Govt allots $2.8m to boost supply chain and logistics

New initiative to groom next generation of start-ups from sector, foster innovation, develop SME capabilities

Supply Chain & Logistics Innovation Playground (Sclip) aims to strengthen Singapore's position as South-east Asia's leading logistics hub.

Government agencies Spring Singapore and Workforce Singapore (WSG) have put aside $2.8 million to groom the next generation of start-ups in supply chain and logistics and develop capabilities in small and medium-sized enterprises .

The initiative will be done through what is called the Supply Chain & Logistics Innovation Playground (Sclip), set up by industry body Supply Chain Asia, said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and National Development Koh Poh Koon yesterday.

At the ceremony for Sclip's official opening, Dr Koh said that the platform "will incubate start-ups, as well as pilot and deploy innovative logistics solutions to help transform the industry".

He added: "For Singapore to stay relevant, we will need to build a collaborative ecosystem for large companies and start-ups alike. Sclip will help strengthen Singapore's position as South-east Asia's leading logistics hub."

The new unit will groom 12 start-ups over the next 18 months "and support them in piloting solutions for the logistics industry", said Dr Koh.

Supply chain and operational analytics firm Cosmiqo International, which was founded in August 2013, is one of the 12 start-ups. Dr Koh said that through Sclip, Cosmiqo has teamed up with Infolog - a software solutions company specialising in the distribution, logistics and supply chain industries - and the National University of Singapore to develop and pilot autonomous robots.

"If successful, these robots can be deployed in warehouses to support picking processes to enhance the productivity of warehouse operations," he noted.

Sclip already has 27 partners specialising in supply chain and logistics innovation solutions under its wing, and almost half are start-ups, "while the rest comprise shippers, logistics service providers, solution vendors, as well as academic and research institutions".

Dr Koh added: "By bringing these partners together, Sclip will continue to foster collaboration and aim to generate more than $50 million in business ventures over the next 18 months."

The logistics industry here is expected to add 2,000 new jobs for professionals, managers, executives and technicians by 2020, according to the Logistics Industry Transformation Map launched in November last year.

WSG, together with Supply Chain Asia, is also rolling out the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for e-commerce supply chain professionals, said Dr Koh, "which will help develop a pipeline of local professionals to support the growing e-commerce sector".

He noted that Singapore's e-commerce market, "while just a fraction of the global market, is still set to grow from a market value of US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) in 2015 to US$5.4 billion by 2025".

Through the PCP, up to 60 mid- career individuals, over the next two years, will acquire new skill sets in areas such as merchandising and account management, for roles in the e-commerce supply chain.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2017, with the headline Govt allots $2.8m to boost supply chain and logistics. Subscribe