#Asia A multinational IT firm wants to connect Singapore startups to global innovation networks

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Capgemini Singapore Applied Innovation Exchange launch

(From L to R:) Capgemini Global CTO Lanny Cohen, MP & assistant secretary-general for NTUC Patrick Tay, EDB managing director Yeoh Keat Chuan, Capgemini APAC CEO Luc-Francois Salvador. Photo credit: Capgemini.

Singapore’s startup ecosystem has attracted one more multinational company that wants to tap into the region’s opportunities. Capgemini, an IT and consulting firm that was founded in France and has grown into an international corporation, yesterday launched its Singapore-based Applied Innovation Exchange (AIE) – the company’s version of an innovation lab.

The Singapore AIE will work with corporate and government partners as well as universities to build networks, like Singapore Power and the Economic Development Board (EDB). Its services include research into new technologies and how they impact organizations, building business models and product prototypes, and advising on best practices that help companies open up to new ideas.

The AIE plans to work with 10 startups and research institutes in the next two years.

EDB managing director Yeoh Keat Chuan said in a speech that the Singapore AIE will employ and train local graduates to help build digital skills in the country’s workforce. It plans to establish collaborations with 10 startups, institutes of higher learning, and research institutes to co-develop IT solutions in the next two years.

For example, the company has helped develop a virtual-reality-powered scenario for training clean energy windmill engineers in collaboration with the University of Munich. It’s also working with wealth management startup WeInvest, connecting it to banks and financial institutions.

As part of its global network, the company is running an annual startup competition called InnovatorsRace. This year, for Capgemini’s 50th anniversary, the competition will offer five winning startups the chance to win US$50,000 in funding with no equity taken, a connection to the company’s network, and potential partnerships with Capgemini.

The deadline for the competition is March 6.

The Singapore AIE is the tenth such exchange the company has set up, with the others located in Paris, Toulouse, Lille, London, Munich, Utrecht, Melbourne, and Mumbai. The company’s flagship exchange is, naturally, in San Francisco.

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