Business and design industries in Singapore, led by DBCS, collaborate to transform businesses and help create vibrant economy

May 11, 2018

Singapore, 10 May 2018 – The Design Business Chamber Singapore (DBCS) signed a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS), Singapore Business Federation (SBF), Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC) and Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) at its Gala Dinner on 10 May 2018.

The MOU signing was witnessed by Senior Minister of State for the Ministry of Communications and Information, Sim Ann, who was also the Guest of Honour at the Dinner, as well as representatives from the design and business communities. The objectives of the MOU are:

  • to promote design thinking and innovation as a strategic driver for businesses in the face of constant disruptions;

  • to be intentional about working together to serve the communities and members in each other’s spheres of influence; and

  • to share expertise and resources to benefit their stakeholders.

The MOU covers three areas of collaboration:

    • Design Kitchen Workshop – DBCS to run their proprietary hands-on design innovation workshop known as Design Kitchen (please refer to Annex A for more information) regularly for partners’ members. This serves to introduce the concept of design thinking and how it may be employed in the members’ business models. DBCS will also work closely with Enterprise Singapore (Esg) in highlighting the various government grants/schemes available to partners’ members.

      Speed Matching – DBCS, with the DesignSingapore Council’s (Dsg) support, to provide speed matching platform for partners’ members with their curated list of certified design consultants. This could be done after every Design Kitchen workshop.

      Sharing of Speaking Platforms – DBCS and MOU partners to share at each other’s conferences, workshops and talks to exchange knowledge and offer practical advice on using design-led innovation as a strategy for growth.


Mr Andrew Pang, President of DBCS, explained, “Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at Singapore University of Technology and Design’s Ministerial Forum last month that “good design is not done in a vacuum”. This resonates completely with DBCS’ mission to forge partnership opportunities between the design and business communities. We believe that by bringing the two communities onto a common platform, we can encourage the business community to embrace design-led innovation as its key driver for sustainable growth. 


DBCS’ work for the next three years is being guided by an Industry Roadmap. The Roadmap was born out of research conducted over three months with various DBCS stakeholders. The research, commissioned by DBCS with funding support from Dsg, led to DBCS’ formulation of the Enterprise Outreach Strategy undergirded by their manifesto – Better Business by Design. Better business consists of wide-ranging goals that take into consideration social, economic and environmental factors. It also has a measurable outcome. In order to achieve ‘Better Business by Design’, there is a need to rethink existing business and social models.


Ms Agnes Kwek, Executive Director of Dsg, said, “DBCS has been our key partner in helping businesses adopt design as a strategy to transform and become more innovative. We would like to commend DBCS for spearheading the MOU, which will enable designers to collaborate closely with the business community. This is a significant milestone in unlocking the value of design in our SMEs. As the national agency for design, we remain committed to supporting our design industry associations in Singapore and will work closely with Enterprise Singapore to grow our design ecosystem even more.”


Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Singapore, Mr Ted Tan added, “Design thinking is a valuable tool to help companies come up with creative ideas and solutions, prototype and test out the innovations and review the solutions. This is critical in helping companies to innovate and differentiate themselves to achieve competitive advantage. This MOU is a good example of how trade associations from different industries can collaborate to drive industry growth. Enterprise Singapore strongly support such cross-sector partnerships to accelerate business transformation.

Written on : 11 May 2018

Media Room