Singapore and Norway expand collaboration in four sectors

A memorandum of understanding was signed by Enterprise Singapore chief executive officer Png Cheong Boon (left) and Innovation Norway chief executive officer Hakon Haugli. PHOTOS: NBAS.ORG.SG

SINGAPORE - Singapore and Norway are expanding collaboration in four priority sectors, including in the so-called "blue economy" that focuses on the sustainable use of ocean resources.

The four sectors are in maritime digitalisation and automation as well as other marine technologies, sustainable urban solutions and clean technology, healthcare and biomedical sciences, and food technology and aquaculture.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the collaboration was signed by Mr Png Cheong Boon, chief executive officer of Enterprise Singapore, and Mr Hakon Haugli, chief executive officer of Innovation Norway, on Tuesday (Sept 29) at the Singapore Norway Innovation Conference, which took place online.

Mr Paul Kastmann, director of Innovation Norway in Singapore, said the agreement highlighted the strength of the relationship between the two maritime nations.

He said: "Norway has always had a strong connection to Singapore, dating back to the mid-1800s. The ocean industries have traditionally been the most important pillar of this relationship."

But he also emphasised the importance of collaboration between the two countries on new sectors of growth.

"Relatively new sectors such as smart cities, health tech and food security are growing rapidly. At the same time, the traditional industries are going through disruptive changes, such as digitisation, automation and decarbonisation," said Mr Kastmann.

"Innovation and international collaboration are important to secure the future of our respective industries and, with this agreement, we aim to strengthen both," he added.

Mr Clarence Hoe, global markets director for the Americas and Western Europe at Enterprise Singapore, spoke of the mutual benefit the new agreement will bring to both countries.

He said: "Singapore enterprises will benefit from market opportunities arising from co-innovation projects with Norwegian corporates. Singapore enterprises seeking to transform their business and solutions would also gain access to Norwegian innovation and technology, especially in the areas of maritime, food, healthcare and infrastructure.

"Norwegian companies seeking to grow in Asia can tap Singapore's business infrastructure, financing and vibrant business network to springboard to the region."

The MOU will seek to increase collaboration by facilitating business roundtables, study visits, trade missions and networking activities, a joint statement by Innovation Norway and Enterprise Singapore said on Tuesday.

The MOU will also "drive cooperation to address market needs between the two countries", it added.

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