Singapore #1 in Innovation Asia-Pacific
Singapore Ranks #8 on Global Innovation IndexSource: Singapore Stock Image
City-State Investing Heavily in Technology and Innovation
Singapore is investing heavily in technology and innovation, It hopes to become the world's first smart nation. And, its investments are paying off. The funding it put into digital innovation helped it to continue to do business during the COVID pandemic. COVID has devastated its tourism business. So, Singapore is using AI to help bring tourists back safely to its MICE economy. Singapore is a global leader in meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions otherwise known as MICE.
AI "Chat Bots" on Duty From Vouch
Tourism and business travel to Singapore this year took a very hard hit. From January - July 2020, it was down 76%. In July alone, visitor arrivals were down 99%. Now reopening its borders after months of restrictions, Singapore is using advanced, innovative technology in the war against COVID. A local startup Vouch is selling AI enabled digital concierges. These "chat-bots" are being used at hotels, including the Pan Pacific and Andaz Singapore. The bots are tasked with managing crowds for social distancing. They can answer guest questions, make bookings and take room service orders. All to make the guests safer with less human contact.
Meanwhile, another hot startup Travelstop is deploying technology to make business travel simpler. Its server-less SaaS platform accelerates bookings, gives cost savings tips and automates expense reporting. It's a digital expense management platform that's also designed to "accelerate digitizing workflow & process to support the work at home culture", according to Travelstop co-founder Prashhant Kirtane.
Asia on the Rise in Innovation
Asian nations are clearly rapidly moving forward in their quest for innovation. In the 2020 Global Innovation Index of 131 nations, Singapore is ranked #8, South Korea #10 and Hong Kong #11. But Singapore is a standout. It tops the Global Innovation List for what are called innovation inputs. Those critical inputs include the quality of human capital, research and market sophistication.