An Evolutionary Analysis of the Development of the One North Innovation District in Singapore




innovation hub, Singapore, biomedical sciences, technology entrepreneurship


First conceptualised in Singapore’s first National Technology Plan in 1991, the idea of creating a new integrated R&D and innovation hub in Singapore languished until it was incorporated into a broader Technopreneurship 21 (T21) strategy announced in 1998, and was officially launched in late 2001. In the 20 years since, the innovation district has made significant development progress, but not quite in the manner as presented in a number of prior studies  that have adopted a “top-down rational planning” narrative. Taking an evolutionary view, we argue that the actual development of One-North was significantly shaped by a number of critical actors as well as external environmental factors, and its evolutionary trajectory deviated from its original plan. Our evolutionary narrative provides insights on the role of champions in large scale innovation projects, and the need to integrate physical space development within a comprehensive innovation ecosystem development strategy.


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How to Cite

Wong, Poh Kam. 2022. “An Evolutionary Analysis of the Development of the One North Innovation District in Singapore”. Journal of Evolutionary Studies in Business 7 (2):70-99.