Singapore sets up billion dollar fund to help firms with strong intellectual property go global

The Makara Innovation Fund was one of a range of initiatives the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore announced on Wednesday, April 26, 2017.
The Makara Innovation Fund was one of a range of initiatives the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore announced on Wednesday, April 26, 2017.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - A new billion-dollar fund has been launched to help promising companies with strong intellectual property (IP) to take on global markets.

The Makara Innovation Fund (MIF), a partnership between the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (Ipos) and Singapore-based private equity firm Makara Capital, was one of a range of initiatives Ipos announced on Wednesday (April 26) to help Singapore's innovators and enterprises translate their ideas into assets. 

The tie-up taps into Ipos' strong IP expertise and networks and Makara's commercially-driven investment approach, Ipos said. 

MIF is the first South-east Asian private equity investment fund that will source IP-driven companies internationally and capitalise on cross-border regional expansion. 

It will invest S$30 million to S$150 million in 10 to 15 IP-rich and high-growth potential companies with globally competitive technologies from anywhere in the world, including Singapore. 

These companies will then tap Singapore's IP ecosystem to help them deepen their value creation, compete effectively and expand into global markets. 

This will help to anchor Singapore as a destination for ideas to be translated into assets and revenue, Ipos said. 

Ipos also said on Wednesday that it and the Law Ministry have updated the 2013 IP Hub Master Plan to strengthen Singapore's innovation ecosystem and build capabilities to help companies innovate and scale up. 

The initiatives in the updated Master Plan aim to double the number of skilled IP experts over the next five years and step up Ipos' engagement with companies to help them identify and understand their IP and use it for growth and expansion.  

The initiatives under the Master Plan are estimated to inject at least $1.5 billion value-add to Singapore's economy over the next five years. 

Ipos and the Singapore Business Federation have also inked a new agreement to collaborate on driving enterprise growth through IP and innovation. 

They aim to help SBF's 24,200 member companies build IP awareness and competencies and gain direct access to Ipos' suite of IP services, such as training, executive education and free IP clinics.