3 November 2008 - Speech By RADM(NS) Lui Tuck Yew, Senior Minister Of State For Education, And Information, Communications And The Arts, At The Youth Infocomm Day, St James Power Station
Speech By RADM(NS) Lui Tuck Yew, Senior Minister Of State For Education, And Information, Communications And The Arts, At The Youth Infocomm Day On 3 November 2008 (Monday), 11.10 am, At St James Power Station
RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, CEO, IDA,
Ladies and gentlemen,
1. I thought I would use infocomm technology to welcome all of you this morning. I am happy to see the strong turnout this morning, as it shows our schools’ efforts in infocomm technology.
2. Infocomm technology has become so much a way of life for all of us that we tend to take it for granted, and sometimes not be aware of the technology behind the many conveniences that we enjoy today. You can see infocomm everywhere. It impacts how we live, work, play and learn. It will only become even more pervasive. Most, if not all of us, cannot imagine lives without computers. For quite some decades now, computing science has been driving and will continue to drive innovation and discovery in many sectors - medicine, science, engineering, business and defence.
Infocomm Enables You to Make a Difference to the World
3. The power of infocomm is tremendous. It can make a real difference to the world. Let me use two examples to illustrate.
Example 1: Formula One
4. Many of us would have watched Formula One or F1 on TV but how many of us are aware of the extensive use of technology in the race? Do you know that supercomputers were used, not only to simulate the aerodynamic design for F1 cars, but also to come up with race strategies?
5. Talking about simulators, did you know that we have our very own F1 car simulator here in St James Power Station? A team of staff and students at Nanyang Polytechnic have used complex computer modelling to develop a 3D version of the Marina Bay track, including familiar landmarks like the Esplanade, Suntec City and The Fullerton. The simulator uses realistic motion feedback, offering you an almost real-life experience of the effects of acceleration, braking, sharp turning and even the surface bumps along the way. This will not be possible without the power of infocomm and the imagination and creative energy of the human mind.
Example 2: Made-in-Singapore Clone Wars Movie
6. My second example is about how infocomm technology has taken media entertainment to new heights. George Lucas wowed the world in 1977 with Star Wars. At that time, Computer-Generated Imagery or CGI was expensive, so there was only a single 90-second sequence of the Death Star. Today, thanks to the doubling of computer power every two years, the cost of CGI has been brought down tremendously. More significantly, CGI has opened up new possibilities. Pixar Animation Studios was able to finance and produce an entire movie with CGI animation - Toy Story in 1995 - perhaps before some of you were even born. Even Singapore movies, such as the recent Money No Enough 2, uses CGI.
7. George Lucas recently launched a CGI animated movie, Clone Wars. But did you know that parts of this movie were produced in the Lucasfilm Animation Studio here in Singapore, involving 60 of our very own local infocomm talent? Among them is Edward Zhou, a local Digital Media Design polytechnic graduate. He joined Lucasfilm Animation Studio in 2005 as an Animator and within three years, he was promoted to Lead Animator. He is currently working on the Clone Wars TV series which will be aired internationally, including Singapore.
8. CGI is part of Interactive Digital Media, or IDM in short. IDM is a fast growing infocomm area. With entertainment companies such as Lucasfilm and Electronic Arts based here, aspiring individuals who want to embark on an exciting career in digital media can put their infocomm talent to good use.
Launch of Games Resource Portal
9. At this point, let me announce a new initiative under IDA’s Connected Games Programme, where a Games Resource Portal will be launched for the games community. Singapore-based games companies can feature their products and services, and look for business opportunities on this portal. You can also showcase your portfolio on the portal, as it aims to match budding games enthusiasts and talent with interested games companies. So I would encourage those of you who are interested to start uploading your portfolio onto this portal.
Infocomm is Intellectually Stimulating, Rewarding and Fun
10. We need talent like you. An infocomm course is an exciting and varied programme where you have the best of both worlds - intellectual stimulation, and creative expression. You can acquire deep technical skills and apply them creatively to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. For those of you who have not had the chance to pick up infocomm knowledge, you can do so by signing up with your school’s Infocomm Club, and join this exciting journey in computer science.
11. Several famous personalities have made Infocomm their career. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, was still a student at Harvard University when he created Facebook. Companies like Yahoo and Google were similarly started by young and energetic people who leveraged infocomm technology to build what are today’s household names. Not only have these technopreneurs been rewarded in terms of wealth creation, but I am sure they have derived even greater satisfaction from seeing their innovations make a difference in lives all around the world.
12. In Singapore, we too have our own breed of technoprenuers. Mr Sim Wong Hoo of Creative Technologies is an inspiring icon among us. Besides Mr Sim, we also have Mr Ong Peng Tsin, founder of Encentuate, which IBM recently bought over, and Mr Leslie Loh of Systems Access, which was acquired by multi-national company, SunGard, a few years ago. We look forward to when some of you to become the founders of the next Facebook or Google.
13. Infocomm is a thriving sector and demand for infocomm will only increase going forward. To meet this rising need, we need you to share this passion for infocomm with us. A career in infocomm is enriching and rewarding. In any role you play as an infocomm professional, you will contribute to making things better or creating new things.
14. On this note, let me wish all of you an enjoyable Youth Infocomm Day. Continue to be inspired by infocomm and all the excitement it brings. Thank you.