4 September 2006 - Opening Speech By Mr Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief Executive/Director-General (Telecoms), Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore At the Alice-in-Action Challenge (National Infocomm Competition), Temasek Polytechnic.
Opening Speech By Mr Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief Executive/Director-General (Telecoms), Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore At the Alice-in-Action Challenge (National Infocomm Competition) on 4 September 2006, Temasek Polytechnic.
Ms Lim Sok Keow, Director, Temasek Information Technology School,
Ladies and gentlemen,
1. I am pleased to be here today to open the Alice-in-Action Challenge, the first challenge of the National Infocomm Competition. Incidentally, when I first heard of Alice-In-Action, I immediately thought about Alice in Wonderland! With today's power of infocomm, one can create countless and magical results, like Alice in Wonderland. Although I don't advocate it, the fact is that there exists in the internet a number of virtual worlds over and above our real world. Looking at the enthusiastic response here, I'm happy to see that many students do have an interest in infocomm. It is an important and fundamental skill for doing well in today's economy and industry.
The Future is Bright for Infocomm
2. Infocomm is a powerful enabler that allows you to break down barriers and define the future. For this challenge, I understand that you have been asked to create an e-learning software on any secondary school subject. With your creation, I believe many people would benefit from it. So it is not just about winning and having fun, but some of your work could impact on improving others' learning experience. Keep this in mind as you go about this competition.
3. For all the participants here, you will also be excited to know that the future in infocomm is bright. Let me share with you some recent indicators. Singapore's infocomm industry is a top performer among the service industries. Last year, the infocomm industry grew between 8.9% and generated about $38 billion in revenue. In addition, we hit a new high in infocomm employment with 111,400 employed infocomm professionals - even more than the dot-com boom days. Vacancies for infocomm jobs doubled to 5,700 in 2005, with companies demanding more high-end infocomm professionals in fast-growing areas like software development, infocomm security and database management.
Nurturing the Next Generation of Infocomm Talent
4. With such a vibrant infocomm sector, a talented infocomm manpower pool is key to Singapore's continued economic success in a world that is increasingly digital and connected. That is why, under Singapore's new infocomm masterplan, the Intelligent Nation 2015, or in short, iN2015, we have identified infocomm manpower as one of the key enablers of growth. Singapore-based infocomm enterprises must move towards higher value-added infocomm activities and create intellectual property that is "Made in Singapore".
5. So, isn't it exciting to be working in this industry? Remember, the future infocomm professional not only needs to have the technical knowledge, you also need to have domain skills and business sense. As such, there is a need for Singapore to build up a pool of techno-strategists. Techno-strategists are infocomm professionals who possess both technical and business expertise, and are able to integrate infocomm use within an organisation. Put that together with strong communication skills, you can definitely go a long way. This is the kind of person that great companies will be looking out for.
Working with Temasek Polytechnic
6. As our valued partner, I am happy to note that Temasek Polytechnic is committed to grooming infocomm talents for the future. For example, Temasek Polytechnic has tied up recently with major international game and entertainment company, Electronic Arts for the new Diploma in Game and Entertainment Technology. This partnership provides student internship opportunities, joint application development and curriculum input. I sometimes wished that I can be a student all over again. Where else can you get an opportunity to receive education and have great fun developing and playing computer games as part of your studies. For those of you who are interested in the area of digital media and entertainment, I encourage you not to miss this opportunity.
7. In closing, I would like to thank Temasek Polytechnic once again for co-organising the Alice-In-Action Challenge with IDA. I look forward to the exciting finals and wish all students the very best in your competition.