Be aware of scammers impersonating as IMDA officers and report any suspicious calls to the police. Please note that IMDA officers will never call you nor request for your personal information. For scam-related advice, please call the Anti-Scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to

IDM R&D Programme Office unfolds four initiatives to support R&D needs in IDM sector

Dated: 1 October 2007

Key focus R&D areas: ​animation,games and effects, media intermediary and “On-the-Move” media services

The Interactive and Digital Media (IDM) Research &Development (R&D) Programme Office unveiled its comprehensive initiatives to support and develop IDM R&D in Singapore which have created excitement and garnered support from both the local and international R&D community and the industry. It is calling for more participation and contribution to leverage on these R&D initiatives to help spur the growth of the IDM sector and transform it into a key driving engine of the Singapore economy. ​

This follows from last year’s announcement that the National Research Foundation had allocated S$500 million over the next five years to fund the development of a strategic IDM research programme and the set-up of a multi-agency IDM R&D Programme Office within the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) to spearhead the growth and development of Singapore’s IDM sector.

Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports and Second Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA), Dr Vivian Balakrishnan announced these initiatives and key focus R&D areas identified by the IDM R&D Programme Office at the inaugural IDM Jamboree, an industry networking event hosted by MDA and attended by about 700 participants. It was held in conjunction with the i.Future exhibition, a showcase of the latest cutting-edge technology that gives visitors a sneak peek into the future at the Singapore Science Centre.

The four initiatives are formulated to create an effective IDM eco-system involving all stakeholders including, the industry players, the institutes of higher learning (IHLs), the consumers and the public sector:

1. Drive demand for IDM services
To anchor and jumpstart the demand for IDM services, the IDM R&D Programme Office aims to attract companies to invest in IDM R&D opportunities. This includes proposals in applications, services and platforms with the potential to generate new business models and drive new demand for IDM services.

2. Grow a network of local and international research organisations to augment the capabilities of the local IDM sector.
Under this initiative, the IDM R&D Programme Office will call for research proposals from IHLs and Research Institutes (RIs) to address IDM-related gaps related to the key focus areas and match R&D results to the needs of the local industry. The IDM R&D Programme Office will also explore opportunities to work with the best RIs in the world to conduct research that would bring about a great impact on the international IDM industry.

A result of this initiative is the announcement of the Singapore-MIT International Game Lab (SMIGL) between MDA and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in October 2006. The SMIGL aims to further digital research globally and develop world-class academic programmes in game technology and establish Singapore as a vital node in the international game industry.

3. Encourage the generation of innovative ideas and projects from the public for the IDM R&D landscape
An online jamming platform, i.Jam will be piloted in late January 2007 before going full scale in July to generate interest from the demand side of IDM R&D. Consumers will be encouraged to contribute their ideas and explore R&D projects contributing to the IDM landscape via i.Jam. Ideas with potential for commercialisation will be further supported by the IDM R&D Programme Office through mentors from the industry or IHLs. In time, i.Jam is envisioned to be a platform to capture ideas which are nurtured into projects from both the local and international IDM community.

4. Establish Singapore as an international test-bedding centre for IDM-enabling infrastructure and applications
The IDM R&D Programme Office welcomes proposals of original and innovative applications or services with viable business models to fill the gaps in the current IDM infrastructure. This will be done through the existing schemes administered by MDA, the Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), with additional funding in support of IDM R&D related projects.

Dr Tan Chin Nam, Co-Chairman, IDM EXCO and Permanent Secretary, MICA said: “The economic potential of IDM is tremendous and its impact transformational. Collectively, the implementation of the four initiatives together with the efforts of the agencies including MDA, EDB, IDA, A*STAR, the Ministry of Education (MOE) and MICA, will help position Singapore as a global media city.”

In addition, MOE sees great potential in harnessing IDM for teaching, learning, and inculcating values in a fun and engaging manner. MOE is spearheading an R&D programme intended to transform teaching and learning, and to capitalise on Singapore's existing strengths in education to commercialise and export our expertise and gains in this area. One of MOE's key projects is the setting up of the FutureSchools@Singapore to pioneer effective practices and models on the use of IDM in Education, which other schools can learn and benefit from.

“MOE and our schools will be working with the National Institute of Education (NIE), local and overseas IHLs and the industry to collaborate on R&D activities ranging from strategic research to applied research such as prototyping or school-based action research with the ultimate objective of school-wide adoption of impactful IDM-based pedagogies, tools and content. MOE will also work closely with the IDM R&D Programme Office under MDA to ensure synergy with research on Games, as the ‘fun factor’ enhances educational outcomes,” commented LG (NS) Lim Chuan Poh, Co-Chairman, IDM EXCO and Permanent Secretary, MOE.

Dr Christopher Chia, Chief Executive Officer, MDA added: “Going forward, as we prepare to move into the digital age, MDA will actively engage the community and work closely with our industry partners to ensure that consumers will enjoy more tangible benefits with the roll-out of these initiatives.“

To provide focus for the R&D initiatives, three R&D areas have been identified:

  • Animation, Games and Effects – to strengthen investments in technology R&D, tools, platform development and explore new genres.
  • Media Intermediary Services – to invest in technical capabilities in the organisation, distribution and security of digital media.
  • “On-the-Move” media services – to invest in R&D to identify new ways of reaching and interacting with mobile-connected people who are always on the move.

“We aim to bring together all the stakeholders including IHLs and businesses to build sustainable and vibrant industry sectors around these R&D focus areas. The four initiatives unveiled today provide the IDM R&D Programme Office with the necessary means to do so,” said Mr Michael Yap, Executive Director of the IDM R&D Programme Office.

The IDM R&D initiatives have been receiving tremendous support from the industry and IHLs. Mr Yap added: “The industry players, partner agencies and IHLs have been most encouraging and are offering various activities to help realise our vision of a vibrant IDM sector. I would like to thank some 30 of our partners who have made their declarations to carry out R&D in IDM at today’s IDM Jamboree.”

Since its inception in August 2006, the IDM R&D Programme Office has been actively engaging and working with the industry and has received various R&D proposals such as those from PGK Media and GoMobile.

PGK Media, which focuses on R&D and development of innovative technologies for the media industry has submitted a proposal to develop and deploy an Advertising On-the-Move (ADMove) service on the public transport using digital mobile broadcasting. With such a service, passengers will be able to pick up digital vouchers, coupons and discounts from the terminal using a contact-less card. The card also functions as a loyalty card with digital wallet for on-line purchasing without the need to use credit cards. When completed, it will be the first interactive broadcast service available on our public transport system which promises to turn the travel experience into a shopping experience.

Mr Giulio Dorrucci, Chairman &CEO, PGK Media said: “We have registered an increasing demand from the industry for more engaging and interactive tools. ADMove is being conceptualised to provide such functionalities with a multi-platform approach, converging mobile TV broadcasting, dynamic advertising and mobile wireless technologies, always on-the-move. And we would like to thank the IDM R&D Programme Office for providing us with the much needed funds for R&D and their integrated support to create the right business ecosystem needed for the successful deployment and implementation of our project.”

Another project is GoMobile’s proposal to develop a technology platform to securely deliver live TV, DAB digital radio and data services to mobile users through multiple broadcast platforms. This project will result in economies of scale and provide a single point of entry for licensed content or for service providers to deliver their content. GoMobile was established in 2000 and specialises in developing DAB data applications.

Jamshaid Akbar, CEO, GoMobile said: “With the technology, mobile phone users can view real-time financial information from key stock markets;view advertising, enjoy CD quality audio channels and video feeds by attaching a device that acts like a set-top box to their phone. This is the first project of its kind in the world to offer such diverse services to consumers. It would not be made possible without the support from the IDM R&D Programme Office. They have mitigated our risk to trial a homegrown technology with generous support in the form of multiple trial spectrums and co-funding.”

The IDM sector is projected to make a significant contribution to the growth of the media industry that aims to realise a value-added contribution of S$10 billion, up from S$3.8 billion in 2003, as well as create approximately 10,000 new jobs by 2015.

For enquiries on funding initiatives, please contact:

For media enquiries, please contact:
Jasmine Wong (Ms)
Assistant Manager, Communications
Media Development Authority
Tel.    : +65 6837 9364
Email :

Koh June May (Ms)
Senior Manager, Communications
Media Development Authority
Tel.    : +65 6837 9363
Email :