Picture this vision - By 2006, 50% of households in Singapore will be on broadband1 with consumers enjoying a wide range of 3G services. Innovative projects worth S$100 million will be undertaken over the next three years as Singapore gears up to be the Digital Living Lab, creating innovative infocomm products and services. It is also expected that 3,000 jobs will be created through collaborative industry projects within these three years...
Singapore, 26 March 2003 | For Immediate Release
IDA Plans to Take Infocomm Industry to Next Level of Growth
Picture this vision - By 2006, 50% of households in Singapore will be on broadband1 with consumers enjoying a wide range of 3G services. Innovative projects worth S$100 million will be undertaken over the next three years as Singapore gears up to be the Digital Living Lab, creating innovative infocomm products and services. It is also expected that 3,000 jobs will be created through collaborative industry projects within these three years. And by 2012, the Infocomm industry will contribute 10% towards Singapore's GDP2. These are a few of the key targets outlined in the vision of Connected Singapore, presented by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) to a group of industry leaders today.
Launched by Mr David Lim, Acting Minister for Information, Communication and the Arts (MITA), Connected Singapore aims to bring Singapore's infocomm development to new heights, including more pervasive connectivity among the people and businesses through infocomm technology, and revitalising the infocomm industry.
To launch a new wave of growth, Minister Lim said, " We must go beyond a government driven process, to a new industry-government partnership. Industry investment and enterprise must be the new driver, with the government providing support to bring clear and sustainable benefits to industry. We must encourage big businesses and smaller start-ups to work closely together, to deliver value to customers, and to build strong niches for local industry. And we must go beyond our shores, to the region and beyond, to grow markets, build our companies, and ultimately, create good, challenging and meaningful jobs for the ICT industry in Singapore."
In presenting Connected Singapore, Mr Leong Keng Thai, Acting CEO of IDA, said, "IDA's intent remains to harness the power of infocomm technology to create new business opportunities, well-paid jobs and superior consumer value and experiences. We have a process in place to help us achieve this, but from time to time we need to fine tune the process to take in the rapidly changing technological and economic environment, both locally and internationally."
To focus its infocomm industry development efforts, IDA identified five specific clusters in the infocomm sector that offer high growth potential, or 'good bets', for Singapore in the next one to three years. They include Value Added Mobile Services; Infrastructure for Wireless and Wired Networks; Multimedia Processing & Management; Web Services & Portals; and Security & Trust Infrastructure.
IDA will also work with the industry to encourage more entrepreneurs to take full advantage of the new networks and capabilities, and will look into how to better seed and support start-ups and help companies grow beyond Singapore. As announced by Minister Lim, IDA, through the Overseas Development Programme (ODP) aims to nurture 50 globally competitive local companies to achieve export revenue of more than $50 million through partnerships with MNCs over the next 2 years (See Annex A on the ODP programme).
To realise the Connected Singapore vision, there will be four broad strategies. The first is to leverage existing network readiness and capabilities for wireless pervasiveness, develop contents and promote infocomm literacy. The second is to develop Singapore as a leading global digital distribution and trading center. The third is to grow new economic activities and create jobs in Infocomm through developing innovation capabilities, encouraging technology development and expanding access to overseas markets. The fourth is to help businesses and government agencies use infocomm to re-engineer key business clusters and government services. (See Annex B on details of the four strategies).
To support the four strategies, IDA will invest in capability development including infocomm manpower and among local enterprises. This is done through training programmes, competency centers and the Infocomm Local Industry Upgrading Programme (iLIUP). IDA will also continue to take the lead in charting the technology landscape in Singapore and identify emerging technologies to give Singapore the competitive edge in future business opportunities. In addition, IDA will continue to look into pro-business regulations and policies in the industry.
Said Mr Leong, "While IDA adopts the role of master planner for the strategies and acts as catalyzing agent and facilitator for the initiatives, the success of each program is heavily dependent on the participation of industry and citizens. It is hoped that these programs will spur every sector of the economy and population to identify how infocomm can specifically fit in and benefit their lives and businesses."
ISSUED BY CORPORATE COMMUNICATION DIVISION
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
Notes to Editor:
1.As of 2001, the figure stands at 17.7%. (Source: IDA Survey on Infocomm Usage in Households, 2001).
2. In 2001, the infocomm industry contributed 7% to GDP growth (Source: IDA Infocomm Industry Survey).
About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is a dynamic organisation with an integrated perspective to developing, promoting and regulating info-communications in Singapore. In the fast-changing and converging spheres of telecommunications, information and media technologies, IDA will be the catalyst for change and growth in Singapore's evolution into a vibrant global info-communications technology centre. For more information, visit https://www.imda.gov.sg/
For media clarification, please contact:
Ms Dulcie Chan
Assistant Director, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: +65 211-1999
Fax: +65 211-2227
Ms Ho Hwei Ling
Senior Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: +65 211-1996
Fax: +65 211-222
Annex A Overseas Development Programme (ODP)
The Overseas Development Programme (ODP) is a key platform to forge win-win partnerships between Singapore-based infocomm Local Enterprises (iLEs) and leading Singapore Companies/infocomm Multi-National Corporations (MNCs), at the Headquarters level, to:
- Prepare iLEs to be globally competitive, and to compete globally.
- Boost iLEs' capabilities to increase their presence in growing markets outside Singapore.
- Further enhance iLEs' overseas market position through direct access to leading MNCs/Singapore Companies' R&D resources, and global business opportunities and networks in their own countries.
Why Overseas Development Programme?
- New Impetus to Leapfrog Local Partners' "Go-to-Market" Capabilities
Many infocomm Local Enterprises have matured over the years and have successfully developed software products and services for the market within and beyond Singapore. The ODP will be the impetus to "rapidly push" the iLEs towards globalisation.
- Capability Enhancement
Emphasising on building capabilities, the ODP is a partnership-driven programme that will leverage the strengths, business connections and technology edge of MNCs/Singapore Companies' HQ to help iLEs gain a headstart in new markets overseas.
ODP Partnership Models
- Technology Partnership
Focus on product development, commercialisation, and overseas market access.
- Services Partnership
Focus on overseas solutions deployment, and overseas market access.
Annex B Summary of Connected Singapore
This vision sees infocomm as a key enabler, unleashing the potential of individuals, organizations and businesses to become more productive and efficient, and to create new ideas that enrich lives and produce new value. Through realizing new possibilities, Singapore will be a showcase and lead the way in strategic infocomm areas, thereby creating new business opportunities that will inspire companies and talent to come to Singapore. Infocomm technology will be a true connector - bringing together the power of computing, communications and content, to create new business opportunities, consumer value and cultural experiences.
IDA will implement programs under four key strategies to bring about the realization of the Connected Singapore vision, and ensure that there is a firm foundation to support the growth of the sector.
Strategy 1: Infocomm for Connectivity, Creativity and Collaboration
IDA will work towards maintaining Singapore's world class network readiness. This includes extending the broadband capabilities of Singapore ONE to the wireless realm, thus providing users with combined benefits of high-speed connectivity and mobility. One key programme to promote wireless connectivity include the S$200m "Wired With Wireless" programme where the industry is encouraged to develop wireless applications and services. In the pipeline are the collaboration by the Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) to enable subscribers to use hotspots for local roaming by mid 2003; and the IDA-Intel collaboration to explore interoperability of the Wireless LANs, Wireless WANs and Fixed Wide Area Networks.
Besides developing infrastructure capabilities, content creation will be another area of emphasis. Education and the creative industries have been identified as areas where infocomm can be leveraged to create interactive broadband multi-media contents.
Efforts will continue to be made under the "Got to be Connected" programme to increase PC ownership and infocomm literacy particularly among the lower-income households.
Strategy 2: Digital Exchange
This strategy aims to develop Singapore as a leading global digital distribution and trading center to create a new source of growth and extend Singapore's hub status in the digital medium. It will leverage Singapore's excellent international telecommunications connectivity, a pro-business environment, and established legal and financial sectors. This is achieved through developing end-to-end infrastructure that integrates the processes of digital production, management, localization, archival, distribution; the secure provisioning of digital content, as well as efficient treasury functions for copyright management and strong project management skills for systems integration.
IDA aims to attract three of the top ten digital publishing or software companies to hub their regional distribution operations in Singapore. The target is to increase the value of digital transactions through Singapore from the current S$150 million (US$86 million) to S$500 million (US$575 million) by 2006.
Strategy 3: Engine of Growth
This strategy aims to grow new economic activities and create jobs in infocomm, emphasizing opportunities that leverage Singapore's traditional hub status. This is done by seeding new activities, developing innovation capabilities, encouraging technology development and expanding access to overseas markets
The target is to increase the GDP contribution of the infocomm industry from 7% to 10% of GDP by 2012, as set by the ICT Working Group (under the Services Sub-Committee of the Economic Review Committee).
IDA has identified five specific clusters in the infocomm sector that offer high growth potential, or 'good bets', for Singapore in the next one to three years. They include Value Added Mobile Services (US$621 billion); Infrastructure for Wireless and Wired Networks (US$428 billion); Multimedia Processing & Management (US$93 billion); Web Services & Portals (US$156 billion); and Security & Trust Infrastructure (US$96 billion) Figures in brackets are estimated global spending in these areas in 2005 provided by Gartner Consulting...
In addition, IDA will continue to facilitate Singapore infocomm companies' overseas expansion effort. Under IDA's Overseas Development Programme, overseas companies collaborate with leading Singapore infocomm companies or MNCs to develop global competitiveness and market access. The target is to double the export revenue of Singapore-based infocomm companies within a decade.
Strategy 4: Agent for Change
This strategy aims to help businesses and government agencies use infocomm to re-engineer key business clusters and government services. One key programme is to implement the next phase of eGovernment. The focus will be on the delivery of accessible, integrated and value-added public services to its customers. It will also look at ways to network agencies towards achieving greater effectiveness and efficiency under the framework of "Many Agencies, One Government".
In the private sector, there is also the need to combine infocomm technology with cluster-level business process re-egnineering to enhance the competitiveness of key sectors in the Singapore economy. The logistics industry will be a key area of focus given its critical role in Singapore. Other potential areas are high-tech manufacturing, retail and healthcare.
Building the Foundations
Supporting the strategies are three foundational blocks, namely Capability Development, Technology Planning and Conducive Business Environment.
IDA invests in capability development such as infocomm manpower through a host of training programmes. These include:
- The Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Program (CITREP) enables infocomm professionals to upgrade their skills in the critical, emerging and specialized infocomm areas.
- The Infocomm Training and Attachment Program (iTA) provides individuals with hands-on experience through local and overseas attachment opportunities with selected infocomm organizations in the areas of hot and emerging technologies.
- The E-Business Savviness Program (EBSP) develops a pool of skilled manpower with e-business skills and knowledge, who are able to champion e-business transformations within companies, thereby benefiting the industry with enhanced infocomm expertise of the workforce.
- The Infocomm Competency Program (ICP) trains workers in the essential infocomm skills for today's competitive workplace.
Capability development is also done through Competency Centers that serve as platforms for global technology providers and Singapore infocomm enterprises to invest in trainers and developers, and develop new training programs and curriculum. This aims to create new intellectual property.
Similarly the Infocomm Local Industry Upgrading Program (iLIUP) also facilitates the exchange of technology, expertise and domain knowledge by fostering relationships between MNCs and local enterprises.
In terms of technology planning, the aim is to chart the vision, trends and developments of the technology landscape in Singapore for the next five years. In this respect, the Infocomm Technology Roadmap helps the industry keep abreast with future directions and trends, and to assist the industry in identifying business opportunities for competitive advantage. Together with industry partners and other government agencies, IDA conducts technical trials in key emerging technologies identified as potentially strategic to Singapore. Such trials offer an independent assessment of new technologies for the benefit of the wider infocomm community. Areas covered so far include Free Space Optics, Next Generation Wireless Local Area Network, and Ultra-Wideband (UWB).
IDA also continues to promote a business environment that's conducive too infocomm development and expansion, including regulating the telecommunications industry in Singapore. IDA will continue to ensure fair competition in the telecommunications market and to increase the density of telecommunications connections, so that businesses and consumers will continue to enjoy competitively priced telecommunications services and pervasive international connectivity. To promote international business opportunities for Singapore's infocomm enterprises, IDA contributes extensively to Singapore's free trade negotiations with key infocomm markets to eliminate foreign investment restrictions and barriers to electronic commerce, and to decrease time and cost to export telecommunications equipment to foreign markets.