THE Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) is setting up a task force to help create more technology firms that can separate themselves from the crowd.
The ACE Tech-Connect Task Force will seek to link enterprises with a ready pool of technology ideas, and even potential partners and investors.
This, ACE said, will help researchers to commercialise the patents they have filed here, and grow firms into the next HistoIndex or iTwin, which were set up in 2010 by A*Star researchers who became entrepreneurs.
The labour market is likely to remain tight until 2020 because of current manpower policy, said labour chief Lim Swee Say yesterday.
And companies that do not promote productivity and skills upgrading to boost worker wages will lose their workers to others that are able to, he warned.
Mr Lim was dangling the productivity carrot and brandishing the labour shortage stick at employers yesterday after a visit to four companies that successfully boosted low-wage worker incomes.
33,000 earn more after companies get help from scheme
THE display on the screen was initially tricky, but after two weeks Madam Lim Kah Keow mastered the new high-tech cash registers at soya bean chain Mr Bean.
Today, six months later, the 58-year-old cashier finds ringing up purchases on the colour-coded touchscreen a breeze.
‘It’s much better now, since everything looks clearer,’ she said in Mandarin.
But more importantly, her pay has risen by 9.5 per cent, allowing her to take home more than $1,500 a month.
Madam Lim is among 33,000 workers across Singapore who are earning more after their companies tapped the government-funded Inclusive Growth Programme (IGP) to raise their productivity.
RESTAURANTS in Singapore can look forward to better procurement procedures, with a new e-procurement portal set to launch later this year.
This was announced by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry S Iswaran at the opening ceremony of Food Hotel Asia 2012 yesterday.
In an initiative to improve the procurement process in the food industry, the Restaurant Association of Singapore, with assistance from SPRING Singapore and the Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association, is developing an e-procurement portal.
SINGAPORE is a regional leader when it comes to productivity but is set to find it harder to make further gains, the top official of a regional productivity body said yesterday.
The secretary-general of the Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), Mr Ryuichiro Yamazaki, told The Straits Times that the Republic may need to look at new ways to boost productivity in future.
He said that to achieve sustainable economic growth, Singapore could ‘adopt an inclusive approach to ensure that the fruits of productivity gains are shared’. It may also need to look at spurring productivity growth ‘through efficient human capital development, especially in the key sectors such as the service sector’.
Membership benefits Singapore enterprises
1. The Asian Productivity Organization (APO), a regional intergovernmental organisation which aims to promote productivity as the means to improve socio-economic development in Asia Pacific, will hold its annual Governing Body Meeting in Singapore from 17 – 19 April 2012. This is the second time that Singapore is hosting the Governing Body Meeting. The first time was 16 years ago in 1996.
2. During the three-day closed door meeting, the directors of the 19 National Productivity Organisations, which are members of the APO, will discuss and approve the directions and plans of the APO for the next two years.
3. With the renewed emphasis on improving productivity in the last two years, it is apt that Singapore hosts the Governing Body Meeting this year. Singapore has benefited greatly as a member of the APO since 1969. SPRING Singapore, as Singapore’s representative, has been working with the APO to build competencies to help raise productivity among enterprises here.
USED cars and football may be worlds apart but not to Cher Kwang Siong, managing director of Kheng Keng Auto.
A family business established in 1980, Kheng Keng Auto is a leading used-car dealership in Singapore that exports vehicles around the world.
Kheng Keng is also a local pioneer in using Internet technology to cater to customers in the South American and South African markets. It began operations in these regions in 2004, after noticing that these developing countries are “desperately in need of affordable and reliable automobiles”. It has since achieved the remarkable feat of increasing its yearly turnover by eight times from $3 million to $25 million in 2010.
Timbre Group aims to boost productivity through the use of grants and assistance available to SMEs, reports BRYAN KOH
WHILE some businesses continue to bemoan the lack of grants and assistance available to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Timbre Group continues to disprove the naysayers.
It has instead forged ahead precisely by utilising various productivity schemes that has seen them craft a niche out of the live music entertainment and food & beverage industries.
In a thinly-veiled dig aimed at sceptics, Edward Chia, Timbre Group’s CEO and managing director, says: “The funding has always been there. If anything, it’s more amplified now.”