Updated on 12 June 2013
Ms Samantha Su, director, services and biomedical, Spring, Singapore, and Mr Simranjit Singh, chairman, BioSingapore
In the biomedical sector, the combination of latest technology and a strong business model is considered to be ideal. Theoretically, the synergy created between them spurs the company to business excellence. In reality, however, this does not happen naturally. On one hand, many researchers from the biomedical sector choose research as their career path, endeavoring to solve scientific mysteries that could potentially lead to the discovery of a medical cure, rather than striving to grow a million-dollar biomedical business. On the other hand, many opportunistic businessmen, with no prior experience or strong technical backgrounds to sustain excellence, have ventured into the biomedical sector.
Evidently, it is this gap that Singapore needs to address for the sector to continue outperforming expectations. Playing a supporting role in developing the industry, the government has put in place several initiatives to address current and future talent management challenges. Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore have since benefited from these programs to overcome their manpower needs.
Local home-grown start-ups like HistoIndex reinforced its technology competency by leveraging government support, through the Get-Up scheme, for the secondment of a researcher from the Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*Star). This, together with other financing and capability development support programs such as Spring's Startup Enterprise Development Scheme (Seeds) funding, has helped companies gain traction in its business growth.
Responding to SMEs' needs to build strong business leadership, government support has been made readily available through Spring Singapore's capability development initiatives. These schemes are aimed at cultivating outstanding fresh graduates to be future business leaders. In addition, the agency also promotes and supports the grooming of business leaders within the SMEs' current talent pool by offering scholarships and providing training opportunities, particularly in areas like regulations, IP management and market access strategies, which are crucial for this sector.