So Bernard, how does your expertise translate to business growth?
In a nutshell, I play the pivotal role of helping businesses identify emerging public policy and business economic opportunities and linking them up with the relevant stakeholders and solutions to take these opportunities to fruition.
What sort of change do you bring about?
I specialise in government relations. On a tactical level, I monitor the policy trends and business trends in digital economy, analyse relevant public policy strategic direction espoused by the government, and pair them up with the companies and other stakeholders that could benefit from them, and vice versa.
Like a matchmaker, I align the objectives of the government and organisations, helping them develop a constructive and mutual beneficial relationship. This leads to tangible benefits for the company, such as receiving funding from the government, improving their processes and increasing productivity, co-innovation of new digital services to benefit the public.
For example, I was part of the core team that established the A*STAR Smart Nation Applied Lab (SNAL) and led the proposal to secure more than $1 million in research grants to translate the advanced scientific expertise across A*STAR research institutes into solutions for public agencies’ most pressing operational challenges, providing R&D support for Singapore’s Smart Nation Vision.
How did you do it?
There’s no cookie cutter answer and each solution is measured and tailored to the project.
During my tenure at A*STAR, there was a public agency was looking for a technology solution that would ease the bulk of their translation work. In seeking a solution, I identified a researcher team who could create an automated translation system for the agency, and paired them together for successful innovation funding.
What’s your motivation behind it all?
My philosophy is simple. I like to bring people and organisations together and make a difference to their lives. For example, in 2011, I helped set up World Future Foundation, the first philanthropic foundation NGO in Singapore funded by entrepreneurs from China. Its goal is to formulate grants and support programmes and organisations that contribute to environment sustainability research.
What are you looking for in your next role?
The economy is moving towards a digital information era and I’m excited to play a role in that transformation. As a technology enthusiast, I’m on the lookout for a regulatory programme and stakeholder management role in digital economy industries and other emerging sectors such as Fintech, Smart City and Artificial Intelligence development and Entrepreneurship.
I recognise that this shift isn’t just about hard numbers and cold processes. At the end of the day, it’s about the people it affects, and I would like to be the one who helps humanise it.
Since his last role, Bernard has undergone enrichment workshops and career coaching with WSG’s Careers Connect to ensure that he’s ready for his next role.
Bernard believes in the power of collaboration and how innovative conversations between the public and private sector can bring immense benefits to all.