2 August 2010 - Opening Address by Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, at The National Infocomm Scholarship Awards Ceremony 2010, Genexis Theatre, Fusionopolis

Opening Address by Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, at the National Infocomm Scholarship Awards Ceremony 2010 on 2 August 2010, Genexis Theatre, Fusionopolis

Scholars and parents,
Industry partners,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good afternoon.

1. It gives me great pleasure to join you today. I would like to offer my heartiest congratulations to the new batch of 27 National Infocomm Scholars.

2. Across Asia, the growing economies are reinforced by steady growth in the infocomm sector. According to IT research company Gartner, global IT spending is forecast to hit US$3.3 trillion1 in 2010. The International Data Corporation has also predicted that ICT spending in the Asia-Pacific region will grow 7.7 per cent to US$184 billion in 20102.

3. Singapore's infocomm industry is doing well. Despite the economic downturn in late-2008, Singapore's infocomm industry revenue grew by 8 per cent to reach S$62.74 billion in 2009. The number of employed infocomm manpower also grew by 1.3 per cent to 140,800 people. Singapore's excellent infocomm infrastructure has made us a preferred destination for many companies. Multinational corporations such as BNP Paribas International Private Bank, Citibank and Daimler have located IT hubs in Singapore to support their worldwide business operations. Just recently, in April this year, Amazon launched Amazon Web Services in Singapore, its first Asia Pacific regional base for its customers based in Asia to leverage upon its cloud computing platform. These companies, like all our NIS partners, are leading names in their respective industries in the region and beyond. Employment in Singapore's infocomm ecosystem therefore has the potential to open up immense opportunities across many sectors and countries, as part of an exciting infocomm career.

4. Infocomm enriches our lives in many ways. From e-Government services that enable citizens and businesses to interact with the government, to immersive e-education, where the learning of future generations is moulded, infocomm has the potential to act as a key enabler of innovation and transformation. In the healthcare sector, IT improves administrative efficiency, deepens collaboration across specialisations and aids timely decision making by allowing caregivers quicker access and deeper insight into patients' medical records.

5. Let me share with you about one of our National Infocomm Scholarship Holders, Mr Kevin Chia. Kevin was awarded the Flagship Masters Programme in 2005. He spent two years at the Singapore Management University and two more at Carnegie Mellon University to pursue his masters in computer science. During his time at Carnegie Mellon, Kevin and his course mates developed the Smart.Mirror, a touch screen device that acts as a "fashion advisor". It uses RFID technology to detect what the shopper has selected to try on and based on that knowledge, recommends items in the store that would complement the look. Through IT, the Smart.Mirror allows a user easy access to the entire inventory of the store. Charles Spiegel, a men's fashion boutique in Pittsburgh saw its ingenuity, and had a prototype installed in its store.

6. Kevin recently completed his studies and is now back in Singapore working as a consultant in IBM Global Business Services.

7. Ultimately, the development and growth of the infocomm sector will depend largely on the quality of people we are able to attract, develop and nurture. We need professionals who possess a deep level of technical expertise as well as breadth of knowledge, including in the areas of business and project management. The NIS, through the various courses of study open to scholarship holders and internship opportunities at major corporations, aims to develop potential leaders who have the technical know-how and a clear understanding of the major issues and opportunities in thebusiness world of infocomm.

8. Finally, I would like to thank the NIS partner organisations. Your efforts to help grow the next generation of ICT leaders are sincerely appreciated. Once again, congratulations to all our scholars. I wish you all the best for your studies and future endeavours.

9. Thank you.

Notes to Editor:

1According to Gartner's press release "Gartner Trims World Wide IT Spending Growth Forecast to 3.9 Percent for 2010" dated 1 July 2010. www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1393414

2According to IDC's press release "Early Stages of Economic Recovery and Industry Transformation: The Maturation of the Cloud and Investment in Better Customer Care and Retention Tools Lead IDC's Asia/Pacific Predictions for 2010" dated 11 Dec 2009. www.idc.com/AP/pressrelease.jsp?containerId=prSG22114409

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023