Singapore and Germany grow partnership to spur digital transformation among businesses

SINGAPORE – Singapore and German companies will have more opportunities to work together thanks to a series of initiatives to help firms from both countries accelerate their digital transformation.

Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA) signed an agreement to support enterprise development through transformation in sectors of common interest, including advanced manufacturing, digitalisation and innovation, medical technology and healthcare, and future of mobility, both organisations announced on Thursday (Oct 15).

This will be done through enhanced collaboration in open innovation and by jointly accessing market opportunities in South-east Asia and Europe, they said.

Under the agreement, both agencies will co-organise a refreshed version of the Germany Singapore Business Forum (GSBF) Connect, which will feature sector-specific events to facilitate more frequent collaborations.

The first edition of GSBF Connect, dedicated to the manufacturing sector, will be held virtually during the Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific event on Oct 21.

The GSBF has brought together more than 400 firms from both countries in the last four years. The number of business missions to Germany also increased from 13 in 2018 to 22 in 2019, benefiting over 150 companies in 2019, across sectors including advanced manufacturing, medical technology and healthcare, the future of mobility and e-sports.

ESG chairman Peter Ong said: “In this changing business environment, our enterprises need to connect with one another in more and better ways. Germany and Singapore are trusted partners who place a high emphasis on delivering quality and innovative products and services.”

Professor Axel Stepken, co-chair of GSBF Connect and TUV SUD AG management board chairman, said: “Singapore is attractive to German companies in several ways – as a proven long-term partner with whom new technologies and innovative business models can be developed, but also as an experienced bridge builder into the emerging Asean region.

“Singapore has a strong record as a leading research and development hub and digital trendsetter, while German companies are known for their ability to manufacture state-of-the-art machinery and products.”

ESG also signed an agreement with the German Institute for Standardisation (DIN) and the German Commission for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies of DIN and VDE (DKE).

The partnership serves to deepen ties between people and create programmes to groom young talent in the field of standards development.

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ESG director-general of quality and excellence Choy Sauw Kook said: “Building partnerships is a fundamental that underpins Singapore’s strong and robust quality and standards infrastructure.

“The ESG-DIN-DKE partnership connects us with like-minded stakeholders to ensure that our standards remain relevant and on par with international ones, and will help Singapore companies build up their technical capabilities.”

DIN executive board chairman Christoph Winterhalter added: “We need to bring people together, virtually or physically, and share our expertise to advance developments and to find innovative solutions to urgent issues.”

To further develop standards among companies here, the Singapore Industrial Automation Association (SIAA) inked an agreement with OPC Hub Asean, facilitated by ESG and the Singapore Standards Council.

ESG said: “Through this initiative, local firms deploying Industry 4.0 solutions can expect lower integration costs in the future and fewer challenges when deploying more advanced automation systems in their processes.

“In addition, this helps Singapore’s automation, robotics and system integration companies develop interoperable, secure, and scalable products that meet local and international requirements.”

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SIAA president Terence Teo added: “Manufacturers demand new Industry 4.0 solutions that are cost effective, safe from cyber-attacks and compatible with existing systems.

“Standards contain industry best practices that help businesses build up their capabilities to develop innovative products and services. This will in turn earn the trust and confidence of their customers that they are providing solutions that meet their requirements for today and tomorrow.

“In addition, using standards will help improve the branding of their products and services so that they can capture new opportunities in overseas markets.”

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