Dated: 10 October 2006

Leading the National Research Foundation’s Interactive &Digital Media (IDM) push to explore and enhance a new frontier to support Singapore’s economy, the Media Development Authority (MDA) and government agencies like the Economic Development Board (EDB), Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), A*STAR, Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA) have set up an IDM R&D Programme Office within the MDA to oversee R&D strategies and processes to spur the growth of this important sector in the next five years. The IDM sector is set to become a key driver in positioning Singapore as a global media city, as emphasised in MDA’s Media21 blueprint which aims to double the media industry’s GDP contribution and the creation of new jobs.

To support Singapore’s long-term vision of growing into a global IDM capital, the National Research Foundation has allocated S$500 million over the next five years to fund the development of a strategic IDM research programme. The programme aims to realise a value-added contribution of S$10 billion, up from S$3.8 billion in 2003, as well as create approximately 10,000 new jobs by 2015. This strategic focus on IDM R&D underscores the government’s commitment to developing the IDM sector and to create a niche for Singapore to excel in.

With intensifying international competition, Singapore’s strategic investment in the IDM sector includes the development of a critical mass of media enterprises and talents;the internationalization of local IDM content and enterprises;and the strengthening of Singapore’s role as a Digital Exchange, to process, manage and distribute digital assets. To fortify strategic gaps, the key areas of focus are Education and Manpower Development;Financial Infrastructure;Infocomm Infrastructure;Legal, Social and Ethical Environment;and Research &Development.

Education and Manpower Development The IDM R&D Programme Office will develop, attract and retain a critical mass of entrepreneurial and creative talent to drive and sustain the growth of the IDM sector. Initiatives are being identified to nurture an IDM-savvy society and to develop future IDM leaders to address the spectrum of early education, professional training and R&D. To meet immediate manpower needs, local capabilities will be strengthened by attracting IDM specialists with the necessary industry expertise and networks to engage Singapore’s target markets and reinforce the country’s positioning as a global business hub for IDM content and services.

Financial Infrastructure A robust financial infrastructure will play a catalytic role in the growth of the IDM sector by channelling deal and investment flows through Singapore, as well as attracting and growing IDM companies that would serve as receptacles for our talents and R&D capabilities.

Infocomm Infrastructure To become a global IDM capital, a comprehensive and sophisticated infocomm structure that is being implemented will further help Singapore plug into the global knowledge grid and enhance its competitive edge. A multi-agency effort and industry support will lead to the introduction of high speed connectivity and on-demand computing resources to help Singapore companies establish ‘partnering nodes’ to gain international market access.

Legal, Social and Ethical Environment The IDM R&D Programme Office will address new legal, social and ethical issues with the adoption of IDM. Efforts will be placed on monitoring, anticipating and responding to arising issues, while continuing to enhance the environment for the creation and protection of Intellectual Property (IP).

Research &Development R&D is integral to the growth and success of the IP-centric IDM sector. The IDM R&D Programme Office will leverage on Singapore’s multi-cultural society and international connectivity to carve out a niche as a collaborative IDM R&D node, drawing the best from around the globe to jointly develop new IP that can be commercialised into IDM services, content and tools. This multi-agency effort will focus and strengthen IDM R&D that leverage on Singapore’s core strengths and areas with high potential economic returns. Education and games, for example, have been identified as two key areas for such R&D funding.

The IDM R&D Programme Office is working on the first four mutually reinforcing initiatives that aim to boost the development of Singapore’s IDM sector. These initiatives include test beds and pilots of content and services;talent and capability development;and R&D resource development.

The Office is identifying several more initiatives;and will work with the partner agencies to fund the various programmes and projects that will help to enhance the economic and social and learning sectors of our economy.

“We are looking at a future that will be mediated by digital information, where physical places will coexist with dynamic virtual spaces, and geographical boundaries becoming more porous as the world becomes more connected by wired and wireless networks;and as personal data devices expand their functions,“ said Dr Christopher Chia, Chief Executive Officer, MDA.

“With intensifying international competition, Singapore has to invest strategically to grow its IDM sector in the race to reap benefits from this high growth area. We need to leverage our reputation and recognised strengths in Intellectual Property, infrastructure, pre-tertiary education and above all, our multi-cultural, multi-lingual and cosmopolitan society to differentiate us from existing and emerging leaders in the IDM space”.

Mr Michael Yap, Deputy CEO of the MDA has been appointed as the Executive Director of the IDM R&D Programme Office.

For more information, please contact:

Jasmine Wong (Ms)
Assistant Manager, Communications
Media Development Authority
Tel: (65) 6837 9364

Phoebe Seow (Ms)
Assistant Director, Communications
Media Development Authority
Tel: (65) 6837 9369

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023