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Tech, smart-nation events to headline Singapore-France Year of Innovation

THE year 2018 will bring more collaboration between France and Singapore on innovation in areas such as smart and sustainable cities, fintech, health, biotechnologies and startups.

That is thanks to the launch of the France-Singapore Year of Innovation 2018 this week in Singapore.

A slew of partner events in the two countries have been identified as platforms to showcase innovation, such as VivaTechnology, a global innovation festival, in France in May and the Smart Nation Innovations Week in June in Singapore.

Another key event is the DataCity Programme by Singapore's Infocomm Media Development Authority, Impact Hub Singapore and startup accelerator NUMA SAS. It aims to drive innovative solutions across cities through data and technology.

Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran and France's Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Frederique Vidal met on Jan 22 at The Dempsey Cookhouse and Bar to discuss how the two countries could cooperate on innovation.

Dr Vidal and Senior Minister of State for Communications & Information and Education, Janil Puthucheary, will hold a roundtable on Jan 23 themed "From Research to Innovation" at the National University of Singapore.

The partnership was first announced in March 2017, by then-French president François Hollande and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the former's state visit to Singapore.

France is Singapore's second-largest trading partner in the European Union and 16th largest in the world, with total trade close to S$17 billion.

In 2017, The Monetary Authority of Singapore signed agreements with French authorities for both countries to share information about emerging fintech trends, potential joint innovation projects, and relevant regulatory issues.

The two countries also inked agreements at the Singapore-France Innovation Forum in 2017 for research collaboration in areas including digital engineering and electric vehicles.

2018 has also been designated as the Asean-China Year of Innovation, meant to promote new technologies, digitalisation and creative solutions.

 Amendment note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that NUMA is a "integrated financial services provider." It is in fact a startup accelerator. The article above has been revised to reflect this.


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