$30 million funding for medical and clean technology start-ups

PHOTO: $30 million funding for medical and clean technology start-ups

SINGAPORE - $30 million will be set aside for the formation and growth of start-ups in emerging sectors such as medical and clean technology as part of the second tranche of funding under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2015 (RIE 2015) plan, SPRING has announced.

The fund will be managed by SPRING SEEDS Capital (SSC), under the Sector Specific Accelerator (SSA) programme.

A total of $40 million was first committed in 2011 under the RIE 2015's SSA programme to encourage the formation and growth of start-ups in medical technology.

Two accelerators, Clearbridge BSA and Singapore Medtech Accelerator, were appointed in May 2012 to identify and co-invest with SSC in high-potential medical technology start-ups.

Besides co-investing, the accelerators take a hands-on approach to help the start-ups build up their management teams, meet regulatory requirements and connect with potential customers. To date, three investments have been made.

With an ageing global population and the prevalence of chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes, the global medical technology industry is expected to reach a value of more than $300 billion in 2017.

However, given the knowledge-and capital-intensive nature of the medical technology sector, start-ups usually take a longer time to commercialise their research. Similarly, the global cleantech market, which is sized at US$1 trillion annually, is expected to continue growing as environmental sustainability becomes an increasing concern for governments and corporations.

The additional funding will help to give a boost to these sectors by encouraging the formation of more innovative start-ups and commercialising intellectual property in these sectors.

SSC will be selecting at least 2 accelerators with good track records in incubating early-stage start-ups and are willing to take a hands-on approach in helping them. The selected accelerators will identify, evaluate, finance and manage high-potential start-ups in the medical and clean technology sectors.

SPRING SEEDS Capital will co-invest in these start-ups on a 1:1 basis.

The invitation for proposals is now open and will close on 10 January 2014. Parties interested to become an appointed accelerator can attend a briefing by SSC on 22 November 2013.

Interested parties may write in to seeds@spring.gov.sg to register for the briefing or refer to www.spring.gov.sg/ssa for more information.