New programme to speed up deployment for tech companies working on government projects

With the launch of the Tech Acceleration Lab, companies will have a test sandbox on the Government's cloud service. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Singapore-based tech companies and start-ups can now look forward to shortened deployment timelines when working on government projects.

With the launch of the Tech Acceleration Lab on Wednesday (Jan 27), companies will have a test sandbox on the Government's cloud service where they can demonstrate proof-of-concept to public agencies.

This new accelerator programme by the Infocomm and Media Development Authority (IMDA) will help companies to test and deploy solutions in as quickly as two months, compared to the typical period of six to nine months.

Companies can also get familiar with government security and deployment requirements through workshops.

The programme was announced by Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran at the third annual Singapore Digital Techblazer Awards on Wednesday.

The programme aims to create "win-win outcomes" for both government and industry, said Mr Iswaran, speaking at the awards ceremony at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.

"Government agencies will gain access to the latest technology and innovations to improve citizens' lives," he said.

"At the same time, technology companies and startups will be better attuned to (our) needs and requirements, and have the opportunity to demonstrate their core capabilities to government procurers."

For a start, the Tech Acceleration Lab will be open to companies working on government projects under the IMDA's Accreditation @ SGD and SGD Spark programmes.

The IMDA said it is exploring expanding the programme to the wider tech sector in the third quarter of this year.

One of the biggest challenges for start-ups without prior experience selling to government agencies is the gap in implicit knowledge about government processes - something that incumbent vendors have built up over the years, said chief executive officer of local artificial intelligence start-up BasisAI Liu Fengyuan.

"What (the programme) is doing is help start-ups understand government IT processes. For example, when we understood that cyber security was important and (certain) benchmarks were important, we were able to obtain certification for our Bedrock product," Mr Liu added.

Last month, the Government announced that it will pump a record $25 billion over five years into the science and technology sector under Singapore's Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 plan.

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