Joint Declaration on Innovation between France and Singapore

Joint Declaration on Innovation between France and Singapore by the President of the French Republic, H.E. François Hollande, and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore H.E. Lee Hsien Loong


On the occasion of the State Visit to Singapore by President of the French Republic H.E. François Hollande on 27 March 2017, the President and Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore H.E. Lee Hsien Loong reaffirmed the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries. As reflected in the Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership between France and Singapore issued in October 2012, both countries enjoy good cooperation in the defence, cybersecurity, economic, education and research, as well as cultural sectors, based on shared interests and a common global vision.

To build on the Strategic Partnership, and in recognition of the fact that innovation drives the transformation of their respective economies and societies for the benefit of their citizens, President Hollande and Prime Minister Lee agreed to intensify cooperation on innovation between the two countries.  France and Singapore have prioritised the strengthening of their respective innovation ecosystems, including programmes to promote research and development (R&D), as well as support entrepreneurship in innovative sectors.  This is reflected in the national strategies of the two countries, such as relevant recommendations in the Report of the Committee on the Future Economy of Singapore, and the 2017 – 2027 critical actions defined by France Stratégie’s National Commission for the Evaluation of Innovation Policies. Both leaders shared the view that the two countries have much to learn from each other’s experience and approach to foster innovation.  They also agreed that there are considerable synergies and complementarities between the two countries in the area of innovation that could be harnessed for mutual benefit, and for the benefit of the world.  French and Singaporean agencies, enterprises, public and private research organisations, as well as institutions of higher learning are already actively engaged in several collaborative projects involving not only cutting-edge science and advanced engineering, but also in transport solutions, tools for urban management, nuclear safety and even satellite technology.  

President Hollande and Prime Minister Lee therefore welcomed the organisation of the France-Singapore Innovation Forum during the State Visit to advance bilateral cooperation on innovation, including through the following new initiatives:

  1. The major steps taken by the French Tech community in Singapore since 2016 to qualify for the French Tech Hub label, by consolidating their initiatives, organising a strong framework for their mutual actions and providing a focal point for the French entrepreneurial ecosystem in its engagement with the new technology sector in Singapore.  The ambition of this network, which is being developed in close partnership with key Singapore partners, is to increase the contribution of the French Tech community in Singapore to the development of the Singapore Tech ecosystem and its interactions with the French Tech ecosystem.  Once formally launched, the French Tech Hub in Singapore will also work closely with other French Tech Hubs around the world and notably in Asia.
  2. The enhancement of the existing network of French companies in healthcare and biomedical sciences in Southeast Asia, in view of the urgency of finding and implementing innovative solutions to reduce costs and to ensure that the elderly are supported in this sector.
  3. The adoption of a cooperation agreement between the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR), aiming at catalysing innovation and fostering the development of new technologies in financial services (Fintech) in France and Singapore.
  4. The proposal for the Singapore Innovative Living Environment (SILVER) programme, which is an integrated research partnership between the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the National University of Singapore (NUS), as well as the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).  The programme aims to work on innovative multi-disciplinary solutions to enable active ageing and elderly well-being in urban community settings. The programme proposal will be submitted to the Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF) for funding consideration under the CREATE programme of excellence.
  5. The continuing contributions by French companies to projects related to Smart Cities and sustainable development in Singapore, such as Dassault Système’s project on Virtual Singapore; the Housing and Development Board’s (HDB) collaboration with Electricite de France (EDF) on developing a Complex System Modelling tool to improve city and town planning; Bolloré’s large-scale electric car-sharing scheme; ENGIE’s, Schneider Electric’s, EDF’s and Enedis’ cooperation in the Renewable Energy Integration Demonstrator – Singapore (REIDS) pilot project; NUMA’s partnership with Impact Hub to accelerate smart cities related startups; Suez’ research projects with PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency on advanced metering infrastructure and storm water management etc. An “Urban Mutations” exhibition will be organised in April 2018, pursuant to an MOU signed between Universcience and the Singapore Science Centre.
  6. The strengthening of ties in the field of space technologies through a development of the collaboration between Thales and NTU, and between Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES) and Office of Space Technology and Industry (OSTIn).  In particular, the signature of the Letter of Intent between CNES and OSTIn in 2015 greatly facilitated an ongoing relationship between both parties, and has resulted in the first France-Singapore Space Workshop in 2016 which offered an occasion to present French expertise in space technology and applications in Singapore. As a commitment to this relationship, both parties confirm their desire to transform the Letter of Intent into a framework agreement to be signed on the occasion of the State Visit. 
  7. Developing innovative technological solutions to defence and security challenges, through exchanges between Singapore’s Defence Technology Community and France’s Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA).
  8. The launch of research centre “SystemX @ Singapore”, involving both industrial partners and academia, following the signing of a MOU between research institute System X and Nanyang Technological University (NTU).  The parties will collaborate in the field of complex systems digital engineering, in the areas of sustainability and environment, future mobility and smart urban solutions.  The longstanding cooperation between the NTU and the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA) has been further extended by the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement for the development of a highly integrated, technology driven joint research project on green chemistry, waste recycling, materials recovery, and toxic waste remediation, within the broad framework of the circular economy.
  9. The launch of a dual Master’s degree between Sciences Po School of Public Affairs and NUS, comprising a Master in Public Policy (MPP) degree from NUS and Master in European Affairs (MEA) degree from Sciences Po, to further our cooperation in higher education and research.  Students in the programme will have the opportunity to learn public policy skills and broad-based knowledge in France, and be exposed to public policy concepts and frameworks taught through a distinctly Asian context at NUS. NUS has also reached separate general agreements on academic collaboration with IFP School and Paris Descartes University’s faculty of medicine respectively.
  10. In addition to the collaborations between the museums of both countries, the organisation of a Malraux Seminar invites major French and Singaporean cultural institutions, policy-makers and practitioners to discuss new trends and innovations in the arts and culture sector.  This seminar adds a new dimension to the 2009 intergovernmental agreement on cultural cooperation between Singapore and France.  

To promote further exchanges and foster further collaborations between relevant stakeholders from the two countries in the domain of innovation, President Hollande and Prime Minister Lee agreed to declare 2018 as the France-Singapore Year of Innovation.  Events will be held in both France and Singapore, either jointly or separately, during the course of the year to encourage further reflection on how the two countries could work together to mutually reinforce each other’s efforts to attain their innovation goals. 

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