The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), one of the Singapore’s lead public sector agencies will officially launch an open innovation lab and tech incubator in Singapore.
The lab christened as A*START Central, was opened in March by ETPL, the commercialization arm of government science and research agency A*Star. Scheduled to inaugurate on September 21 as part of the Singapore Week of Innovation & Technology (Switch), reportedly it already has 10 medtech, biotech and Internet startups on board.
The lab will be seen collaborating with partners in both the public and private sectors to benefit society. This stands out as the private sector is unlikely to pitch in given the high costs and uncertainties involved and, a great initiative from government in taking lead in encouraging startup activity in these two sectors. Sidney Yee, executive vice-president of A*Star’s incubation and startup management division, said,
A*START Central has since its March opening been focused on building a critical mass. It seeks to kickstart the growth of the nascent medtech and biotech sectors here, and the big goal is to foster a robust, sophisticated medtech and biotech community.
A*START Central, located in Block 79 at the JTC LaunchPad at one-north, can incubate up to 25 startups, in which it will take no equity, only membership fees.
She further added, there is a pipeline of A*Star spin-offs and affiliated startups looking to create the next big thing in medtech and biotech. These ventures would need conducive infrastructure, such as a design-tinkering space and wet lab, in addition to mentorship, funding, and access to business networks.
Dr Yee, chief of A*Star’s diagnostic development hub told Chinese investors are increasingly drawn to the Republic’s deep science ecosystem because of its strong intellectual property (IP) protection regime. She added,
We hope that a network of value-adding investors can inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.