Ms He Ting Ru asked the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) how much funding is projected to be needed for the biotech sector over the next decade; (b) whether the Government plans to provide any funding to the biotech sector; and (c) if so, what is the breakdown of funding for (i) pre-clinical (ii) clinical and (iii) commercialisation stages respectively.
Mr Gan Kim Yong: We do not have such granular information about the funding gaps in the biotech sector. That said, we expect the sector to grow by around 8% per annum1 and for its funding needs to increase correspondingly.
The Government is supporting the sector’s funding needs in several ways. First, sector-specific initiatives such as the Singapore Therapeutics Development Review (STDR) programme run by A*STAR nurtures our existing base of researchers and grooms them into potential biotech founders. EnterpriseSG continues to grow our biotech venture ecosystem in Singapore by working with venture capitalists and builders to channel more investments to Singapore-based biotech startups.
Biotech companies in Singapore have various schemes to tap into. For example, the Startup SG Tech grant and the Startup SG Equity investment scheme help to de-risk early developments and catalyse private investments. During Budget 2020, S$300 million was added to the Startup SG Equity scheme to catalyse more than S$800 million of private funding for deep-tech startups. The Government has also committed $25 billion to the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 plan.
Ministry of Trade and Industry
7 February 2023