S'pore start-ups, tech SMEs get market access to Sweden under Enterprise SG programme

This is the first Global Innovation Alliance programme launched in the Nordic region. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Local start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will have more opportunities to venture into Sweden under a new programme.

Enterprise Singapore (Enterprise SG) announced on Thursday (April 21) its new Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) acceleration programme to Sweden, which will provide Singapore start-ups and technology SMEs with avenues to collaborate with Swedish partners and scale abroad.

The GIA pilot programme in Stockholm is an eight-week-long hybrid programme, offering sessions on Sweden's business regulations and culture, as well as market entry strategies.

Participating firms can also take part in business-matching sessions to explore partnership opportunities.

This will allow them to test-bed and scale their solutions to other Nordic countries through Sweden, Enterprise SG said in a release.

It is the first GIA programme launched in the Nordic region. Currently, major tech and innovation hubs are included in the programme, such as Berlin, London, San Francisco and Shenzhen.

Enterprise SG is partnering Swedish digital accelerator Epicenter to run the programme, with support from Swedish government agencies Business Sweden and Vinnova, which administers state funding for research and development.

Mr Peter Ong, chairman of Enterprise SG, said that it is timely for Singapore companies to resume growth activities and strengthen innovation collaboration as borders reopen and global economies recover.

"Sweden, which has produced some of the top tech unicorns, including Spotify and Klarna, provides tech and innovation opportunities for Singapore companies in areas such as sustainability, health-tech, gaming and smart cities," he added.

Sweden is the leading innovator in the Nordic region, ranking second in the United Nations' World Intellectual Property Organisation's Global Innovation Index 2021.

Business Sweden chief executive Jan Larsson said: "Singapore has for some time been a natural springboard for Swedish entrepreneurs to enter South-east Asia.

"It's now great to see how we can reverse the cooperation by nurturing our ecosystem with impactful ideas from Singapore, using Stockholm and the Epicenter team as a scale-up factory with our global unicorns and multinationals."

Singapore and Swedish firms can also collaborate in joint innovation and R&D activities by participating in co-innovation initiatives within the Eureka network, with which both countries are associated. Eureka is an intergovernmental network that supports international cooperation in R&D.

Singapore start-ups and SMEs interested in the GIA Stockholm pilot programme can find out more at this website.

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