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  • Writer's pictureSMART

New Innovation Centre bridges innovation gap, connects Boston venture capitalists, international

business community with community in Singapore.


Singapore, 2 Feb 2010 – The Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) has established a new Innovation Centre to boost Singapore’s entrepreneurial and innovation landscape. Modelled after the successful Desphande Center for Technological Innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), SMART Innovation Centre aims to bring the “MIT Way” to Singapore. The Centre will identify and nurture a broad range of emerging technologies and create a fertile environment to promote student and faculty entrepreneurship. The Centre handed out S$1.3 million in grants to student entrepreneurs and faculty research teams today.

The Innovation Gap Academic research usually solves problems they define in the laboratory and not problems defined by market needs. Investors are reluctant to take on the investment risk without any short-term payback promise. This may result in research failing as a driver for economic development.

In Singapore, there has been a push towards innovation and an economy that is knowledge-based. The country is on track to achieving its target of 3% GDP in R&D spending by 2010. Plugging the innovation gap creates possibilities for generating entrepreneurship and has great economic impact such as maintaining competitiveness, promoting economic growth and creating jobs.

The ‘MIT Way’ in Singapore According to a 2009 study conducted by Kauffman Foundation, if companies founded by MIT graduates and faculty formed an independent nation, the revenues produced by the companies would make the nation the 17th largest economy in the world. The 25,800 currently active companies founded by MIT alumni employs over 3.3 million people and generate annual world sales of US$2 trillion, producing the equivalent of the 11th largest economy in the world1.

MIT is a good example to illustrate the impact and contribution that research can bring to the economy. With unique links to MIT, SMART Innovation Centre aims to bring MIT’s spirit to Singapore. See News Release for more.



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