Singapore's Innovation Wake-Up Call for US

Singapore - Global Capital of Innovation
Singapore provided President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un the global stage for what appears to be their very successful denuclearization summit.  Singapore is much more than a world meeting place for diplomacy.  It's also a global capital of innovation with a long term and big budget backing it up.  The island nation's government is spending $19 billion over a 5 year period to develop Singapore as a knowledge-based , innovation driven, future focused economy. That scale of innovation investment leaves most of the rest of the world, including the United States, in the dust.

The innovation investment program is called RIE2020 or Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020.  Goals include strengthening the entrepreneurial atmosphere and commercializing innovation technologies for global markets.  Investments are focused on 4 key technology areas:  advanced manufacturing and engineering; health and biomedical science; services and digital economy and urban solutions and sustainability.

Singing Singapore's Innovation Praises
What's different and distinctive about Singapore's approach to fostering innovation is its deliberative, long term commitment, from policy, business friendly environment and investment standpoints.  The President of Boston University Dr. Robert Brown is on the RIE Council.  He notes the US deals in one year budgets and "in a good year we actually have a budget." In contrast, Singapore is diligently executing on its innovation plan and it's being pushed future-forward by its consistently top STEM education global standing.  

Innovation Results
Singapore is ranked top three in global innovation indexes.  South Korea and Sweden also are ranked at the global top.  Importantly in 2018 the US fell out of top ten in the Bloomberg Innovation Index. 

Singapore claims 42,000 startup companies and 1 in 10 working age people trying to start or have started companies.  Major innovation companies like GM, P&G and DuPont have made it a big part of their global strategies.


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