SMEs get boost to pursue productivity growth through technology

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to improve their productivity will get greater access to technology solutions from both the public and private sector.

Under the A*Star Technology Adoption Programme (TAP), launched officially on Tuesday, local companies will get personalised advice from researchers and experts who can link them up with technology providers based on their needs. TAP aims to facilitate at least 1,150 adoptions of technology by companies, to increase their productivity levels by around 20 per cent over the next three years.

The programme was rolled out in July and focuses on six sectors: marine, aerospace, precision engineering, construction, food manufacturing and retail. It may be extended after three years, pending review.

Mr S Iswaran, Minister (Prime Minister's Office) and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry, said in his opening address: "Technology can help SMEs reduce time-consuming manual processes, improve planning and operational efficiencies, and create new business opportunities."

A*Star chairman Lim Chuan Poh said in a media release: "This is critical for our SMEs to remain relevant and competitive and contribute to transforming our economy...TAP seeks to make available technologies that have been developed in both the public and private sectors to where they can make the most impact in terms of productivity."

Two memoranda of understanding to encourage retailers to embrace technology were also signed at the event at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.

One of them, between A*Star's Institute for Infocomm Research and Paragon Shopping Mall, aims to promote the further development of technologies for the retail sector. The other, between the Science and Engineering Institutes at A*Star and the Singapore Institute of Retail Studies, will provide for the creation of a technology showcase to help retail professionals.