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Launch Of Service Science Management And Engineering Initiative by IBM, IDA And Industry Partners

28 November 2007 - Opening Address By RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore At The Launch Of Service Science Management And Engineering Initiative, Raffles Hotel.

Opening Address By RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer Of  Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore At The Launch Of Service Science Management And Engineering Initiative on 28 November 2007, Raffles Hotel.

Mr Nick Donofrio, Executive Vice President, Innovation and Technology, IBM Corporation,
Ms Teresa Lim, Managing Director, IBM Singapore,
Professor Howard Hunter, President Singapore Management University,
Professor Pan Tso-Chien, Dean, College of Engineering, Nanyang Technological University,
Professor Ooi Beng Chin, Dean, School of Computing, National University of Singapore (NUS),
Mr Lim Swee Cheang, Director, Institute of Systems Science, NUS,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. Good afternoon. I am pleased to join you today, to witness the launch of the Service Science Management and Engineering programme by IBM together with Institute of Systems Science (ISS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore Management University (SMU). This programme will see Service Science Management and Engineering or SSME related electives included in the respective institutions’ infocomm curricula from 2008. These electives aim to nurture a new breed of high value and multi-disciplinary infocomm talent. 

2. SSME has been advocated as an integrated research and academic discipline for the 21st century infocomm professionals. SSME integrates multiple disciplines such as computer science, engineering, management and operations research, and educates students in a strong mix of technical, business and people skills. Students of SSME will learn to design and implement industry applications in multiple disciplines. This will help to address the need among organisations and businesses for multi-disciplinary infocomm professionals, thereby helping them to create competitive advantages in service delivery through the use of infocomm technology.

3. The introduction of the SSME programme today by IBM and the Institutes of Higher Learning, or IHLs is a timely one. It is aligned with the iN2015 masterplan which sees nurturing a pool of highly skilled infocomm professionals as being critical to achieving the vision of an intelligent nation, global city powered by infocomm. Through a public consultation exercise on professional development conducted by IDA in May 2007, industry representatives have indicated that the new generation of infocomm professionals needs to acquire not only strong technical foundation but also specific industry domain knowledge.

4. As infocomm technology is increasingly being used to enable business processes and operations, infocomm professionals not only provide technology inputs but also help formulate business strategies through the innovative use of infocomm technology. We call such infocomm professionals “techno-strategists”; they can play a key role in helping businesses and organizations achieve their goals and objectives.

5. Today, Infocomm schools in the IHLs already have academic programmes that infuse both infocomm and business skills for students to be seamlessly integrated into the industry within the shortest span of time possible. The introduction of SSME related electives will provide further diversity in the infocomm curricula, and help to meet the infocomm manpower needs not only within the infocomm industry but also in various other economic sectors.

6. To support the SSME programme, IDA, together with Avaya, DBS Bank, IBM, Singapore Computer System and SingTel, are sponsoring students who are keen to pursue infocomm and SSME courses through the National Infocomm Scholarship (NIS). As you may know, the Scholarship aims to identify and nurture a group of talented students for a career in infocomm. The six organisations will sponsor up to 38 scholarships for 2008.

7. Developing a multi-disciplinary infocomm workforce that is ready for the service-based economy will certainly enhance Singapore’s status as an infocomm hub. The efforts by industry leaders such as IBM and IHLs like NUS, NTU, SMU, and ISS are most encouraging. I would like to thank them for making this concerted effort to help raise the level of competency among the infocomm professionals in Singapore. IDA looks forward to continued collaboration with our partners in the infocomm industry and IHLs to further develop our infocomm manpower, thereby enhancing our ability to use infocomm technology to enable and transform businesses. 

8. Thank you.