In line with the recommendations of its 2022 evaluation, VARIO always uses an international perspective when formulating its advices. In 2020, for example, VARIO selected a number of European benchmark countries and regions (VARIO Advisory Report 10), as a benchmark for the Flemish innovation system. In doing so, VARIO noted the importance of looking beyond just Europe. More specifically, a comprehensive case study was then made of Singapore's STI system (VARIO Analysis Report 14). In March 2023, as a follow-up, VARIO undertook a mission to Singapore. This mission was the first phase of a new advisory process on "broadening our strategic international orientation" (VARIO Work Program 2023) in which VARIO seeks to learn lessons for Flanders from other internationally successful ecosystems.
The main purpose of this mission was to identify the keys to Singapore's success as an innovation hub and smart nation during discussions with players across the entire innovation value chain. We met with innovation agencies, top universities and research institutions, hospitals, industrial infrastructure developers, investors and start-up incubators. Themes such as talent, internationally ambitious entrepreneurship, lifelong learning, effective and efficient innovation agendas were discussed in abundance.
This report summarizes the impressions of the VARIO study tour to Singapore.