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Singapore Seeks a Breakthrough to Call Its Own

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zzm9980
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Singapore Seeks a Breakthrough to Call Its Own

Postby zzm9980 » Fri, 14 Sep 2012 4:21 pm

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/42 ... l-its-own/

I don't have much to add to this really, most of the conclusions seem obvious to me as I live here. The tiny scales kills most options that succeed in other markets. All of the websites here look like they're from 1999. The most innovative web app or software tech I've seen as long as I've been here is Summon Auntie for iPhone.

Does any of our members here work for any innovative tech companies or startups? I do, but it's just the APAC branch of a US MNC and only here to handle regional operations and house a large call-center. Not a lot of innovation here :) Besides which, I suspect a lot of it is moving soon. HR is pestering every EP to go apply for PR as even we've lost a bunch recently to non-renewals, and ground has been broken on a large campus 'somewhere north of here'. Singapore can't home-grow creative talent, and immigration policies growing more restrictive will cut off the little creative juice flowing in.

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Postby revhappy » Fri, 14 Sep 2012 5:10 pm

This very forum uses such outdated technology. I browse Singaporebikes and I find it so much better, for eg you have an option to tag somebody in the post with the @sign, so next time when the tagged person logs in he/she will get a notification and can respond immediately.

Same case with emoticons. I know it depends on funding, but hey this is the most used expats website and so much potential for ad revenues to target expats.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 14 Sep 2012 5:58 pm

Frankly, I can do without the page cluttering ads.

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Postby x9200 » Fri, 14 Sep 2012 6:03 pm

revhappy wrote:This very forum uses such outdated technology. I browse Singaporebikes and I find it so much better, for eg you have an option to tag somebody in the post with the @sign, so next time when the tagged person logs in he/she will get a notification and can respond immediately.

I fail to understand the necessity of such option :)


Same case with emoticons. I know it depends on funding, but hey this is the most used expats website and so much potential for ad revenues to target expats.

Additional functionality or its lack has nothing to do with the technology advancement at least at the level illustrated by your examples.

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Postby x9200 » Fri, 14 Sep 2012 6:23 pm

As for the main question in this article: why SG lags in innovations I think the answer is different than the limited market. There are probably two dominating reasons:
1. The (working) culture that tells people not to take risk. Without risk there is no R&D and there are no inventions. People tend to copy ready solution as they know they work already so the risk of failure is minimal.
2. Still below critical mass of the scientists (today you don't do inventions alone, it's almost always a team work)

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Postby revhappy » Fri, 14 Sep 2012 6:25 pm

x9200 wrote:I fail to understand the necessity of such option :)



This option helps when you are posting a question to a specific person and expecting a reply or when you are responding to a person and you want the person to know that you have responded in the specific thread.

Right now you need to keep track of all the threads in which you have posted just to see whether there is a response or not.

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Postby x9200 » Fri, 14 Sep 2012 6:36 pm

Yeah, I understand this, but I use forums for discussions and not that often to chase someone to ask some specific questions.

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Postby revhappy » Fri, 14 Sep 2012 6:36 pm

Another nice feature, in both Singaporebikes and Hardwarezone, you can click on the user's nick and you can see options to see all threads or posts created by that person. Really nice option. :)

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Postby zzm9980 » Fri, 14 Sep 2012 7:33 pm

[quote="revhappy"]Another nice feature, in both Singaporebikes and Hardwarezone, you can click on the user's nick and you can see options to see all threads or posts created by that person. Really nice option. :)[/quote

If I click on the profile button under your post, I can see the same thing.

x9200, it is the lack of risk, lack of encouraged creativity, and small market together imo.

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Postby x9200 » Fri, 14 Sep 2012 8:17 pm

I believe the encourage activity is there and generally mid-high level bosses are supportive but they still do expect a high rate of success and are often oblivious to the BS their people call invention or innovation.

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Postby morenangpinay » Mon, 17 Sep 2012 3:28 pm

http://www.treehugger.com/bathroom-desi ... using.html

no innovation from Nanyang Scientists either

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Postby nakatago » Mon, 17 Sep 2012 5:09 pm

I'm supposed to work in an R&D center but porting has-been software for third world countries kinda makes me lose my mojo.

I've been observing the other teams though but most of the actual research is from the headquarters in Europe. And with shifts in the market happening so fast, I'm not too impressed with what we're supposed to be churning out.

:cry:

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Postby the lynx » Tue, 18 Sep 2012 8:43 am

And I'm supposed to work for R&D too but my company is more interested in churning out formulations and AIs that other people have already discovered just to be able to provide generic products.

I want to go back to academia or to insectariums instead...

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R and D

Postby offshoreoildude » Tue, 18 Sep 2012 10:02 am

I've worked in two different (actually three) R and D jobs in Singapore - in my previous career I was a design engineer.

The first job was designing ROV control systems for Techno Transfer with a mechanical guy -we had EDB funding and a real Singapore entrepreneur - a Sassoon - at the helm along with an ex US Navy guy who was the sales man. The company was sold in the 90's and it's remnants stagger on - however instead of two engineers they have dozens and are no more productive than we two were back then.

The second job was working for an STE owned company doing control systems for the circle line and a railway in Taiwan. There was real innovation but we didn't do the work in Singapore but mostly in Perth. The Singapore engineers involved were keen but not particularly innovative. Software outsourcing killed that idea but I do believe STE had a bit of R and D DNA in them even today.

The third job was doing some basic R and D for an oil company. The work didn't last long - there's cheaper places than Singapore for it.

In short - I believe the real r and d days are gone for Singapore. The Sassoon's are gone from the entrepreneur scene except in fashion - they're from a group of people you'd never see allowed into Singapore now. The EDB still funds stuff I suppose but the time and costs and SPACE pressures make R and D in Singapore a very unattractive proposition. Also although you can find engineers in Singapore - it's very hard - maybe impossible now - to find a 'star' engineer - this isn't just a reflection of Singapore but a reflection of the entire world.

If there is an breakthrough in Singapore I don't think it will be in the hard sciences or applied science field (i.e. engineering). I suspect it will be in the softer industries such as fashion or finance.


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