What is [email protected] and How Infocomm and Media (ICM) Tech Companies Can Benefit

Accreditation@SGD

Launched by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)  in 2014, the [email protected] Digital programme plays a vital role in growing companies in Singapore’s ICM technology product space. The main aim of the programme is to inspire younger technopreneurs and scale up technology product companies.   

Being recognised under the [email protected] Digital programme gives confidence to enterprise buyers that your company’s product has been independently evaluated to function as per your company’s claims. To this end, IMDA conducts an independent assessment of your company’s ability to deliver, (i.e. your financial sustainability, operations team and processes to support the product).

Note: The award of accreditation is only applicable to the specific product and version that had undergone the evaluation. It is not transferrable or applicable to other portfolio or versions of product(s) under your company.

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Programme Benefits and Business Opportunities in Government and Enterprise Sectors

Besides establishing industry credentials for their products and services, businesses recognised under the [email protected] programme also improve their chances of winning projects from large enterprise buyers, including the Singapore government. In fact, the government procurement process has changed to prioritise business under [email protected] Digital for jobs by government agencies. 

Accredited companies will be showcased at IMDA events and demo days, and will be invited to participate in thematic workshops with potential enterprise buyers and to fill government demand. The government also co-creates strategic projects to generate breakthrough market opportunities locally and regionally. 

Companies also benefit from match-making with go-to-market partners such as consultancy firms, large System Integrators and hardware providers. Expansion into international markets will also be accelerated through [email protected]’s promotion of the companies through media, exhibitions and collaboration with other government agencies to reach global enterprises and overseas government bodies.

Accredited companies can use the SG:D Accredited Mark in their marketing materials. On top of the branding associated with the Singapore government, it also provides end customers the assurance of the company’s product and ability to deliver. 

Companies Recognised Under The [email protected] Digital Programme

As of March 2021, over $650 million worth of project opportunities have been created for accredited companies. To date, over 1,200 projects have been awarded. The accreditation process and increased business traction also increases the attractiveness for growth capital investment by changing the risk reward ratio for investors. To-date, more than $386 million of new growth capital has been invested into such companies during and after accreditation.

Some companies that hold this accreditation include:

  • Igloocompany (make of smart locks and lockboxes)
  • Horangi (leading cybersecurity company founded by ex-Palantir Technologies engineers)
  • JobKred (digital workforce and skills development platform)
  • CashShield (online fraud risk management company)
  • NextBillion.ai (spatial data platform)

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Getting The [email protected] Digital Credential

Accreditation@SG Digital process
Source: IMDA

The accreditation process has three stages participants must pass before getting certified — Application, Shortlisting and Evaluation.

Stage 1 — Application

IMDA first conducts an initial assessment of whether your company meets the pre-qualification criteria. IMDA may request for a demonstration of your product’s value propositions.

After passing the assessment, you must appoint a staff member as an Accreditation Representative (AR) for IMDA to liaise with.

Stage 2 — Short-listing

At this stage, your company must demonstrate (in the fields of ManagementFinancials & Operations and handling Customers) that:

Management
  1. it has clear business plan on how to grow the product and business
  2. it has strong management [email protected] V1.0 9 of 22 team with established track records and low key-man risks
Financials & Operations
  1. it has a financing and/or fund raising plan going forward to sustainably operate
  2. it has the capabilities and resources to support its business plan
Customers
  1. the product has a clearly identified customer segment(s) and demand
  2. there is a sizeable addressable demand for the product to support its business plan

Additionally, The product to be accredited must have Common Criteria (CC) certification.

Stage 3 — Evaluation

Submit the version of the product to be accredited, the relevant detailed technical documentations and any previously obtained certifications. IMDA will then communicate areas of concerns for your timely corrective action. This evaluation stage takes an estimated three to six months.

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Being Awarded The [email protected] Certificate

After completing the three stages, IMDA will issue the [email protected] Certificate, which will be valid for up to 5 years. The award can be conditional or full. Conditional awards are issued if a company has outstanding corrective action(s) from Stage 3.

You can contact [email protected] for further details.

Programme Graduation

IMDA may graduate a company from [email protected] if:

  • The company has matured to a level under the [email protected] where incremental benefits derived from the Scheme is no longer considered substantial; or
  • The company has benefited fully from the programme and can continue to effectively compete with major competitors and scale globally

Graduated companies can continue to receive other forms of recognition and privileges, including invitations to networking events, opportunities for graduated companies to showcase their work and/or share their experiences.

DSTA Partnerships

On its website, IMDA states that the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) “is keen to connect with technology-SMEs who possess innovative and game-changing ideas that can contribute to Singapore’s defence capabilities”. You can submit the form on the DSTA website.

SecureTech Track for Cybersecurity Products

To improve the quality of cybersecurity products of SMEs through the adoption of CC certification, IMDA launched a new SecureTech track with the Cyber Security Agency (CSA) under the [email protected] Digital programme from March 2019. 

This is part of the efforts to grow the Cybersecurity ecosystem in Singapore and enable SG:D Accredited SecureTech companies to expand internationally through tapping on the track record built in Singapore. Through the SecureTech Track, IMDA and CSA will also encourage and ease the adoption and procurement of SG:D Accredited SecureTech products by government agencies and enterprises. Under this new track, companies are required to obtain CC certification for the product to be accredited.

Companies interested in SecureTech track can find out more on the details of the process here.

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