SINGAPORE - With cyber attacks on the rise as the world becomes increasingly digitalised, Singapore is doubling down on the development and implementation of cutting-edge cyber-security solutions for commercial adoption.
Building on its efforts last year, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) put out a second industry call for innovation on Wednesday (Oct 2), which will see cyber-security companies submitting proposals to the agency to match the cyber needs of 10 large-scale organisations, up from six last year.
Available funding under CSA's Co-innovation and Development Proof-of-Concept Scheme for solutions that fulfil the eligibility criteria has been doubled to up to S$1 million from the $500,000 last year. Applicants now also have 24 months to get their solutions ready for testing and deployment compared to 12 months previously.
The organisations come from various sectors and include Senoko Energy and PacificLight Power (energy), PSA Corp (maritime), and the Integrated Health Information Systems and the Ministry of Health (healthcare).
Solution providers whose proposals are shortlisted will be invited to discuss their proposals with the participating organisations.
Speaking at the fourth annual Singapore International Cyber Week on Wednesday at the Suntec City Convention Centre, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary said rapid advancements in digital technologies have created numerous business opportunities, but business leaders need to be alert to accompanying cyber risks.
"I commend those user companies (participating in the call for innovation) who have been willing to make very clear the challenges they are facing in the cyber-security space," said Dr Janil.
"Because that's how we've been able to match these challenges with the solution providers in calls for innovation. This type of collaboration across the economy is going to be vital for us to drive our agenda for further digitalisation."
Proposals for this call must be submitted before Dec 2. CSA received more than 70 proposals from 58 companies last year, with eight proposals awarded funding to date.
Dr Janil also announced that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be getting more help to incorporate cyber security into their businesses with the expansion of the SMEs Go Digital programme to include cyber-security solutions.
SMEs Go Digital was launched in 2017 and provides a range of pre-approved digital solutions designed to help SMEs tackle the business challenges brought about by digital disruption.
With the expansion, SMEs can tap the Productivity Solutions Grant, worth up to $30,000 for each firm, to cover 70 per cent of the cost of pre-approved cyber-security solutions.
PacificLight Power chief executive officer Yu Tat Ming called the call for innovation an "invaluable cross-industry initiative". The power generation company is the only participating company from last year's call to return this year.
"We are delighted to be working with CSA again as we witnessed first-hand last year the significant benefits from collaborating with other energy industry companies and IT solution providers to address key cyber-security challenges," said Mr Yu.