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A Step Closer To RFID Regional Hub Status

11 April 2005 - Opening Address By Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Industry Group, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore At Cisco-Intel RFID Insights 2005, Raffles City Convention Centre.

Opening Address By Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Industry Group, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore At Cisco-Intel RFID Insights 2005 on 11 April 2005, Raffles City Convention Centre.

Good morning,

Mr Mohsen Moazami, Vice President, Internet Business Solutions Group, Cisco Systems, Inc. and Board of Governors, EPCglobal,
Mr Jon C. Stine, Global Industry Manager, Retail-Consumer Packaged Goods Industry, Intel Corporation,
Industry partners and friends,


1. Since the launch of the IDA RFID initiative last May, we have seen much activity and gained significant momentum in this industry in Singapore. To give the initiative a head start, we have officially allocated frequency spectrum within the UHF band for RFID deployment half a year later in November. This was an important development. Singapore is the first country in Asia to officially allocate UHF bandwidth for actual RFID deployment use.

2. Besides the spectrum allocation to expedite RFID deployment, we also have RFID capability within our Research Institutions. For example, the Institute of Microelectronics, Institute of Infocomm Research and the Defence Science & Technology Agency have teamed up to develop a patient contact tracing solution for our hospitals during the SARS crisis in 2003.

3. In the area of pilot projects, numerous of them have since been started in Singapore. Various international RFID seminars and training courses have also been held in Singapore. We have also just closed our RFID Call-for-Collaboration (CFC), an effort to develop RFID capabilities in various industries in Singapore and are currently in the process of evaluating the projects submitted.

4. In our efforts to create greater awareness on our local RFID capabilities in Singapore and the region, IDA and the Singapore RFID Alliance have jointly published the first Singapore RFID Directory which you can pick up outside during the tea break. The 100 over companies listed in the directory represent our RFID capabilities in integrated circuit, tags, readers, design, software applications, system integration, consultancy and training. We hope that this directory will be useful in facilitating business matching in the industry.

RFID Developments in Singapore

5. Singapore's RFID industry is actually not new, and our local companies have been building their capabilities in this area. I believe that many of you have heard about the National Library Board's (NLB) RFID project. Since 1998, the NLB has been using RFID to tag all its books. Through this tagging, it has helped NLB to automate the borrowing and returning process. It has made stock-taking of the books much easier and faster. Local companies like ST Logitrack and Wavex Technologies are the ones who have been heavily involved in the implementation and maintenance of the NLB's project. In fact, I understand that they are now leading experts in Library RFID Systems.

6. Beside our local RFID companies, many MNCs have also anchored their RFID capabilities in Singapore. Just last month, chipmaker ST Micro-electronics announced that they are relocating their entire global production of RFID chips to Singapore.

7. Our MNC partners like IBM, HP, and NEC, have also invested more than $25million to set up various RFID Solution Centres in Singapore to help businesses test and pilot RFID systems before implementing them in their own operations. For example, the RFID@NEC centre in Republic Polytechnic launched just two months ago will provide the first Electronic Product Code (EPC) Network service in the region.

8. In addition, IDA together with RosettaNet and the industry has launched the Global RosettaNet Architecture Centre of Excellence in Singapore, of which Intel and Cisco are both sponsors, and one of the key objectives is to work on the convergence of RosettaNet and RFID.

9. These developments are heartening as it demonstrates Singapore's capabilities in creating leading edge RFID activities and implementations. We hope to build on the momentum to further anchor our RFID hub status for both adoption and development.

Moving Forward

10. In the coming year, IDA will work with the industry, both local companies and MNCs, to build up Singapore's RFID capability. Through IDA's infocomm Local Industry Upgrading Programme (iLIUP), we hope to tie up promising local RFID companies with our various MNCs. In this case, the domain knowledge and implementation expertise of our local RFID companies would complement the technology and market access capabilities of our MNCs.

11. One of these up and coming RFID companies is Tunity Technologies. It has worked with IDA to develop broadband RFID tags that can be read at multiple frequencies. Tunity has developed core capabilities in RFID system design and was involved in many RFID projects, including the personnel management system during the Global Entrepolis@Singapore in 2003, and the SIA/SATS Cargo bins and skids tracking project.

12. Our collaboration with Cisco today is to develop local RFID companies' capabilities through Ciscos global RFID programme, which Mohsen will elaborate on later. Through this partnership, local RFID companies will be able to leverage Cisco's global reach to embrace their market penetration and product compatibility around the world. Cisco's own RFID capabilities would also be enhanced by the domain knowledge that our local companies will bring to the partnership. We hope to see more of such win-win partnerships being formed in the coming year. Meanwhile, IDA will continue to enhance Singapore's conducive environment for RFID R&D and business development to take place here.

13. In closing, I would like to thank all of you for your efforts in the past year and invite you to come forward with good ideas and work with IDA to realise our vision of making Singapore into the RFID adoption and development hub for the region.

14. Thank you.