Welcome Remarks by RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, CEO, IDA Singapore, at the National Infocomm Competition 2010 Launch and 2009 Awards Ceremony

1 April 2010 - Welcome Remarks By RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay CEO, IDA Singapore, at the National Infocomm Competition 2010 Launch and 2009 Awards Ceremony, the Red Dot Museum

Welcome Remarks By RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay CEO, IDA Singapore, at the National Infocomm Competition 2010 Launch And 2009 Awards Ceremony on Thursday, 1 April 2010, 3pm at the Red Dot Museum

Partners from the industry and educational institutions,
students and teachers.

Good afternoon,

1. Let me first extend a warm welcome to all of you for taking time off this afternoon to attend this exciting event, where we will be announcing the champions of 2009 NIC and launching new challenges for this year's Competition. The Competition was first started in 2006 to recognize students and schools or tertiary institutions for their creativity in developing innovative infocomm applications or solutions for real-life challenges.

2. I am happy to note that over the past 4 years of competitions, we have seen many of such exciting and practical applications and solutions. An example from last year's NIC is the flash game called "Somethin's Fishy", developed by R Studios from Raffles Institution. Under the theme of "Environment: Clean Living - Clean Air, Clean Water, Clean Energy", players are required to remove pollutants from a river by fishing out rubbish, repairing damaged toxic pipes and activating filters to purify the water. In a fun and interactive manner, players also learn about the importance of keeping our environment clean and safe. R Studio's creative representation of the environmental situation in the world today and innovative use of infocomm technology to bring across a serious message, won them the Gold Award at the Singapore Games Creation Competition, which is one of the NIC challenges.

3. The NIC is also a platform for students to pit their skills against students from other countries. In the Open Jive Challenge 2009, Temasek Polytechnic won against competing teams from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand. Their application, "Smartshop", allows online shoppers to "view" products from different angles and distance, and try them out virtually. All that is needed is a webcam and computer. Augmented Reality technology is then used to superimpose virtual imagery of the clothes onto the live image of a person taken by the webcam. Such innovative solutions have great potential for commercialisation. So someone might have to invent a new word for window shopping online - maybe virtual shopping.

4. There are many more interesting applications and solutions coming out from the 2009 NIC. A record of over 3,100 students took part in the 13 NIC challenges. This brings the total number of students from Secondary Schools, Junior Colleges, Polytechnic and ITE competing in NIC over the last 4 years to about 10,000. We are very pleased with the strong participation, not only from the students but also the teachers who have been guiding and supporting the students as they take part in the events.

5. For 2010, we will be bringing more challenges to NIC. There will be a total of 16, with the new challenges, [i.code], Imagine cup:Software Design and NetRiders 2010. These new challenges require students to develop practical PC and mobile applications as well as networking solutions to tackle realistic scenarios.

6. For those who are interested in using ICT to innovate and develop applications and solutions, not just for competitions but as a role in working life, the infocomm industry offers infinite opportunities. You are only limited by your own imagination. Many of you would have watched the movie "Avatar" which saw the combination of 3D environment, virtual characters and real-life actors on a single platform. James Cameron, the director of "Avatar" was reported to have said that the storyline for Avatar was created in 1994 but it was only in 2006 that the movie could be made, with the cutting edge technology available. "Avatar" is a worldwide hit and a great commercial success. As infocomm professionals, you would have opportunities to work on exciting projects that are similarly impactful and rewarding.

7. Closer to home, infocomm and digital media technologies were also used to develop Singapore 2010 Odyssey, the first 3-D virtual world where users can try their hand at Olympic games, learn more about the Olympic movement and make friends from around the world. This is in support of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games that will be held in Singapore this August.

8. The pervasiveness of infocomm technology in almost everything we do has led to increasing demand for more infocomm products, services and solutions. The infocomm industry is a vibrant and growing, and requires professionals with the skills and talent to support it. Infocomm employment in Singapore grew by 1.3% in 2009 to reach a total of 140,800 infocomm manpower, with 84% of them having university or diploma qualifications. This is despite the economic downturn we experienced last year. Areas of strongest employment growth included that of software development, digital media & animation, and research & development.

9. For promising students with a passion for infocomm, IDA offers two scholarships, the National Infocomm Scholarship, which supports infocomm studies at the bachelor and masters degree level, and the Integrated Infocomm Scholarship, which supports good "O" level students to do infocomm studies from polytechnic through to university. Last year, a total of 46 NIS and IIS scholarships were offered. If you have a passion for infocomm, I would encourage you to apply for these scholarships, which will set you up well for a good infocomm career.

10. Before we proceed to the NIC Awards presentation, I would like to thank those who have made NIC possible. They include Nikon, M1, Sapura and Microsoft who sponsored the prizes; our partners, namely the Polytechnics - Nanyang, Ngee Ann, Republic, Singapore and Temasek Polytechnics, the universities - NTU, NUS, and SMU, as well as ITE, Information Technology Standards Committee, Singapore Computer Society and Singapore Science Centre. And of course the schools and teachers who have encouraged the students to participate. Your continued support has gone a long way to make NIC a success.

11. Last but not least, my heartiest congratulations to the winners of NIC 2009 and I would like to wish everyone all the best for the 2010 competition. Thank you.

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