2 Οκτ 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 6 μήνες)

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Working Paper by Kim
Song Tan and Sock
, Singapore Management University 2005

This paper discusses Singapore’s efforts to
increase innovation and R&D in its economy

s: Singapore was billed as efficient and
capable of operating existing technologies, but
lacking in capacity to create new technologies,
compared to world frontier

Improvements in infrastructure of other Asian
countries have indicated that Singapore must
increase its innovation to stay competitive

This paper aims to determine whether an
driven economy requires a different
kind of infrastructure than an efficiency

How effective is the government’s approach?

Goal: to develop comparative advantage in innovation
by developing supporting infrastructure

Changes to: internal environment of firms and
external social policies and regulations

Innovation policy deals with large and small firms in
sectors of high tech manufacturing, services, creative

Increased awareness of innovation potential in small
firms and service and creative sectors shifted focus
from high tech MNCs to broader target

In 2001
2005 plan, National Science and Technology
Board aims to put infrastructure in place for basic
research programs, esp. in life sciences

push strategy: build up supply of
innovative workers and activities to gain a
mover advantage over competitors

Attract creative workers by providing a
culturally enriching lifestyle: increase
availability of artistic performances, social
interaction with other creative workers

Increase availability of R&D facilities,
intellectual property protection, venture

North is an R&D hub that holds public and
private research institutes, business offices,
residential buildings, shopping centers and parks

$8.5 billion, 200 hectare development began in
2001, close to Central Business District

Serves biomedical sciences, information
technology and media industries

Two major complexes:

biomedical sciences research and

houses information technology and media

Phase I and Phase 2

6000 researchers
when fully occupied

Houses Genome
Institute of
Singapore and

tower complex

Attracts companies
across the media

Strong intellectual
property laws a
deciding factor in
media companies’
decisions to

performing arts
center in Downtown

Opened in 2002

Designed to attract
creative, innovative
workers to relocate
to Singapore

Strong IP culture is conducive to innovation and
Singapore’s plans to become regional hub for IP

Need for well
defined, strictly enforced IP laws
and institutions that promote IP knowledge
creation and management

Registry of Trademarks and Patents became a full

board, the Intellectual Property Office
of Singapore, in 2001

IPOS signed treaties with US, EU and Japan to
develop regional and global IP networks

Launched Intellectual Property Academy, a
research and education center

Over 100 venture capital firms in Singapore

Government provides 1/5 of total capital
funding for venture capital firms

Economic Review Committee recommended
implementing harmonized tax incentives and
additional partnerships with government
linked companies to promote venture capital

Recent increase in funding for research
programs and graduate programs

Government gave more

Singapore’s three research universities

Singapore universities are recruiting more
foreign research faculty and working on more
joint projects with universities abroad

First private foreign university opened its
Singapore campus in 2004

Government grants for joint research projects
between local and foreign universities

Singapore’s government has historically tried to
regulate people’s social and political lives,
encouraging conformity and obedience

Efforts to promote entrepreneurship by slowly
loosening government’s control over society and
becoming more accepting of diversity

Housing Development Board loosens restrictions
on use of public housing as office space

Education Ministry allows for more private
schools to open and relaxes entry requirements
for foreign students at all levels of education to
study in Singapore

Could especially help innovation in creative
content sector because those workers tend to
value a liberal working environment

Strategic industrial policy involves winner
picking: government decides which industries
to push

None of the established innovative cities have
taken this approach

Worked for industrialization policies of 1970
1980s when making an efficient economy,
but the same approach might not work for

New PM Lee


Singaporeans to aim
for creativity and
abandon conventional
thinking at National
Day Rally 2004

Promises to change
the government into
one more accepting of

Comparative advantages:

accessible, central geographical location

strong efficiency infrastructure


underdeveloped innovation infrastructure

small domestic market

political and social constraints of the business

Creative content is culture specific and thus more
difficult succeed in foreign markets compared to
high tech manufacturing and services industries

Size of domestic market may be a greater
obstacle for creative content firms

Specialization risk: Less certainty about which
industries will succeed when pushing the
frontiers of technology instead of merely
adapting existing technology

Concentrating limited amount of resources into
just a few sectors

Strong focus on electronic industry has recently
caused volatile swings in GDP

Justification: high
tech manufacturing is where
Singapore has the most comparative advantage
and pre
existing capacity for innovation

Economic Review Committee recommended a
becoming a regional hub for service industries as
part of the goal of innovation development

This requires significant regulatory reforms

Singapore has already been a leader in financial
services, transport and logistics, and healthcare
but has trouble staying competitive

After two major shipping lines,

Evergreen, relocated from Singapore to Malaysia,
the Port of Singapore Authority made drastic
changes to its operations

Deregulation of financial sector has allowed
local firms to merge and foreign firms to

Healthcare reforms aimed at cost reduction
have helped reduce shortage of doctors in
Singapore, but changes to foreign medical
student quotas still have not taken place

Education reforms (previously discussed)
have positive externalities: channeling
creative people into Singapore

Results have been mixed

Number of R&D workers has increased due to
influx of foreign researchers, but effect on
number of innovations is yet unknown

Number of patents filed increased from 1750
in 1995 to 5090 in 2000, but still less than
3% of patents and very few trademarks are
filed by Singapore residents

Singapore’s rank fell from 11

(2002) to 15

(2003) in Global Entrepreneur Monitor

Concern of overinvestment in innovation
infrastructure with such an aggressive strategy

What is the socially optimal level?

Authors argue for a more well
defined way of
evaluating innovation infrastructure

There is a minimum level necessary to create a
general innovation
oriented culture

Value should be measured by an investment’s
impact on the overall economy’s innovative
capacity, rather than impact on targeted industries

Innovation infrastructure also has consumption
benefits, improving quality of life is an additional
social benefit, so over
investment is less likely
than previously thought