While I believe there are occasions justifying government’s role in innovation policy, Singapore government’s intervention is not always as successful as their counterparts in the United States.
The US government rewards those who deliver results. But Singapore funds those who generically address societal challenges and often, well packaged promises.
In Singapore’s case, if we still want to believe in the effectiveness of research agencies like A*Star, we need to find a group of civil servants who are able to take risk and to be accountable for results and to be technology experts. As I understand, most civil servants in charge of innovation policies are neither technology experts nor risk takers.
Perhaps it is time for an alternative innovation policy.