SOUTHEAST ASIA CONSTRUCTION11 Feb 2019
S$6 mil funding for Singapore built environment accelerator scheme
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The Singapore government recently announced the Built Environment Accelerate to Market Programme (BE-AMP) - an initiative by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), supported by Enterprise Singapore and JTC Corporation (JTC) - which aims to bring inventors and companies together to fast track the entire innovation process to solve real world industry challenges.

A S$6 million funding support will be provided for the development and commercialisation of innovative solutions through Enterprise Singapore’s Gov-PACT initiative. Local SMEs will receive up to 70% of the qualifying project cost, while local non-SMEs will receive up to 50%.

Beyond funding support, Enterprise Singapore is working closely with BCA to connect solutions providers, including startups, to companies in the built environment sector seeking innovative solutions for their current needs. JTC will offer relevant spaces in selected buildings and estates to collaborators to test-bed and/or pilot their new solutions.

In addition, Facebook is one of the sponsors for the first phase of BE-AMP and will provide a shortlisted winner with a prize, a mentorship programme and the opportunity to work with Fortis Construction as the company builds Facebook’s data centre in Singapore.

A total of 14 industry stakeholders have been identified as demand drivers, also known as Challenge Statement Owners (CSO), for this programme. These are industry firms and public agencies that are seeking solutions for various aspects of the building lifecycle and they were given the opportunity to present their challenge statements to potential solution providers.

A total of 16 challenge statements were revealed, spanning across a wide range of topics including smart project management and facilities management, construction manufacturing and fabrication, building inspections, knowledge management and data capture, and construction safety.

“Research and innovation plays an important role in boosting the transformation of our built environment sector,” said Hugh Lim, CEO of BCA. “Our BuildSG transformation office has regular engagements with the trade associations & chambers (TACs) and industry stakeholders, and some have given feedback that innovation in the sector often does not progress beyond the first prototype or pilot- testing due to the lack of support and follow-through for full-scale development and adoption.

“This accelerator programme will help to bridge the current gap between solution seekers and providers. By attracting and matching more innovators to industry firms, we aim to accelerate our drive toward an advanced and integrated sector with progressive and collaborative firms.”

Proposals to be submitted by 12 April 2019

Following the launch of BE-AMP and the release of the first set of challenge statements today, solution providers and innovators are invited to submit their proposals by 12 April 2019. Innovators may apply for either (1) the Accelerate Solution Development phase or (2) the Market Development phase, depending on the technical maturity of the solution proposed.

For the Accelerate Solution Development phase, innovators have up to five months to develop their solutions. Their solutions will be showcased to potential investors at the International Built Environment Week (IBEW) in September this year, during its ‘Demo Day’ event. In the later Market Development phase, challenge statement owners will work closely with innovators to further refine their solutions for downstream adoption. The entire process for Market Development could take up to 18 months.

“Gaining early access to industry problem statements which customers are prepared to pay to solve will help our startups and companies develop commercially-relevant solutions,” said Eunice Koh, assistant CEO of Enterprise Singapore. “This market-led innovation approach enables them to work closely with the industry, fine-tune their solutions and scale up both locally and overseas in a shorter timeframe. ESG’s financial and non-financial support through Gov-PACT will contribute to a more vibrant innovation ecosystem in the construction sector.”

Heah Soon Poh, assistant CEO of JTC added, “As a BE- AMP partner, JTC will offer relevant spaces in selected buildings and estates to collaborators to test-bed and/or pilot their new solutions. With the opportunity to test the feasibility of their ideas in a large-scale real world environment, companies can accelerate the market deployment process and develop their track record.”

About 370 stakeholders comprising developers, builders, consultants, trade associations and chambers (TACs), innovators, incubators, accelerators, and regulators are reported to have signed up for the event, to learn more about the programme and how they could benefit from it.

For more information on the BE-AMP programme: www.tnb.vc/BEAMP