About the Innovation and Startup Desk in Singapore

Intro about the Desk, its mission and activities

Innovation desk in general is an initiative by ICE aka Italian trade agency for assisting the highly innovative Italian startups in expanding its business in domestic and offshore markets.

The placement of the innovation desks is in accordance with the importance of the cities and its close vicinity to the foreign investors for attracting investments towards the Italian startups. Apart from attracting investments; the innovation desks are involved in other innovative activities towards attracting Italian investment in the host countries for most happening initiatives by the country’s respective governments.


Singapore's President, Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, who is on a state visit to Italy, witnessed the signing of an agreement that encourages cooperation in science and technology, alongside Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Another 13 agreements and memorandums of understanding were set to be signed this week between the two countries' governments, research institutes, educational institutes and business associations.

These include a third Executive Programme of a wide-ranging agreement between the two countries that runs from this year to 2019. It covers fields such as arts and culture, archives and libraries, science and technology, and human rights, and could see residencies for writers, and training exchanges for professionals in monument preservation and conservation.

Nanyang Technological University signed a pact with Scuola Superiore Sant'anna in Pisa to research human robotics, while students at Singapore Management University, Lasalle College of the Arts and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts will have more opportunities for exchanges with Italian academies.

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) signed pacts with two Milan universities.

One involves a joint research attachment programme for students at the University of Milano-Bicocca in A*Star research institutes.

The Singapore Manufacturing Federation signed agreements with its counterparts, and the Singapore Furniture Industries Council inked a pact with Federmobili - an Italian federation of furniture stores - to help companies work together in the Asian and European markets.

Dr Tan, following his meeting with Mr Mattarella, said "there was much scope for us to explore cooperation in new areas, including trade and investment, for the benefit of both Italy and Singapore".

Singapore can be a hub for Italian companies to expand their business in South-east Asia, he added.

Mr Mattarella noted that Singapore is a "priority partner of Italy in the area of South-east Asia".

"Singapore is a gateway to all of South-east Asia. And Italy, much like the entire European Union, is very interested indeed in fostering economic and political relations with that part of the world."

Mr Mattarella said he and Dr Tan also discussed the need for the international community to deal with terrorism and migration "in a competent and systematic way". Italy and Singapore have the same goals and understanding on the matter, he added.

Source: The Straits Times (published on 24 May 2016)



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