Singapore SMEs to Access Subsidised Microsoft AI Tool

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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore can now access Microsoft’s artificial intelligence (AI) tool, Copilot, at subsidised rates thanks to a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed on May 21, 2024. The agreement, forged between Microsoft, Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG), and AI Singapore, aims to bolster AI adoption and digital capabilities among local businesses.

Under the MOU, EnterpriseSG will cover 50% of the licencing costs for Microsoft Copilot for a 12-month period. This subsidy allows each SME to purchase up to 50 user licences at a reduced rate, making advanced AI tools more accessible to over 1,000 SMEs across the nation.

Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong, who also serves as the deputy prime minister, emphasised the importance of democratising AI technology during the MOU signing ceremony. “To help enterprises embrace AI, it is important that we recognise varying needs across different digital maturity levels; most companies will require solutions that are easy to deploy and use,” Gan stated.

Microsoft Copilot is integrated into popular Microsoft 365 applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams. It is designed to enhance productivity by answering queries, summarising data, and creating content, thus enabling businesses of all sizes to leverage AI for everyday tasks.

The partnership will also see Microsoft providing additional support to SMEs through capability-building initiatives. This includes industry-specific and job role-specific training workshops, as well as events focused on AI adoption and practical implementation.

For SMEs requiring more customised AI solutions, the new Applied AI programme will connect them with institutes of higher learning. This initiative ensures that businesses with unique needs can still benefit from tailored AI technologies, driving innovation and competitiveness.

This collaborative effort between Microsoft, EnterpriseSG, and AI Singapore signifies a significant step towards enhancing digital transformation among Singapore’s SMEs, ensuring they remain competitive in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.