AWS sets up innovation centre in Singapore

  • November 23, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has signed a memorandum of intent (MoI) with Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to set up a joint innovation centre (JIC) to support enterprises and start-ups.

The centre will be at IMDA’s Pixel Innovation Hub and will help scale the growth of Singapore-based companies under the IMDA Accreditation and Spark programmes by providing them access to the latest AWS technologies and dedicated support from the AWS Partner Network (APN).

This will be AWS’s first JIC in south-east Asia, and will serve as an innovation hub for enterprises, start-ups and governments in Singapore and south-east Asia. The centre should be ready in mid-2023.

The JIC will serve as an extension of AWS Singapore’s Cloud Innovation Centre, as well as IMDA’s Pixel and Open Innovation Platform (OIP) initiatives.

The centre will provide enterprises and start-ups with support to drive innovation through technology education and innovation challenges workshops. There will be opportunities for business growth and they can scale through AWS and IMDA’s business networks. It will provide avenues to showcase technology use cases, and consultancy will be available using Amazon’s Working Backwards methodology – an innovation process that helps an organisation approach a challenge with the end outcome in mind and then rapidly bring that to life.

The JIC will help users develop technology using augmented and virtual reality, data and artificial intelligence, the IoT, robotics, and cloud technologies.

Enterprises and start-ups will be able to access more than 200 AWS services, including security capabilities and global infrastructure, to drive innovation.

Beyond activities within the JIC, enterprises and start-ups from AWS’s and IMDA’s networks will be able to access a larger innovation community through co-innovation labs and events. AWS and IMDA will organise innovation events each year at Pixel, with the first event being a week-long regional festival of innovation in the first half of next year.

To-date, more than 100 Singapore-based companies are supported under IMDA Accreditation and IMDA Spark, with nine unicorns and more than ten companies recognised as global industry leaders by research and consulting firms, Gartner and market intelligence firm CB Insights. IMDA Accredited and IMDA Spark companies saw an average growth of two times in revenue, compared with when companies first join the programme. IMDA continues to grow its portfolio, with more than 40 companies joining the two programmes per year.

“To nurture innovation among start-ups, enterprises and public sector agencies, it is critical to create an environment that brings together the latest technology with a network of supportive partners,” said Elsie Tan, country manager for Singapore, at AWS. “We recognise the quality and growth of the companies under the IMDA Accreditation and IMDA Spark programmes and are excited to collaborate with IMDA to establish the AWS-IMDA joint innovation centre at Pixel to accelerate innovation and drive growth for enterprises and start-ups in Singapore and across south-east Asia.”

Under the MoI, IMDA Accredited and Spark companies will benefit from tech advisory and a sandbox environment supported by AWS and the IMDA Technical Acceleration Lab initiative to conduct proof-of-concept projects with customers and prospects from public and commercial sectors in Singapore. They will also benefit from the APN, which will provide enterprises and start-ups access to customers in government, education and healthcare in Singapore and internationally.

The partners can accelerate their development with AWS, tap into AWS partner programmes, list their software on AWS Marketplace, and have dedicated support for co-selling opportunities.

“IMDA is excited to collaborate with AWS to set up its first JIC in south-east Asia at IMDA Pixel, which will serve as a strong platform for start-ups, enterprises and governments to innovate digitally,” said Justin Ang, assistant chief executive of IMDA. “We are delighted that IMDA is recognised as a key community enabler within Singapore and the region, and Pixel as an innovation hub for all types of partners to connect and build world-class products for global markets. We look forward to bringing AWS’s resources and networks to our Singapore-based companies under our IMDA Accreditation and IMDA Spark programmes to further accelerate their growth.”