SINGAPORE (Aug 6): Singapore may be consistently ranked as among the most prepared countries for a digital future, but the reality is not quite so, according to Alex Lin, the former head of ecosystem development at government agency SGInnovate. In fact, the challenge is getting businesses here to digitalise, in order to adapt to the demands of the future economy and workforce.

According to the latest INSEAD Global Innovation Index, Singapore ranks fifth in terms of innovation, ahead of the US and Finland. But that is not enough, says Lin, who is now a business consultant helping companies in the region expand. According to the same index, the city state ranks 63rd in the world for innovation efficiency.

“It’s quite [embarrassing]. Although we [are among] the top five in innovation, our ability to innovate is not very good. We are able to do very well because we dump a lot of money in input, but [there’s] not a lot of output,” says Lin. “Can we afford to focus only on exploitable innovation, which means reducing innovation input, which will see our rankings drop?”

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