Doorstop - Launch of the Australian Innovation Landing Pad, Singapore

  • Transcript, E&OE

MINISTERBISHOP: I'm very pleased to be in Singapore to meet with my counterpart theForeign Minister, and meeting with the Prime Minister later today. We began bymeeting with Singapore and Australian businesses and talking about how deep andstrong our economic and trade relationship is. The Australian government andthe Singaporean government are committed to a Comprehensive StrategicPartnership where we are expanding our economic, trade and investment ties anddefence and security connections, more collaboration in science and innovationand our people-to-people links. I've been delighted to launch a start-uplanding pad here in Singapore which recognises the level of interaction thereis between the start-up community here in Singapore and in Australia. Alreadyfour Australian startups have been established here, working with investors,mentors and other partners in a very high quality, high tech ecosystem here inSingapore. Ours is a longstanding, strong friendship, we are close partners andmy visit here is an opportunity to deepen and strengthen those ties.

JOURNALIST: You have a couple of other Landing Pads across the world in Berlin andin China as well. Specifically, why was Singapore chosen to have this when youcould have had it in other cities?

MINISTERBISHOP: Indeed, under our National Science and Innovation Agenda we decided toestablish five landing pads to encourage our start-ups to collaborate acrossthe world, and we selected San Francisco, Shanghai, Berlin, Tel Aviv andSingapore. And because of the environment here in Singapore, the success ofstart-ups here, the government's focus on creativity and innovation, and theinterest of the capital markets here, it seemed an obvious choice. It's also agateway into Asia and speaking to a number of the Australians who are here inSingapore, they've certainly reinforced the view that Singapore is a greatplace for collaboration and creativity and for the necessary capital.

JOURNALIST: How do you think the Singapore start-up ecosystem can add further valueto Australian start-ups and help them grow?

MINISTERBISHOP: There's a significant start-up community here indeed, I understand fromMinister Iswaran there are about 4,800 start-ups here in Singapore and that'sbeen a very rapid increase. So clearly this is the right environment. I thinkAustralian start-ups have much to learn, much to gain from being here, it's thecollaborative open exchange that is so important, and the capital funding, thementors, the sharing of experiences, but also the Singaporean view of doingbusiness in Southeast Asia and beyond, is of great importance and significanceto us.

JOURNALIST: Can you tell us about the future plans to grow the number of Australianstart-ups. In terms of their presence here, they have numbers to something with4, what could we possibly look at in the future?

MINISTERBISHOP: Well, in our second round we hope to have 10, and then it will increaseas the interest and awareness across Australia increases. So I expect that wewill have a very vibrant dynamic start-up connection with Singapore through thelanding pad here at BASH (Building Amazing Startups Here) I think it's a greatenvironment, a great space, and already we're seeing ideas turning intocommercial opportunities.

JOURNALIST2: How will you know whether this has been a success?

MINISTERBISHOP: Clearly by the number of start-ups that are able to take their ideasfurther, and we are pairing with our other start-ups across the world, we havefive in total. There will be a competitive spirit between these start-ups as tohow our respective landing pads perform, but there will be a range of criteriathat we'll judge our success upon. I feel very confident that having a presencehere in Singapore as a start-up landing pad will give us that edge, and I'mlooking forward to seeing the fruits of this effort, this investment inSingapore.

JOURNALIST2: Are you going to invest money in start-ups?

MINISTERBISHOP: (Laughs) I will encourage many people to do so. I think there are otherswho are better at managing risk and determine what start-ups are likely to be asuccess, but most certainly the Australia Government wants to provide theframework and the environment to enable our bright young people and ourstart-ups to have an opportunity to gain a foothold in what is such a vibrantand dynamic market. Thank you.

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