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Driving Innovation Through Collaboration and Partnership

12 March 2009 - Speech By RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority Of Singapore, At The SingTel Partner Programme (SPP) Appreciation Dinner And i.Challenge08 Award Ceremony, Shangri-La Hotel

Speech By RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority Of Singapore, At The SingTel Partner Programme (SPP) Appreciation Dinner And i.Challenge08 Award Ceremony At Shangri-La Hotel, Gardenia Function Room, Level 2

Mr Allan Lew, CEO Singapore, SingTel,
Members of the Infocomm Industry


1. I am delighted to be here this evening at the SingTel Partner Programme Appreciation Dinner and to present the awards to the winners of the i.Challenge08.

Success of the SingTel Partner Programme

2. It was about this time last year that I witnessed the launch of the SingTel Partner Programme. It is a pleasure for me to be here this evening at this SingTel Partner Programme Appreciation Dinner, which is a good opportunity to reflect on the fine achievements of the programme and its partners and participants from the infocomm industry over its first year.

3. The SingTel Partner Programme is a good platform to catalyse innovation and foster collaboration, which are key factors to building a vibrant infocomm ecosystem here in Singapore. Indeed, in today's global competitive business landscape, innovation and partnerships are essential for our infocomm local enterprises or iLEs to expand beyond Singapore and into the world economy. IDA is encouraged to see the progress of the Partner Programme, which contributes to our helping our ecosystem be a rich environment that encourages world-class R&D of a wide range of infocomm products, services and solutions. This in turn adds to our industry development efforts to encourage and facilitate iLEs in creating market-driven intellectual property.

4. As part of its industry development efforts, IDA is pleased to work with other government agencies and industry to encourage and facilitate iLEs in creating market-driven IP. Such collaborative activities can serve as catalysts to transform valuable intangibles into actual products and applications that can greatly benefit government, enterprises and consumers. To this end, IDA has allocated $70 million for the co-development of infocomm business solutions with industry through Calls-for-Collaboration or CFCs for pilots and trials. We also partner other agencies such as SPRING Singapore to help our SMEs enhance their competitiveness, such as in the Technology Enterprise Commercialisation Scheme or TECS that provides funding for start-ups to do product development.

5. We also have initiatives that encourage partnership between iLEs and leading industry companies to catalyse innovation. The Overseas Development Programme, or ODP and the infocomm Local Industry Upgrading Programme or iLIUP are examples. Under these programmes, MNCs partner iLEs to develop solutions and build up new capabilities in innovative technologies quickly. They also allow iLEs to access the MNCs' global marketing and distribution networks.

6. Similarly, the SingTel Partner Programme brings together MNCs and local companies in the mobile space to co-develop, test and launch mobile applications and services. It contributes to Singapore being a test-bed and reference site for innovative solutions that can be exported to the region and beyond.

Next Generation Innovation

7. Recently, Singapore was ranked first in a study of global innovation and competitiveness carried out by the research group, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. This is encouraging to our industries, and I would like to urge our infocomm industry to continually identify and build new platforms for innovation and collaboration.

8. On IDA's part, we will continue to work closely with industry to develop and build Next Generation services that are relevant to market needs. One such initiative is the Next Gen Services Innovation Programme, or Next Gen SIP. This programme will support the development and deployment of innovative Next Gen services, especially those that can take advantage of the Next Generation National Broadband Network or NGNBN that we are building.

9. The Next Gen SIP will rally the constituents of the infocomm ecosystem to provide meaningful solutions to meet the needs of consumers and businesses, as well as motivate local and foreign Retail Service Providers or RSPs to use Singapore as their centre of excellence for Next Gen services. IDA will be organising a Pilot Run later in the year to bring companies together to test their solutions on a designated test-bed for integration with the NGNBN.

10. Another component of Singapore's Next Gen National infocomm Infrastructure is Wireless@SG. Since the launch of this free service about two years ago, Wireless@SG has seen the roll-out of 7,500 hotspots and more than one million subscribers. We will be enabling enhancements to the Wireless@SG network, and we invite the industry to continue developing innovative mobile services for deployment on this network.

11. This evening, we are also here to recognise companies that have developed innovative solutions through the SingTel iChallenge Award. This is organised as part of the SingTel Partner Programme, to encourage local Independent Software Vendors to develop innovative ICT solutions. I understand the judges for the awards had an enjoyable time assessing the many different interesting solutions submitted by the participants. I congratulate all the winners and participants of this inaugural iChallenge Award for your fine achievements and efforts.


12. On this note, I wish SingTel and all partners and participants in the SingTel Partnership Programme continued success, as you continue to create many new innovative solutions for the local and overseas markets through this collaboration.

13. I wish one and all an enjoyable evening.

14. Thank you.