Capability Development Grant

Would Capability Development Grant (CDG) replace Productivity Innovation Credit (PIC)?


Ever since Productivity Innovative Credit(PIC) scheme ended in 2017, the popularity of Capability Development Grant (CDG) started to grow. Most people perceived this as a replacement for PIC scheme. Below is a simple chart to compare the difference.

Productivity Innovative Credit started in 2011 by IRAS to encourage SMEs to innovate their business. To qualify for the scheme, business would have to invest into 6 qualifying categories. Below is a summary of the scheme.

  • 40% support
  • Used in the purchase of IT hardware/software
  • Up to 100k claim per year
  • Simple application process
  • Endinging in YA 2018

CDG Scheme is started by SPRING Singapore, the scheme encourage business to develop their core capabilities and it supports investment into 10 supportable areas.

  • Up to 70% support
  • Could be used in many areas beside IT hardware/software
  • No limit subjected to approval
  • Required Proposal
  • No plans to end (but would evolve into EDG by 4th quarter)

CDG scheme had to need large underutilized because it covers more than what most people perceive. You could refer to the chart below to understand the full potential of the scheme.


CDG description on support areas

CDG Table

Application Checklist

1. Project Proposal

For applications for grant support of $30,000 or less (i.e. total project cost of approximately $45,000 or less), applicants are required to submit their completed project questionnaire. Reply five relevant question on project questionnaire.

For applications for grant support of more than $30,000 (i.e. total project cost of more than $45,000), applicants are required to submit their completed project proposal. Required Proposal guide from SPRING

Latest ACRA Search or Instant Information (≤6 months old*) of your Corporate Shareholders if applicable.

3. Financial Statement

Latest Audited Financial Statements (≤1 year old*) of your Company and Consolidated Financial Statement of your ultimate parent company if applicable.

4. Quotation

Relevant Proof of Quotation for your project cost items.

5. Consultant proposal*

For projects where consultants are engaged, please provide the consultants’ proposal detailing the scope of work, man-day breakdown of the service, as well as the CVs and scanned copies of SPRING-recognised certification(s) of individual consultant.

*there is a lot of confusion concern consultant proposal please approach SME Centre for clarification.

6. CDG would be upgraded to EDG (4th quarter 2018)

According to MTI report on 1st of March 2018, the scheme would be upgraded to EDG by the 4th quarter of 2018. You could view the report from this link

Productivity and Innovation Credit(PIC) Scheme

I believed that most businesses in Singapore are familiar with Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme. This scheme was launched in 2010 by IRAS and initially, this scheme is supposed to end in YA 2015 but was extended until YA 2018.

Most of the SME are familiar with this scheme because they might have tapped into PIC for their purchase of IT and automation software and hardware such as computers, printers, website and etc. They could benefit from a cash payout of 60% (up to S$100,000 per YA) or 400% deduction for up to $400,000 ($600,000 under PIC +)  per YA.

Just to add since 1st of August 2016, IRAS had lowered PIC cash payout coverage to 40%.

To recap on the full scheme, you could refer to the chart below.

PIC six qualifying activities
Description on PIC and six qualifying activities

Purpose of this article

A lot of business owners had mistaken YA 2018 to be the year 2018 but in fact, it’s referring to the date of occurrence for your company expenditure. You might want to refer to IRAS to understand if the date of your purchase for PIC had fallen within the qualifying period. If you are unsure and required more information, feel free to email me or contact me at 91110936

To some companies, this might be your last opportunity to file your application for PIC scheme. I must confess that it is a very useful to most of the SME in Singapore because it benefits the business by lowering cost on their investment for engaging into productivity activities.

Common FAQ

To end of the article, I would have to dispel certain myth shared to me by my clients.

  1. Most SME would use PIC for the purchase of IT, automation and training but you could also use them on Intellectual Property (IP), Research and Project Design.
  2. Besides Computer, Printer, Laptop, Website and Smart Phone, are the common equipment used on the purchase of PIC. However, if you feel that your purchase equipment is relevant to the productivity of the business, you could always write for approval on a case by case application.
  3. Training of foreign employees applicable does not mix up the qualifying condition with other schemes such as WSQ, ETS or Skill Future for example.
  4. No, PIC Bonus is over.
  5. Yes, this scheme is helpful for startup so long as you fulfilled the qualifying condition.
  6. Not only startup, foreign companies could also utilise this scheme if you qualify.
  7. For purchase of equipment back in 2016, it might be possible for you to still tap into the scheme for support.
  8. PIC schemes support leasing and hire purchase. Refer to this link.
  9. You might be interested in knowing the development of Post-PIC era. You might be interested to read this article from Straits Time as food for thoughts.

You could find a summary of the scheme from MOF website.

For enquiries on PIC scheme

Email me at
Contact me at 91110936


SME Go Digital Basic

Go Digital scheme is announced by the Parliament by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in April and a budget of 80 million would be injected into the scheme for over 4 years to groom SME to develop their technology competencies. This scheme serves as a roadmap for the digital transformation of the country and it consists of several components which include, cyber security, data analytic, data protection and etc.

In this newsletter, I would be sharing about ‘Go Digital’ Solutions. Information released by the media states that the scheme would provide two forms for solutions. This includes Basic solutions provided by for off-the-shelf purchase. Solutions vendors are usually pre-approved by IMDA and they are the general business solutions.

SME Go Digital
SME Go Digital

Pre-approved Solutions

According to IMDA, 51 solutions are approved as of 29 of May 2017 and this includes industries of various sectors from business operation software and you could refer to the solutions from this link

To find out more about SME Go Digital

Email me at
Contact me at 91110936

Continue reading SME Go Digital Basic

A consultant for SME Centre@SCCCI under SPRING Singapore