It is also a strong performer on many other metrics - from education, GDP per capita and healthcare, to transport, infrastructure quality and technology adoption. This makes Singapore a prime gateway to the wider Asian market for many UK companies in the digital economy and next generation services.
GBIP to focus on insurance and legal services technology
Innovate UK's Global Business Innovation Programme (GBIP), delivered by EEN, is looking to take 15 companies to Singapore from the insurance technology (Insurtech) and legal services technology (Lawtech) sectors - along with accountancy and technology suppliers into these sectors.
This targeted sector visit will connect internationally-minded InsurTech and LegalTech companies to potential partners and customers to this dynamic and strategically important market. Even with such an exceptional business-friendly environment as Singapore, it is not easy for an innovative UK firm to meet business partners and to gain on-the-ground access to the right organisations at the right level - which is what the GBIP can provide.
Up close with the Singapore fintech and innovation scene
As part of their GBIP visit, all successful applicants will be able to visit Singapore Fintech Festival and the Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SWITCH). These two events are coming together for the first time this year to provide a huge showcase of innovation. Combined, both events drew close to 57,000 delegates from almost 130 countries last year.
Participants will also be provided with opportunities to meet key corporates and research organisations in the Singaporean digital economy and next generation services sectors. They will be able to participate in targeted pre-arranged meetings at matchmaking events.
Participant companies on GBIP also have the opportunity to learn about the potential for regional expansion - Singapore has a vibrant investment ecosystem with incubators, accelerators, research institutes, investment funds, government agencies and numerous other community enablers.
The visit is just one element of the GBIP. Prior to the visit, the participant companies are briefed by sector and market experts and hear first-hand from previous delegates about their experiences. They are advised on the cultural aspects of conducting business in Singapore. This “getting ready for market” phase ensures the businesses understand the market, how to operate in the market, understand the target sector/technology in the country, and receive help to find partners and arrange meetings in advance.
Participating companies are provided with bespoke one-to-one support via an EEN adviser who will help develop and implement an action plan to ensure the company - and the UK economy - derives maximum benefit from the programme of support.
Limited places available
This is a competitive process for which only 15 applicants will be successful. To apply, companies must express interest via Eventbrite and will then be contacted with a link to a full application form, which must be submitted by 18 August 2019. Innovate UK and EEN will organise and fund flights, hotel accommodation and in-country logistics.
The visit has been arranged working with key partners in Singapore including IPI Singapore and the Singapore Economic Development Board, as well as with the British Embassy and the UK Department for International Trade.
There are already many strong business ties between the UK and Singapore. By joining the GBIP, companies will be powerfully positioned to further develop these opportunities.