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RFID@NEC to encourage SMEs
31
Jan '08
In last year's SME Development Survey, our Small and Medium Enterprises cited rising competition, increasing operating cost and manpower shortage as their top three challenges.

To overcome them, the SMEs have identified three strategies for growth, - (i) improve cost efficiency and productivity, (ii) enter new overseas markets, and (iii) develop new products and services.

A key enabler of these strategies is technology innovation. Smart adoption of technology, or Know-how, can help enterprises to improve their business processes to yield real value that will propel their growth.

To help SMEs gain technological & innovation know-how, SPRING launched the $150 million Technology Innovation Programme (TIP) in 2006 to provide SMEs with funding and expertise support to develop new products, processes and services and adopt new technologies in their business operations.

Several Centres of Innovation (COI) have also been set up at our polytechnics and A*STAR research institutes to provide industry clusters with focused technology support.

To-date, we have supported 114 companies that have embarked on technology projects, and another 40 that have engaged technical experts to build up their in-house R&D capabilities.

Promotion of RFID Technology:
To encourage more enterprises to tap on technology, we organize regular networking sessions to showcase new and emerging technologies. One emerging technology is Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).

It has the potential to help companies improve competitiveness, generate greater efficiencies, and enhance process innovation and service delivery. With RFID implementation, enterprises can integrate their entire supply chain, enabling partnerships with other enterprises and their customers.

It opens up new and more efficient methods for managing payment, inventory and security. And its potential will only increase as people realise the benefits of using it, and more companies adopt it successfully.

The government has embarked on a concerted effort to promote adoption of RFID technologies to industry. In 2004, the Infocomm Development Authority, or IDA, launched a S$10 million initiative to boost the development and adoption of RFID.

Last year, A*STAR launched the National RFID Centre which serves as a national focal point for promoting the adoption of RFID.

Industry players such NEC, HP and IBM have also shown their commitment to develop RFID capabilities to enhance the efficiency of their operations.

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