Singapore Opens up to Innovative Czech Firms
22 Mar. 2012 | CzechInvest, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Nafigate | CzechInvest and Partners Begin Operation of CzechAccelerator 2011-2014 in Singapore.
Firms doing business in ICT, biotechnology, life sciences and other fields newly have the opportunity to penetrate the Southeast Asian market with their products and services thanks to the Singapore branch of CzechInvest’s CzechAccelerator 2011-2014 programme, which was ceremoniously opened on 22 March by CzechInvest CEO Miroslav Křížek, chairman of the board of directors of Nafigate a.s. and NFG services a.s. Ladislav Mareš, and Venky T. Venkatesan, director of NUSNNI-NanoCore, NUS. NFG services a.s. is the inaugural programme participant in Singapore.
“For small and medium-sized technology firms, the CzechAccelerator 2011-2014 programme represents a unique opportunity to gain experience and obtain contacts and partners in the destinations where the world’s innovation elite are concentrated. Getting established in such a centre, such as Singapore, can be financially unfeasible for Czech firms and we are therefore offering financial aid via the CzechAccelerator programme and assistance prior to departure and in the course of their stay,” says Minister of Industry and Trade Martin Kuba.
“Through CzechAccelerator 2011-2014, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic and CzechInvest are supporting international technology transfer, among other things. This can be used by firms in Singapore, where a substantial portion of investments flows into science and research, and there is a large concentration of patents and licenses here,” explains Petr Očko, Direction of the EU, Research and Development Section at the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic.
“CzechAccelerator 2011-2014 is not only about opening the door to Asia for Czech firms, and NFG services a.s. is the first example of this, but it also involves initiating further possibilities of cooperation, such as the entry of Singaporean investors into the Czech Republic and development of further cooperation in science and research,” Miroslav Křížek, CEO of CzechInvest.
According to Miroslav Křížek, Singapore was a clear choice when deciding on the expansion of CzechAccelerator 2011-2014. Not only is Singapore a knowledge economy which produces goods and services with high value added, it also has an advanced system of support for start-up companies and is one of the world’s most important financial centres as well as a gateway to the whole of Southeast Asia. CzechInvest’s partner and provider of individual services in Singapore is the business accelerator Expara IDM Ventures Pte. Ltd. (EIDMV), where firms will also have facilities.
“We are honoured that we can host CzechAccelerator 2011-2014 in Singapore. Thanks to our partnership, we can help promising Czech firms to penetrate the local ecosystem and enable them to enter Southeast Asia. On the other hand, the inflow of technology and entrepreneurs from the Czech Republic will be very beneficial for Singapore. For Expara, it is also an honour that the company can help to build a bridge between our two countries in the area of business and innovation,” Douglas Abrams, founder and general manager of Expara IDM Ventures.
NFG services a.s. arrived at the accelerator as the first of two participants chosen for a residency in Singapore within the second call of the project. In connection with the accelerator’s opening, the company has introduced to the market a global version of the Nafigate.com portal and signed a memorandum on cooperation in specific projects with the National University of Singapore.
“This collaboration will not only help to develop products to meet the promises of the future of the industries by utilizing our team’s expertise and also foster entrepreneurships in Singapore in this area”, said Prof. Venky T Venkatesan, Executive Director, NUSNNI-NanoCore, NUS.
“The Asian market is of key importance for us; it is the market of the future, both from the perspective of science and research and from the perspective of final consumption. In addition, we are building on the long-term activity of introducing Nanospider to Asian markets,” says Ladislav Mareš, chairman of the board of directors of Nafigate a.s. and NFG services a.s. “Expansion of the Czech portal Nafigate.com is just beginning with Singapore, which is a gateway and a base for us. In the second half of the year we are planning to launch a Japanese version of the portal, and we want to start with a Chinese version by the end of the year,” Ladislav Mareš adds.
The participation of NFG services a.s. in the CzechAccelerator 2011-2014 programme in Singapore, together with involvement in certain projects, is the first step for Nafigate a.s. in building the competitiveness of global innovations. In the course of a few months, the company expects the continuation of cooperation and is preparing related projects in the area of research and development. In the initial phase, Nafigate wants to invest 1-2 million Singapore dollars (approx. CZK 15-30 million) in its development.
The second Czech firm to travel to Singapore within the CzechAccelerator 2011-2014 programme is System4u s.r.o, which specialises in mobile solutions for corporate customers. CzechAccelerator 2011-2014 is financed from the Consulting Programme, which is part of the Operational Programme Enterprise and Innovation. More information is available at www.czechaccelerator.cz.
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