The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), whose mission is to develop information technology and telecommunications within Singapore, has started a new initiative: IDA Labs.
The Labs are located at IDA's headquarters at Mapletree Business City and the National Design Centre (NDC) which were officially opened on 24 April.
According to IDA sources, the labs will serve as a place to experiment, collaborate and build innovative products and solutions that address real world challenges.
IDA also plans a third lab that will be housed in one of the National Library Board's libraries.
IDA also launched a new Accreditation@IDA programme at the opening event.
It aims to help innovative technology start-ups build their credentials so that they can be positioned as qualified vendors capable of handling projects by government agencies and large enterprises, the Authority said in its statement.
Companies that apply for accreditation will need to undergo technical assessments to ascertain their product's core capabilities and claims. IT service providers HP and Cognizant will provide the software testing tools, along with accreditation best-practices and methodologies, at an accreditation lab set up within IDA Labs@HQ.
The accreditation programme will be open for application in July 2014. Companies' financial performance and operational capabilities will also be taken into account in the process. Successful companies would be awarded an accredited status for 18 months, IDA said in the statement.
To enhance market opportunities for accredited technology start-ups, IDA will be engaging potential buyers in the public and private sectors to support these companies. For example, IDA will facilitate Proof-of-Concepts and product demonstrations to potential buyers and stakeholders. In addition, the Government procurement process is being reviewed to facilitate Government's procurement from accredited companies and enable Accreditation@IDA to be considered in place of financial grading for start-ups.
"At IDA, we are constantly looking at different ways to help grow Singapore-based tech companies that have the vision to build tech products that address big challenges. IDA Labs and the Accreditation@IDA programme are two examples of how we want to help in practical ways to support the building of some great tech-product companies," said Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman, IDA.
Partnering with Red Hat, Intel, and SMU
IDA Labs is partnering Red Hat to provide IDA Labs users with advice from Red Hat experts and the open source community. IDA Labs and Red Hat will also organise an international challenge to discover innovative technology projects that not only meet functional requirements, but also user-friendly and design-centric.
IDA Labs is also working with Intel to provide its latest technologies, R&D resources and technical expertise to IDA Labs users. Intel will also help local ICT companies bring their products to overseas markets via its global platforms.
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