Move to boost the number of science, engineering and IT professionals in Singapore

SINGAPORE - The government will invest S$1 million to certify and groom up to 500 science, engineering and technology professionals in the next three years to meet the needs of the Intellectual Property (IP) technology sector.

From September 1 the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) will also serve as a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) International Authority, thus speeding up and strengthening IP protection for Singaporean firms overseas.

This was announced by Minister for Foreign Affairs K. Shanmugam on Tuesday at the fifth Global Forum on Intellectual Property and the official opening of IP Week @ SG 2015.

Speaking at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, he highlighted the importance of this industry, noting how jobs in the IP-intensive sector paid 29 per cent more than jobs elsewhere. It was therefore of paramount importance, he added, to support and protect IP to ensure that people had confidence about IP protection in Singapore.

He declared: "This is the way in which the future is being shaped."

In addition to the S$1 million investment, other measures to support IP in Singapore were also announced, such as the launch of a new IP Technology Consultant Registry. The Singapore Institute of Technology's Enterprise and Innovation Hub is also working with the IP Academy to offer training to create value through IP.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), together with IPOS, also honoured four Singapore firms at the WIPO-IPOS IP Awards for their excellence in innovation and creativity. Technology firm Stratech Systems won the IPOS award for technology patent and was the overall champion.

Education firm MindChamps Holdings won the IPOS award for trade mark portfolio, Hawaii Furnishing won the IPOS award for design innovation and Creative Technology won the WIPO users' trophy award.

Mr Shanmugam also presented the inaugural SG50 Trade Mark Awards, which honours the brands that have been registered in Singapore for over 50 years and have grown alongside the nation.