Singapore & France launch Year of Innovation 2018
Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran hosted French Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Dr Frederique Vidal to lunch today. During lunch, the two Ministers reaffirmed the warm bilateral relations between both countries and discussed ways Singapore and France could advance cooperation on innovation.
Minister Vidal is in Singapore from 21 to 23 January 2018 to launch the France-Singapore Year of Innovation (YOI) 2018 with a line-up of bilateral exchanges, aimed at strengthening innovation for economic and societal transformation. The YOI 2018 was first announced by then-French President François Hollande and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in March 2017 on the sidelines of then-President Hollande’s State Visit to Singapore.
Minister Iswaran said, “Both Singapore and France recognise that innovation is a key growth strategy for our economies. There are many areas of synergy between both countries, with opportunities to collaborate in research, industry partnerships and talent exchange. Key platforms under the YOI include VivaTech in France and Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH) in Singapore, which provide startups and enterprises the opportunity to build partnerships, strengthen networks and also serve as key gateways for businesses and talents to expand into our respective regions.”
Minister Vidal said, “France has a long and successful history of collaboration with Singapore in the research and science sectors, and we very much look forward to creating further interactions between our two innovation ecosystems as a result of the Year of Innovation. Singapore and France share a vision where a collaborative education, research and business ecosystem are the backbone to world-leading innovations.”
Earlier today, Minister Vidal called on Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative Dr Vivian Balakrishnan. They discussed Singapore’s Smart Nation Initiative, ongoing bilateral collaborations and the challenges brought about by the digital revolution. Minister Balakrishnan welcomed the launch of the YOI 2018, noting that it would further strengthen the ties between Singapore and France.
Minister S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) and Minister Frederique Vidal, Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation reaffirmed warm bilateral relations and commitment to advance cooperation on innovation during the France-Singapore Year of Innovation 2018.
On 23 January 2018, Minister Vidal and Senior Minister of State for Communications & Information and Education Dr Janil Puthucheary, will officially launch the YOI 2018 with a roundtable themed “From Research to Innovation” hosted by the National University of Singapore (NUS). The roundtable will bring
together senior Singaporean and French representatives from industry, academia and the government to exchange ideas on translating research efforts
into impactful innovation for the economy and society. During the roundtable, Senior Minister of State Janil will also share initiatives that support our efforts to develop local capabilities.
One example of such an initiative is the DataCity Programme by the Infocommunications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA), Impact Hub Singapore Pte Ltd and NUMA SAS, which aims to drive innovative solutions across cities through data and technology.
Minister Vidal’s visit to Singapore signals the strong bilateral relations between Singapore and France. Both countries established a strategic partnership in 2012. France is Singapore’s second largest trading partner in the European Union and 16th largest in the world, with total trade close to S$17 billion.
In the France-Singapore Year of Innovation 2018, France and Singapore will intensify exchanges and collaborations between relevant stakeholders in the domain of innovation. The line-up of events in Singapore and France during the course of the year will serve to encourage further reflection on how both countries could work together to mutually reinforce each other’s efforts to attain their innovation goals.