More SMEs are working with institutions to improve their productivity
31 Oct 2016
Lianhe Zaobao, 31 Oct 2016 - Article mentioned that more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are working with the respective innovation centres in tertiary institutions to develop their products and remain competitive. One example is Mr Ham Weng Seng, who took over the reins of the family owned Chop Tai Chong Kok Ptd Ltd three years ago. He shared how SP’s Food Innovation and Resource Centre (FIRC) has helped his business to boost productivity by providing consultancy services to improves his products and lessons for his staff to learn about product packaging and safety. FIRC also introduced relevant suppliers to his business. After working with FIRC, the company has expanded to five shops and a factory from the initial two outlets. Article also mentioned the various centres of innovation among the five polys. These centres have different areas of focus and have been sponsored by SPRING since 2006. Article mentioned that FIRC was set up in 2007 to increase the competitiveness of the companies in the global market by harnessing the latest technologies available to help companies create new or value-added products, as well as providing recommendations for appropriate packaging and improving the workflow and product shelf-life. FIRC’s Centre Director Mrs Ngan-Loong Mann Na shared that students interning at FIRC have the opportunity to assist full-time food researchers, comprising food scientists and food technologists, on these projects. She also shared that FIRC offers 20 different short courses and has trained over 3000 professionals. FIRC has also worked with more than 500 companies on more than 850 projects. Association of SME president, Kurt Wee, opined on the benefits of having lecturers, researchers and students working on a real-life food projects. Article also mentioned that universities also have various centres and facilities to help SMEs.