It will have seven rounds, where each challenge is allocated up to $2m.

The Enterprise Singapore (ESG), the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF) has alloted $40m to the National Innovation Challenges (NICs), an announcement revealed.

As announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in the Fortitude Budget, the NICs seek to catalyse partnerships across the economy by providing a platform for enterprises, government agencies, Research Institutions (RIs), Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), and Trade Associations & Chambers (TACs) to co-innovate and tackle immediate needs for safe reopening.

Through open innovation calls, the cross-industry collaborations will also address mid- and long-term sectoral challenges.

Through the $40m funding, this is expected to help ramp-up the development and adoption of solutions, where each challenge is allocated up to $2m. The round of open innovation calls extends seven challenge statements across five sectors? transport and logistics, built environment, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions), tourism, and maritime.

ESG, IMDA and NRF will gather industry challenge statements from both private and public sectors. Through this open innovation platform, companies and government agencies can gain access to a diverse pool of SMEs and startups with new solutions that can be applied across industries, whilst solution providers can innovate and create solutions that are catered to industry demands. Participation from the TACs and end users (both companies and government agencies) also help ensure that solutions developed are practical and industry-relevant.

Companies will also get opportunities to tap into the latest cutting-edge research from
RIs and IHLs, which in turn, ensures academic ideas are grounded with industry
relevance and experience.

This series of NICs will host seven challenge statements. Three challenge statements involve addressing higher accuracy of shipping container inspections, more productive tracking and tracing of cargo and increasing productivity through AI. These will be launched in conjunction with the Trade and Connectivity Challenge (TCC), which returns for the second year.

The other four challenge statements will be hosted on IMDA?s OIP. These statements seek to address challenges across different sectors from tourism, the MICE sector, to construction.

All challenges under the NICs will be hosted on the Open Innovation Network (OIN). The next round of NICs is expected to launch in Q4.