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Ground-Breaking Ceremony of the Institute of Systems Science (ISS)

Mr Michael Yap, Chief Executive, National Computer Board Speech - Ground-Breaking Ceremony of the Institute of Systems Science (ISS)

Mr Michael Yap, Chief Executive, National Computer Board
Speech - Ground-Breaking Ceremony of the Institute of Systems Science (ISS)
Singapore, 8 October 1999

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning.

1. I am glad to be at this wonderful event this morning. The ground-breaking ceremony of ISS is very timely and symbolic. We are indeed also at the threshold of ground-breaking work for the development of ICT manpower.

2. The knowledge-based economy we are in calls for new economic paradigm to re-define the roles and contributions of people as the only sustainable competitive advantage. Less than 2 months ago, the Ministry of Manpower announced their vision to develop Singapore into a Talent Capital. In the area of ICT development in Singapore, the Ministry of Communications & IT (MCIT) has embarked on the ICT21 Masterplan, which will facilitate the development of ICT in Singapore over the next 10 years. The common denominator for all these is the human capital.

Developing ICT Manpower

3. Under ICT21, there are three major goals: namely,

i) to develop the ICT sector as the key sector of growth in the economy [Industries are in Singapore];

ii) to use ICT to boost the performance of Singapore's knowledge-based economy through the active exploitation of ICT in various economic sectors [Singapore companies use it]; and

iii) to use ICT to enhance the quality of life and standard of living of Singaporeans in the information society [Singaporeans use it].

4. For ICT manpower, our areas of focus are:

i) to supply and train the ICT graduates with the multi-disciplinary skills required by the industry. We will focus on emerging skills such as e-commerce, broadband multimedia, infocommunication convergence and knowledge management. With the combination of ICT and the business skills, this will equip our ICT professionals with a holistic capability to operate in the knowledge-based economy.

ii) to provide just-in-time continuing education for the existing ICT manpower using on-line technology. We will exploit virtual learning to help our ICT professionals to constantly upgrade themselves and keep abreast with the latest technologies at their convenience.

iii) to foster tripartite relationship with the government, industry and training providers. This is to ensure that the training provided by the institutions are in line with the demand and needs of the industry.

iv) to enrich the ICT manpower capital, we attract foreign talents from all over the world to work with us to contribute towards the ICT economy.

What ISS is doing

5. I am pleased to note that ISS intends to respond to the challenge of ICT manpower development. It has set a vision to be a premier ICT technology transfer institution that directly supports the national ICT manpower development plan in establishing and maintaining a world-class ICT capability in Singapore. It has begun to offer training in the emerging ICT skills. ISS has successfully developed a prototype for virtual learning for ICT professionals and managers. In terms of collaboration with the industry, it is already working with Singapore Computer Society to offer training course for IT professionals in preparation for the IT Project Management Certification Programme supported by the NCB. I understand that it will also be extending this collaboration with the Singapore IT Federation.


6. As ISS moves ahead to take on the challenge of developing the ICT manpower capital, it is my wish that the ground-breaking is more than just erecting a physical building, but also encapsulating the intellectual form, the soul of ISS.

7. The management team, led Swee Cheang, have worked very hard to bring to fruition the ground-breaking ceremony today. The National Science & Technology Board has also graciously provided the funding for this building project, and the NUS provided the land, as well as financial and technical advice. Lastly and definitely, there are some specific people who have made this possible. As Chairman of the ISS Board, I would like to express our appreciation to Deputy Vice-Chancellors C C Hang and Chong Chi Tat for your strong support and guidance in the building project. Also significantly, I would like to thank Stephen Yeo who was the last chairman of the ISS Board for his guidance and advice for ISS.

Thank you.