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Singapore business chiefs explore Arizona alliances

April 04, 2007

Delegates from International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore), the government agency that assists Singapore-based enterprises with globalization, made Arizona the first stop of their U.S. mission. The delegation is exploring new research and development partnerships, as well as strategic alliances, in the domain of wireless telecommunications.

ASU's Office of Economic Affairs played host to the delegation, which was composed of IE Singapore officials and leaders of wireless firms from Singapore. ASU conducted comprehensive sessions and meetings with business leaders from throughout the region and state. IE Singapore has expressed interest in working with SkySong – ASU's Scottsdale Innovation Center.

IE Singapore is an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry that spearheads the development of Singapore 's external economy. It focuses on promoting overseas growth of Singapore-based enterprises and international trade by building the competencies of the companies, as well as identifying the right linkages and connections for their business partnerships abroad.

During the visit, the chief executive officers of the Singapore wireless firms discussed groundbreaking technologies with Arizona business leaders, such as color intelligence software solutions for CAD packages and mobile-embedded video editing technologies for cameras, video recorders and cell phones that produce almost instantaneous results, among others.

“SkySong is an ideal partner for Singapore wireless firms keen to enter the U.S. and Central/Latin-American markets,” said Oliver Kwek, head of the Infocomm Technology Division of IE Singapore. “We plan to explore a strategic agreement with SkySong – the value proposition being the service, network and support system that SkySong provides to global technology firms.”

Kwek, who is leading the mission, compared SkySong to IE Singapore, saying both share a common objective of facilitating business promotion and the globalization of enterprises.

Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross welcomed the delegation on site at SkySong and relayed how SkySong will become a serious global technology hub, with ASU playing a critical role.

Frankie Tan, director of Exploit Technologies, the strategic marketing and commercialization arm of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), relayed how new industries and clusters are grown and how industry-focused research is catalyzed in Singapore. A*STAR often is referred to as the “National Science Foundation” of Singapore .

“This visit by IE Singapore and the Singapore firms contributes to the eminence of SkySong and Arizona as players in technology innovation and commercialization,” says Julia Rosen, ASU's assistant vice president of economic affairs. “There is nothing like seeing firsthand all that SkySong has to offer – its value and the network that comes with it crystallizes for prospective partners during intense visits like this.”

Officials from Greater Phoenix Economic Council, local entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investment bankers, and ASU researchers of high-profile technology entities convened for the rigorous daylong session of group and private meetings, tours and presentations.

ASU is aggressively developing relationships with institutions, businesses and entrepreneurs in Singapore, Ireland, China, Mexico and Germany as part of its strategy to make SkySong a place where international businesses will locate and interact with Arizona companies and university innovators. The first phase of SkySong is expected to open this fall.

Other mission stops for the Singapore business delegation include Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Orlando, Fla.

Singapore, just smaller than New York at 265 square miles, has a population of about 4.5 million.