This week Facebook announced the launch of Startup Station Singapore, its first data innovation startup programme in Asia, and second globally. \nIn collaboration with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) of Singapore, the six-month programme aims to support innovative data-driven startups that are developing the next generation of business solutions today.\nIMDA will facilitate a regulatory sandbox where the startups will have the chance to develop new approaches and innovative ideas through the use of data in a live environment.\n\u201cWe are happy to work with industry partners such as Facebook who will help enrich our start-up ecosystem by bringing its expertise in key Digital Economy areas such as Artificial Intelligence, product innovation and data protection with a global approach\u201d, said Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive at IMDA. \n\u201cCoupled with our strong push to develop data collaboratives and data sharing frameworks, this ensures that Singapore continues to be an attractive location for start-ups to site their data-driven projects, test innovative ideas, develop solutions and springboard into new markets\u201d, he continued.\nThe training of the programme will be powered by Rainmaking, a collective of serial entrepreneurs, ex-corporate executives, expert trainers and investors with offices in Asia, Europe, the US and Mexico. \nFacebook will provide training modules in short and intense sprints to help startups advance and mature their businesses. Mentorship will come from international Facebook experts and industry leaders with expertise in artificial intelligence (AI), product innovation, growth and data protection.\nStartups will be given the opportunity to be part of FbStart, a Facebook global programme designed to help startups build and grow with access to free tools and services. \nThey will also have a co-working space equipped with prototyping lab, studio production and incubation facilities built around design, data, engineering, information and communications technology (ICT) and media.\nStartup Station Singapore will also offer the opportunity to network with regional venture capitalists (VCs) and investors via \u201cdemo day\u201d at the end of the programme. \nThose startups that graduate from the programme will be invited to join Facebook\u2019s startup alumni scheme that will connect them to a global network of startups.\nTo be eligible to participate, startups must be based in Singapore or within Southeast Asia. The programme is open to any growth data-driven startup with an established business model and datasets that is seeking to scale their venture. \nThose who wish to apply can do it here until 7 December 2018. The announcement of selected startups will take place on January 2019 and the programme is scheduled to start on February.\nFacebook\u2019s expansion in Southeast Asia\nThe Startup Station Singapore programme announcement has become part of a series of news regarding the expansion of Facebook operation across the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.\nOn Monday Facebook said that it will move its APAC headquarters to a new and bigger space in Singapore. \nThe social media company\u2019s new premises in the island consist of 260,000 square feet across four floors in its new Marina One Tower - \u00a0a 190,000 square feet addition from its former offices in South Beach Tower.\nDan Neary, Facebook's Vice President of APAC, said that the Singapore and regional teams - consisting of about 1,000 people - will be housed in the space, which can hold up to 3,000 workstations.\nThe Marina One premises are also home to Facebook\u2019s first partner centre in APAC. The social media company has partner centres at seven of Facebook offices all over the world. In this centres, business partners and visitors can explore Facebook\u2019s one-of-a-kind culture.\nAt the beginning of September, the Facebook also announced that t will be spending $1bn (S$ 1.4bn) to build a data centre in Singapore, its first in Asia.\nThe new facility, located at Tanjong Kling (formerly known as Data Centre Park) in the west of the city-state, will span 170,000 square metres and according to Facebook, it will \u201csupport hundreds of jobs\u201d.\nThe data centre is expected to open in 2022.