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Promoting Innovation and E-Business Adoption to Weather Economic Challenges

E-business adoption and innovation in the industry received an additional boost today, as the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) announced the enhanced E-Business Industry Development Scheme (EBIDS), and the expanded Pilot and Trial Hotspots (PATH) initiative...

Singapore, 07 November 2001 | For Immediate Release

EBIDS has enhanced framework while PATH expanded to a S$48 million initiative

E-business adoption and innovation in the industry received an additional boost today, as the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) announced the enhanced E-Business Industry Development Scheme (EBIDS), and the expanded Pilot and Trial Hotspots (PATH) initiative.

The EBIDS framework has been enhanced with a widened scope for qualifying and evaluation criteria. Meanwhile, the original S$9 million announced for PATH has been expanded to S$48 million. PATH seeks to accelerate the development of innovative infocomm infrastructure, applications, and products by supporting the pilot and trial of emerging infocomm technologies and best-of-breed services.

Announcing the move at the opening ceremony of the User Forum 2001, an inaugural forum targeted at end-users of e-business, Minister for Communications and IT, Mr. Yeo Cheow Tong, said that there was a need to convert the downturn into new opportunities through innovation

"Singapore companies must never turn their backs on technology and innovation," said Mr Yeo, "As a nation, we have been continuously embracing technological advancements that improve our competitiveness and consequently, our quality of life."

The IDA and the Singapore Productivity and Standards Board (PSB) first announced the co-funding of the S$30 million EBIDS in October last year to encourage companies in the creation of new e-business value for their industries. In addition to funding the deployment of projects based on the existing criteria of incremental e-commerce transaction value, the enhanced framework will now consider as qualifying criteria, factors such as improved productivity through e-business adoption, e-capability development, and the penetration of new markets by adopting best-in-class e-business practices.

The aim of the original programme was to support the industry in terms of driving incremental e-commerce transactions worth S$1 billion over two years. Today, less than a year since the launch of the programme, the IDA has supported about 20 EBIDS projects with committed incremental e-commerce transaction value that has exceeded the two-year target of S$1 billion.

The enhancement of the EBIDS framework comes at a timely juncture as many Singapore-based companies welcome assistance to overcome challenges associated with e-business adoption. The enhanced framework better reflects the trends in the fast-evolving e-commerce industry worldwide and allows more companies to benefit from the scheme. Ultimately, this will provide an extra push for Singapore-based companies seeking to compete with international players and accelerate Singapore's move towards becoming a trusted global e-business hub.

"E-Business Transformation can benefit all businesses. It aggregates the benefits of business exchange platforms, secure transactions and efficient information exchange - together with global outreach to customers," commented Mr Yeo.

Over the next two years, the expanded PATH will also support pilots and trials in the broadband industry, as well as emerging software technologies and best of breed services. This will include among others, trials supporting the development of broadband content and services, as well as cross-platform broadband media products and services. In the area of software and services, it will also cover application outsourcing, security, speech and language, and XML web services. Creating opportunities for industry collaboration through initiatives such as PATH promote Singapore as a living lab for infocomm technology developments and build a conducive environment for infocomm partnerships.

Added Mr Yeo, "PATH is an initiative that will nurture new ideas. It will reinforce Singapore's position as a vibrant innovation hub for the test bedding of new infocomm technologies and services."

The enhancement of the EBIDS framework and the expansion of the PATH programme demonstrate Singapore's commitment to the spirit of infocomm innovation, even in times of an economic slowdown. The National Infocomm Awards, for which nominations close on 15th December 2001, celebrates this spirit.


Note to Editor:

About User Forum 2001 and the E-Commerce Action Committee (ECAC)

The User Forum 2001 is an inaugural event organised by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, in conjunction with the Economic Development Board, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Trade Development Board, and the Productivity and Standards Board.

These five agencies are part of the national E-Commerce Action Committee (ECAC), which was formed in February 2000 to co-ordinate and facilitate the e-transformation of the Singapore economy. The ECAC also comprises other government agencies like the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, the National Science & Technology Board, the Singapore Tourism Board, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Communications & IT, and the Ministry of Trade & Industry.
The ECAC seeks to promote innovation and adoption of e-business. It also updates public policies and infrastructure to support business process re-engineering so that Singapore can move more quickly towards the vision of an e-Economy, e-Government and e-Society.

Organised under the auspices of the ECAC, the User Forum 2001 is the first-ever, vendor-neutral platform for consultation among end-users of e-business and infocomm technologies. Organised in recognition of the industry's need for a national forum to share experiences in adopting e-business, the programme comprises dedicated tracks for the four key vertical sectors of Manufacturing, Logistics, Finance & Banking and Retail.

The User Forum 2001 has received overwhelming response from more than 150 CXOs of the various vertical industries. With the success of this inaugural event, the User Forum will be developed into an annual forum for valuable industry consultation.

About the E-Business Industry Development Scheme (EBIDS)

Launched in October 2000, EBIDS supports Singapore-based enterprises in their e-business knowledge acquisition, technology transfer and e-business value creation. Such activities will enhance the companies' ability to compete effectively in the e-commerce arena and accelerate Singapore's move towards being a trusted global e-business hub.

EBIDS funds strategic e-business projects which will contribute significantly to Singapore's Digital Economy by increasing e-commerce transactions and e-business value. Such projects also spur more players along the same value chain or cluster, to go online to leverage the value created by e-business. IDA will co-fund e-transformation projects proportionately based on the business value created, up to a maximum of $500,000 per project.

About Pilot And Trial Hotspots (PATH)

PATH is an industry development initiative that accelerates the development of innovative infocomm infrastructure, applications and products. It facilitates this by supporting the trial and piloting of emerging infocomm technologies and best-of-breed services.

First launched in May 2001, PATH initially covered Wireless Developments. It has been expanded to include other infocomm technology areas in Broadband and other Software & Services. Examples include application outsourcing, speech and language, and XML web services.

By expanding PATH, Singapore-based companies are encouraged to adopt infocomm innovation as a key to world-class standards in the development of new infocomm technologies and services.

Celebrating Innovation - the National Infocomm Awards
To celebrate infocomm innovation and recognise the industry's innovators, nominees are called for the National Infocomm Awards. Nominees will be primarily judged on their innovativeness in the use of infocomm technologies or development of infocomm products/services. Candidates may self-nominate or be nominated. More details are available at

Nominations close at 12 noon on 15th December 2001 and the Awards Presentation Ceremony is scheduled for April 2002.

About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is a dynamic organisation with an integrated perspective to developing, promoting and regulating info-communications in Singapore. In the fast-changing and converging spheres of telecommunications, information and media technologies, IDA will be the catalyst for change and growth in Singapore's evolution into a vibrant global info-communications technology centre. For more information, please visit

For further information, please contact:

Mr Kelvin Lee / Ms Chia Sher Ling
Managers, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: +65 2111 726/2111 840

Ms Elliza Rahim / Ms Yang Sook Chin
Edelman Public Relations
Tel: +65 733 1110 ext. 223/ 235
Fax: +65 733 5550