Remarks by Mr Andrew Khaw, Senior Director, Industry Development Group, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore at the Announcement of the Global Innovation Index 2012

 3 July 2012 - Remarks by Mr Andrew Khaw, Senior Director, Industry Development Group, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore at the Announcement of the Global Innovation Index 2012, Insead Asia Campus, Room 1017

Remarks by Mr Andrew Khaw, Senior Director, Industry Development Group, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore at the Announcement of the Global Innovation Index 2012, 3 July 2012, 3pm, Insead Asia Campus, Room 1017

Brigadier General (NS) Tan Yih San
Chief Executive Officer, Intellectual Property Office of Singapore

Mr Denis Croze
Director, World Intellectual Property Organisation

Ms Nina Laven
Associate Director Asia Pacific, INSEAD eLab

Friends from the Media
Ladies and gentlemen
Good afternoon

1. First of all, I would like to thank INSEAD for inviting us to be part of the announcement for the Global Innovation Index Ranking 2012. We are happy and encouraged by Singapore's achievement of being ranked third for two years in a row.

2. More than 30 years ago, the Singapore Government took the challenge to systematically transform the country by leveraging on infocomm technology. Today, infocomm is recognised as a key enabler in Singapore's national, economic and social development. Singapore's posture to constantly prepare for the future makes us open to exploring and embracing new innovative ideas. Through the sixth edition of our national IT master plan, known as Intelligent Nation 2015 or iN2015, we have launched a series of initiatives to pioneer e-Government services, transform key economic sectors and improve people's lives. We have also dedicated resources to develop our infocomm manpower, infrastructure and industry to position Singapore competitively in the global ICT arena.

ICT Innovation in Government services

3. I am pleased to use this occasion to share a snapshot of recent ICT innovations in Singapore.

4. Let me start with the Government sector. One of the three thrusts of our eGov2015 master plan is "to collaborate" and, to this end, we have launched an initiative to make government data available for public use. provides more than 7,000 government data sets The ideas4apps Challenge, jointly launched by IDA and the Ministry of Finance in January this year, seeks to crowd source ideas for innovative applications using the data. More than 500 ideas were received. To date, more than 60 applications have been developed using the data sets, one of which is an augmented reality public park navigation guide. Developers are also welcome to use the published ideas from ideas4apps as inspiration for their own applications.

ICT Innovation for the people sector

5. The second sector I'd like to share about is the people sector which comprises of voluntary welfare organisations, grassroots network and community groups. Community groups can now make use of the "People Sector Content Management System" to create Web 2.0 websites which are compatible with mobile devices and support social media integration.

6. The Singapore Association for the Deaf, or SADeaf (pronounced as "Sir-deaf"), has developed an app to compile signs for local words. The local words from SADeaf's very own video dictionary can now complement the international SEE 2 (pronounced as "S – E – E Two") language of instruction To encourage more ICT adoption, the "People Sector Infocomm Resource Centre", a joint effort by IDA with the National Council of Social Services and Nanyang Polytechnic, was set up earlier this year – SADeaf can now look forward to the centre's assistance to develop innovative mobile extensions for the deaf among us.

ICT Innovation for Business

7. As technology continues to influence social and economic developments globally, Singapore remains mindful of the need to ensure that our infocomm infrastructure keeps pace with changes and needs.

8. On the business front, Near Field Communication or NFC is an ICT enabler that opens up opportunities for new transaction experiences. As a result of IDA's earlier Call for Collaboration to accelerate the proliferation and adoption of mobile payment services using the NFC technology, consumers can soon pay for purchases and taxi rides and collect loyalty points more conveniently using the NFC-enabled mobile phones and businesses can serve interactive and targeted marketing content to consumers through NFC-enabled digital signages located at major shopping malls and office buildings throughout Singapore.

9. Let me next share briefly about IDA's investment in manpower, infrastructure and industry development to support innovation.

Infocomm Manpower as knowledge capital for an innovative ICT industry

10. Manpower is a critical resource to fuel an innovative ICT industry and, to this end, the national Infocomm Manpower Development Roadmap Version 2.0, or MDEV 2.0, was launched in 2011 to develop and expand Singapore's infocomm manpower pool. 13 MDEV 2.0 programmes have been rolled out by IDA and its partners. At one end of the talent spectrum, IDA is working to develop computational thinking as a national capability. At the other, we are working with industry partners and education institutions to develop highly-specialized ICT professionals in emerging areas such as data analytics and cloud computing and in domain ICT skills where these domains are increasingly powered by infocomm to grow. The Centre of Healthcare Informatics is the focal point for our efforts with industry and academia to develop next generation healthcare ICT professionals.

Infocomm Infrastructure to undergird an innovative ICT industry

11. With Singapore's deep belief that high-speed connectivity undergirds sophisticated government, business and people sector demand for ICT innovation, the Next Gen Nationwide Broadband Network (NBN) provides an intelligent advanced network capable of 1Gbps or more. With there being more than 133,000 fibre optic subscribers to-date, we can expect new innovative next gen services for enterprises and consumers to come.

Business Model Innovation in the ICT industry

12. With IDA's work to stimulate sophisticated demand in the government, business and people sector as well as our sustained investment in manpower and infrastructure, the ICT industry has tremendous support to use Singapore as the lead demand for innovative products, services and business models.

13. In recent months, IDA has facilitated co-innovation platforms with Global Lead Users, driven in large part by the need of global corporations to better leverage ICT for competitiveness and differentiation. Citibank, for example, has worked with IDA to set up a Citi Global Transaction Services (GTS) Centre of Innovation to develop innovative decision support services with local business analytics and user experience ICT companies. Citibank worked to provide Singapore ICT companies with opportunities to share their capabilities and to support them for prototyping and productisation provides the opportunity for these technologies to be eventually be deployed for its business globally. We believe Singapore, being home to 7,000 MNC regional HQs, plays an important bridge role to encourage co-innovation

14. The increasing use of mobile devices in business was one of the reasons that prompted the S$15 million Mobility Solutions Call For Collaboration in June 2011 IDA, together with SPRING Singapore, the Singapore Tourism Board and the NTUC's Employment and Employability Institute, has awarded 28 projects to support the creation, delivery and adoption of mobile services that address business needs in the retail, hotel & attractions and F&B sectors that will benefit more than 150 user companies.

15. To further inject innovative capacity to the ICT ecosystem, IDA launched the iStart Programme in 2011, which aims to (a) develop entrepreneurial talent, (b) help start-ups accelerate their international market access and (c) nurture technology communities among the ICT entrepreneurs. iStart has supported more than 200 local entrepreneurs in acquiring business skills and capabilities through international boot camp platforms such as Founder's Institute, Kauffman FastTrac and SeedCamp. It has also helped to equip 9 start-ups with high quality in-market mentorship, business and networking opportunities in the Silicon Valley. iStart has also supported some 20 Tech User Group activities as well as key entrepreneurial events like DEMO Asia, Start-up Asia and eChelon, were very well received by Singapore and international start-ups.

16. To complement the grooming of Singapore start-ups, IDA invites international VC-backed start-ups to set up engineering centres in Singapore – through these seasoned entrepreneurs and their start-ups, the Singapore ICT ecosystem gains world-class start-up experience, accelerated market growth and connections to other international hubs of innovation. Since 2008, we have attracted more than 100 foreign start-ups from countries such as US, Israel, China, India and Japan.

17. The National Infocomm Awards is Singapore's biennial series of national-level awards to recognise the spirit of innovation in the development or adoption of ICT products, services or solutions in Singapore. I am glad to share that we have received marvellous support from the industry and look forward to celebrating the innovation of the winners come October 2012.

18. On behalf of IDA, let me express our appreciation for the organiser's kind invitation for us to participate in this occasion of the announcement of the results of the Global Innovation Index 2012 rankings. I hope to have opportunity share more updates in future where ICT continues to foster an environment for innovation to thrive in Singapore.

19. Thank you

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023