The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) announced on 26 April 2017 the launch of a new billion-dollar fund aimed at helping promising companies to grow and expand into global markets.
The Makara Innovation Fund (MIF), established through a partnership between IPOS and a Singapore-based private equity firm, Makara Capital, will target high growth companies with strong intellectual property (IP) and proven business models. It is the first South East Asian private equity investment fund that sources IP-driven companies internationally and capitalises on cross-border regional expansion.
The MIF is one of several new collaborations with partners in the business and finance community announced by IPOS and the Ministry of Law as part of the IP Hub Master Plan.
The Singapore Government’s Committee on the Future Economy’s (CFE) Report identified IP as a key driver of economic growth. In 2013, the Government accepted the 10-year IP Hub Master Plan by IPOS and the Ministry of Law to support the CFE’s recommendation to strengthen Singapore’s innovation ecosystem and build capabilities to help enterprises innovate and expand.
IP-rich and high-growth-potential companies
The MIF has been created by IPOS through its enterprise engagement arm IP Value Lab) and Makara Capital. The partnership project will invest SG$30 to $150 million across 10 to 15 companies from anywhere in the world, including Singapore. These are IP-rich and high-growth potential companies with globally competitive technologies, who will leverage on Singapore’s IP ecosystem to help them deepen their value creation, compete effectively and expand into the global markets.
The Fund’s sector focus includes: urban solutions (logistics, security, waste management, etc.), advanced technologies (AI, big data, cybersecurity, nanotech, etc.), fintech, alternative energy, healthcare and bio-med. Through this collaboration, the MIF will help to anchor Singapore as a destination for ideas to be translated into assets and revenue.
New MoU to help Singapore-based companies drive growth
IPOS also announced that it has also signed new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) to work together to assist Singapore-based companies in driving enterprise growth through IP and innovation. The MoU will help 25,000 member companies of the SBF in building IP awareness and competencies, as well as gaining direct access to a suite of IP services from IPOS, such as training, executive education and complimentary IP clinics. It also seeks to help companies take their IP abroad by promoting Singapore IP service providers to overseas companies, and also local companies who wish to expand regionally.
The initiatives in the IP Hub Master Plan are estimated to inject at least SG$ 1.5 billion into Singapore’s economy in the next five years., with further benefits as it catalyses more innovation-driven enterprises. The number of skilled IP experts will be doubled to 1,000 over the next five years to support the growing demand for innovation expertise.
Singapore’s IP regime has consistently been rated as one of the best globally. The above initiatives also depict the evolution of IPOS beyond the traditional role as an IP registry and regulator towards an innovation agency. With the strong support of the Government and IPOS’ efforts, we remain confident of the continued development and transformation of Singapore’s IP ecosystem.