Delivered on 19 February 2018 by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, Budget 2018 laid out the strategic financial plans that positions Singapore towards a better future. He identified the 3 major shifts that Singapore should prepare for in the coming decade, mainly the shift in global economic weight towards Asia, the emergence of new technologies, and the ageing population.
Budget 2018 will lean a strong stance towards developing a more vibrant and innovative economy, building a smart, green, and liveable city, continuing to foster a caring and cohesive society, as well as planning ahead for a fiscally sustainable and secure future.
Developing a More Vibrant and Innovative Economy
Mr Heng stressed on the accelerated hike towards change and greater competition. To counter it, the government will enhance efforts to support firms in their innovation journeys. With the accelerated hike in change and greater competition, businesses across sectors should incorporate innovation by leveraging on new technologies to strengthen their competitive advantage.
To back this up, the budget will lend support to firms who wants to bring forward their value chain – be it buying new solutions, building their own, or partnering with other corporations to co-creative innovative solutions.
Buying New Solutions
The budget will launch a newly crafted Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG), assembled with existing grants that supports the embracing of pre-scoped, off-the-shelf technologies. The PSG provides funding support of up to 70%, where businesses can apply for it through the Business Grants Portal (BGP) from 1 April 2018 onwards. A comprehensive guide on the application process will be provided on BGP’s website, along with a list of suitable devices or solution providers relevant to their field of business.
As the expiration of the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme approaches, tax deduction for licensing payments will be raised to 200% and capped at $100,000 for licensing payments per year. This benefits businesses, especially the smaller scale, as it provides them the flexibility to allocate more funds to dive into innovative angles.
Building Their Own Innovations.
Tax deduction for Intellectual Property (IP) Registration Fees will also be increased from 100% to 200% to help businesses safeguard their intangible assets, also capped at $100,000 per year.
In addition, tax deduction will be raised from 150% to 250% for qualifying expenses incurred on Research & Development conducted in Singapore.
Click here to read more about tax amendments.
Partnering to Co-create Innovative Solutions.
The Open Innovation Platform will be piloted this year. It is a crowdsourcing platform that intends to bring a closer gap between research and commercialization by pairing firms who are looking for solution providers with the right partners. The platform allows them to form a collaboration for potential ventures, at the same time simplifying and minimizing the firm’s limitations towards plans for innovations.
Read more about it here.