Sparks of France-Singapore Collaboration in Innovation Ignited at Singapore Session, VivaTech | SGInnovate

Sparks of France-Singapore Collaboration in Innovation Ignited at Singapore Session, VivaTech

Monday, May 28, 2018

The France-Singapore Year of Innovation (YOI) was officially launched in Singapore in January this year, during French Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Frédérique Vidal’s visit to Singapore. Singapore's Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations, S. Iswaran hosted Minister Vidal and both reaffirmed the warm bilateral relations between Singapore and France and discussed ways the two countries could advance cooperation on innovation. 

In celebration of the YOI, the “Singapore Session: Collaboration for Innovation” conference was held in conjunction with VivaTechnology (VivaTech) in Paris on 24th May 2018. The Singapore Session seeks to share Singapore's innovation story as an Artificial Intelligence (AI) and deep tech hub in Asia, and to deepen collaboration and foster partnerships between major players in the French and Singapore innovation ecosystems. 

Presented by Enterprise Singapore, SGInnovate and the Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), the conference was graced by Minister Iswaran. A panel discussion headlined by notable industry leaders such as Mr. Steve Leonard, Founding CEO, SGInnovate; Mr. Marko Erman, Chief Technology Officer, Thales Group, and Mr. Pascal Lecuyot, Chief Technology Officer, Navya, discussed how AI is transforming our economic future, and what it means for industries and talent. 

Mr. Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Singapore said: “Riding on the France-Singapore Year of Innovation, we hope to encourage more business partnerships between France and Singapore. ACE, SGInnovate and Enterprise Singapore are happy to work with VivaTechnology, Les Echos and Publicis Group to put together this Singapore conference that aims to foster partnerships between startups in Singapore, France and Europe. We welcome the French startups to set up in Singapore and collaborate with Singapore and Asian startups there. Together, they can co-innovate solutions and technologies for both Europe and Asia”. 


Launch of Hello Tomorrow Singapore

Headquartered in Paris, Hello Tomorrow is a global non-profit organisation, which conducts activities aimed at accelerating the transfer of technologies – based on tangible engineering innovation or scientific advances – into real world solutions. Hello Tomorrow Singapore will tailor and conduct these activities in Singapore and the region, with participation from scientists, entrepreneurs, investors and more. 

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between Hello Tomorrow, Enterprise Singapore, SGInnovate, Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd (ETPL)1 and Science and Stories Pte Ltd (licensee of Hello Tomorrow Singapore), thereby officially launching Hello Tomorrow Singapore. The parties will cooperate further in the development of deep tech in Singapore, and potentially create an open innovation avenue to support the development and commercialisation of deep tech-based innovations in Singapore and the region.

Mr. Steve Leonard said: “A continuing commitment to world-class scientific research, top-quality education at all age groups, and a business environment conducive to companies of all sizes are Government priorities shared by both Singapore and France. Building on these strong foundations, local and international talent, backed by investment capital, is driving exciting startup ecosystems in both countries. SGInnovate is proud to be part of two collaborative projects – Hello Tomorrow Singapore and Live with AI Report – and we are certain this represents the beginning of more opportunities for deep tech startup founders in Singapore and France to work together”.


Launch of the Live with AI Report

Live with AI is a non-profit foundation based in Singapore, which was created on the occasion of the YOI. The foundation gathers thought leaders, researchers, decision-makers – both French and Singaporean – to lead working groups and research projects on the positive impacts of AI to our society. 

The Live with AI Report was officially launched in Singapore, where Mr. Pierre Robinet, Founder of Live with AI & Vice-President of Ogilvy CONSULTING ASIA, and Mr. Kevyn Yong, Dean, ESSEC Asia Pacific handed the report over to Mr. Steve Leonard. The report emphasises in particular the importance of a transparent interaction between Humans and Machines; the urgency to research new AI solutions that could protect and strengthen our human cognitive capacities instead of affecting them; the need to implement AI-driven banking services accessible to all to better plan their finance and future; and the role CSR strategy may have in leading advanced manufacturing automation, in addition to innovative civics education and lifelong training models. The report is now downloadable at

NOTE 1: A selection of photos from the Singapore Session will be made available here at 6pm, 24th June 2018

NOTE 2: Bios and contact details of Singapore companies present at VivaTech are available here.


About SGInnovate 

At SGInnovate, we believe that Singapore has all the resources and capabilities needed to tackle ‘hard problems' that matter to people around the world. As part of our Deep Tech Nexus Strategy, we are focused on adding tangible value to the Singapore deep tech startup ecosystem in two key areas – development of Human Capital and deployment of Investment Capital. With the support of our partners and co-investors, we back deeply technical founders through equity-based investments, access to talent, and support in building customer traction. Our efforts are prioritised around transformational technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and MedTech, which represent impactful and scalable answers to global challenges. SGInnovate is a private-limited company wholly owned by the Singapore Government. 

For more information, please visit


About Action Community for Entrepreneurship 

The Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) is a national private sector-led organisation to drive entrepreneurship and innovation in Singapore. Launched in 2003 by the Ministry of Trade & Industry and restructured as a private entity in 2014, ACE is supported by the government, under the patronage of Senior Minister of State for Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Trade & Industry, Dr Koh Poh Koon. ACE's Board of Directors also comprises of experienced entrepreneurs and professionals immersed in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

Today, ACE plays a key role in building a dynamic and sustainable startup ecosystem in Singapore. ACE supports startups across all stages and focuses on three strategic areas: 

  • driving co-innovation between startups and enterprises; 
  • helping startups to scale and internationalise; 
  • building an access hub of connected ecosystems across countries. 

For more information on ACE, please visit


About Enterprise Singapore 

Enterprise Singapore is the Singapore government agency championing enterprise development. It also supports the growth of Singapore as a hub for global trading and startups. The agency attracts global commodities traders to establish their global or Asian home base in Singapore. Today, Singapore is a leading global trading hub with a complete ecosystem for the energy, agri-commodities and metals & minerals trading clusters. Singapore is also home to many global enterprises, startups and investors that operate in its robust pro-enterprise environment. 

As the national standards and accreditation body, Enterprise Singapore builds trust in Singapore’s products and services through quality and standards. Renowned for their dedication to quality and innovation, Singapore companies make ideal business partners. With Enterprise Singapore’s global network in over 35 locations spanning many developed and emerging markets, it connects businesses with relevant Singapore companies for their business expansion. 

Visit for more information.


French Press Contact – suPR! agency 
Annabel Verrier 
+33 6 24 37 32 01
[email protected]  

Singapore Press Contact – SGInnovate 
Grace Chiang 
[email protected]


PDF: Appendix I - Partners' Quotes

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