Supply chain incubator aims for S$50m in new ventures in 18 months

The start-up incubator at Supply Chain City is currently home to 27 partners specialising in supply chain and logistics innovation solutions. Photo: Supply Chain Asia

supply-chainSINGAPORE — The Supply Chain and Logistics Innovation Playground, a start-up incubator for logistics solutions, was launched yesterday by Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State (Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of National Development).

The incubator at Supply Chain City is already home to 27 partners specialising in supply chain and logistics innovation solutions, noted Dr Koh. Close to half of these partners are start-ups, while the rest comprise shippers, logistics service providers, solution vendors, and academic and research institutions.

By bringing these partners together, the innovation hub seeks to generate more than S$50 million in business ventures over the next 18 months, he said. Over the same period, more than 20 collaborative projects targeted at small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) will be hosted at the incubator, involving 12 start-ups.

Dr Koh noted that the supply chain and logistics industry has undergone major transformation over the past few years. For Singapore to stay relevant, he said, there has to be a “collaborative ecosystem”, for large companies and start-ups alike, to develop and adopt innovative supply chain solutions.

“We are seeing local and global start-ups disrupt traditional practices through smart warehousing, smart trading and smart transportation. This trend of disruption and constructive transformation must continue,” he added.

State agencies Spring Singapore and Workforce Singapore have committed S$2.8 million to help groom the next generation of start-ups and develop supply chain talent and capabilities in SMEs through the incubator. The Startup SG Accelerator scheme managed by Spring Singapore will support start-ups in piloting solutions for the logistics industry.

With the logistics industry in Singapore expected to generate more than 2,000 jobs for professionals, managers, executives and technicians by 2020, the incubator aims to support the development and adoption of innovative technologies for the logistics sector. These include warehouse technology, autonomous guided vehicles and digital technology.

Through the programme, start-ups can access supply chain expertise, client networks and potential investors, as well as share knowledge and resources with partners.

One of these start-ups is Cosmiqo International, a supply chain and operational analytics company specialising in sectors such as logistics and manufacturing. Through the incubator network, Cosmiqo partnered Infolog and the National University of Singapore to develop and pilot autonomous robots that can help improve picking processes in warehouses and enhance productivity.

The Professional Conversion Programme for e-commerce supply chain professionals will help develop a pipeline of local professionals to support the growing e-commerce sector and train up to 60 mid-career individuals over the next two years.

It will tap on the expertise of local e-commerce retailers such as Reebonz to offer training in merchandising, sourcing, procurement and account management.