect with industry contacts as well as upstream and downstream supply chains in China. A*PC has established a network of biomedical research partners that includes more than 10 tertiary hospitals, 30 biomedical investment firms, 10 biopharmaceutical industry platforms, and 10 research organisations (ROs) like contract ROs for pharmaceutical R&D, and contract development and manufacturing organisations (CDMOs) for drug R&D and outsourced production. A*PC has taken steps to foster relationships for resource sharing with these partners.
- In the area of automation and high-end manufacturing, A*PC began building a resource network in October last year, which is successfully helping Singaporean enterprises to connect with local industry contacts, market-leading domestic companies, as well as upstream and downstream supply chains.
About A*STAR Partners’ Centre’s service support for member companies
For onboarded Singapore enterprises, A*PC provides a full range of service support in terms of hardware facilities, service content and financial support.
These include providing complete hardware facilities such as shared office space, laboratories and laboratory equipment; offering opportunities to participate in A*STAR scientific research; expediting applications for the SIP Science and Technology Support Fund; and connecting them with relevant local industry partners including investors, scientific research institutions and business partners. A*PC’s facilities will allow enterprises to overcome challenges in securing laboratory facilities for their overseas operations, and provides significant cost savings in equipment rental. This accelerates their operation setup timeline, and shortens the duration from lab to market.
Funding support is provided through the A*STAR-SIP Technology Support Grant, which will provide companies with a head start and alleviate their initial set-up costs.
To help member companies expand into the domestic Chinese market, A*PC takes a phased and systematic approach. For instance, when it comes to the biopharmaceutical industry, A*PC helps to simplify the entry process into the Chinese market for small and medium-sized Singaporean enterprises through a step-by-step programme that includes regulatory training, technology sharing sessions in research hospitals, and roadshows to connect with investors.
Find out more about A*PC here.