From Lab To Reality Through Collaboration

7 September 2005 - Speech By Mr Chan Yeng Kit, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore At I2R Industry Appreciation Evening cum Book Launch, National Library Board Building.

Speech By Mr Chan Yeng Kit, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore At I2R Industry Appreciation Evening cum Book Launch on 7 September 2005, National Library Board Building.

Good evening,

Professor Lawrence Wong, Executive Director, I2R,
Friends from the industry,
Ladies and Gentlemen,


1. First and foremost, thank you for inviting me. It gives me great pleasure to be here this evening to witness the launch by I2R, of this significant commemorative book.

From Lab to Reality

2. As the infocomm industry matures, creation of intellectual property becomes an increasingly critical driver for growth. And a differentiator between Singapore and the many wanna-be IT hubs sprouting all over the world. R&D plays a key role in generating new IP.

3. As shown by the numerous examples in the book to be launched by I2R, innovations and developments in the R&D laboratories can bring great benefits. But only if industry is aware, and find them relevant and useful. It is therefore important to 'bring' the developments that are 'brewing' within the laboratories, out into the industry.

4. One good example of a collaborative approach to move innovations from the laboratory to the real world is the National Grid Project.

5. Grid computing was identified as a strategic technology in IDA's infocomm technology roadmap in February 2002. In September that year, the National Grid Office (NGO) was set up to drive the development of the National Grid Pilot Platform (NGPP) as a precursor to a National Cyber-infrastructure. This is a collaborative project by several government agencies, including A*STAR and its research institutes, DSTA, EDB and IDA, as well as Institutes of Higher Learning such as NUS, NTU and the Singapore-MIT Alliance.

6. Following the success of the first phase, NGO has embarked on the second phase of the project, reaching out actively to industry and the larger educational community.

7. In parallel, IDA, working in close consultation with NGO, has actively engaged the infocomm industry to bring Grid technology from the research and academic community, to real world adoption by business enterprises. These include several collaborations with MNCs, such as Adaptive Enterprise@Singapore with HP, On Demand@Singapore with IBM, and Enterprise-g@Singapore with Oracle.

Collaborating with Research Institutes

8. Another way of bringing research out from labs into industry, is to bring the researchers themselves, into businesses. Many of you would know of A*Star's successful 'Get-Up Scheme'. It was highlighted in the press a couple of weeks ago. Under this scheme, researchers from A*Star are seconded to local enterprises, to provide consultancy as well as to help them identify key technologies and growth areas. The success of this scheme is but one of many testimonies to the important role played by R&D, and our RIs.

9. In closing, I would like to urge the industry, to look upon research institutes like I2R, as gold mines of ideas and innovation. Together, we can transform these ideas from 'Imagination to Reality', and give our infocomm companies an important leg up in the global competitive arena.

10. Thank you.