Singapore among top 5 Innovation Champions named by CES organiser Consumer Technology Association

Singapore Press Holdings

Singapore has been recognised has one of the top countries breaking new ground.

The city-state is among 16 countries listed as 2019 Innovation Champions by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which organises Consumer Electronics Show (CES), one of the world’s largest annual consumer electronics trade shows.

CTA’s International Innovation Scorecard, released on Tuesday (Jan 8), placed Singapore at fifth place, out of 61 countries.

Estonia, Switzerland, Finland and the United States topped the second edition of the scorecard.

In this second edition, CTS evaluated the countries and the European Union across 28 indicators, to determine whether or not they are “stifling progress” or “fueling the fires of innovation and improving lives”.

The International Innovation Scorecard considered a range of indicators to rank the countries. They include whether or not publicly available, verifiable and independent third-party data exists; if comparable data across nations exists; and if governments can influence public policy.

The association attributed Singapore’s high score to a variety of reasons, including being the first country to test self-driving taxis.

It added that the city-state passed clear guidelines for ride-sharing operators, helping to improve its ride-sharing grade from C to B.

Additionally, over half of Singapore’s workforce is “highly skilled”, and almost half of all college degrees granted are in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, giving startups and businesses a strong talent pool to draw from.

Singapore also boasts a high new business entry rate of over eight per 1,000 people, and one of the lowest corporate tax rates of any country at only 17 per cent. Streaming services are also not subject to tax.

Plus, Singapore’s monthly fixed broadband cost – 0.5 per cent of gross national income (GNI) per capita – is also considerably lower than countries like Australia (1.1 per cent) and New Zealand (1.8 per cent).

And the country’s mean download speed (fixed and mobile) – 60.4 megabytes per second (Mbps) – is also significantly higher than that in Australia (11.7 Mbps) and New Zealand (23.8 Mbps).

The country also topped the diversity scorecard, with a large proportion of immigrants in the population and an above-average level of gender parity among workers ages 25 to 54.

Singapore also stands out for its notably welcoming approach toward drones, CTA said. In 2018, the Transport Ministry, Civil Aviation Authority and the real estate company JTC Corporation announced plans for a new drone research initiative. The centre will house five projects involving drones, ranging from delivery to search and rescue and emergency response applications.

Of course, nothing is perfect. CTA said there are areas Singapore can improve on. The organisation suggested that Singapore “could lift its three-month threshold for private rentals and ease strict fines imposed on short-term rental hosts”.

Out of the 14 categories measured, Singapore scored A for 10.

Here’s how Singapore fared in each category:

Singapore’s scorecard shows scores in the “A” range for 10 categories.

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