Several 5-year national Science & Technology Plans have been put in place since 1991, to fulfil objectives considered a priority for the country and to enable all stakeholders in the economy to move forward in the same direction.
The 6th Plan covers the period 2015–2020. The RIEC wants to encourage the creation of knowledge based expertise in the development of innovation and enterprise. Its budget amounts to SGD 19 billion for the 5 years, which is an increase of 18% over the budget 2011-2015 which amounts to SGD 16.1 billion.
Figure 2: “Science & Technology” National Plans
This plan continues the support for R&D activities of the country, aiming about attracting private investments and opening up new markets for Singapore. The allocation of the funding is competitive, and it serves to stimulate innovation and collaborative and multi-disciplinary research efforts between the main R&D players in the public and private sectors in Singapore.
Additional funding is given for the transfer of technology to encourage the commercialisation of fundamental research applications. The desire to attract international scientific talents is strong and scholarships are given to facilitate the development of young scientists, whether local or foreign.
The RIEC is also the organiser of the National Innovation Challenge (NIC) which aims to tailor solutions to respond to the national interests at stake, such as self-sufficient and effective energy management strategies, and sustainable environmental and urbanisation development.
Innovation and entrepreneurship thus form the base for a company’s competitiveness, opening the door to new markets, and allowing the economy to develop, thanks to a significant intellectual capital.