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Funding boost for large-scale media projects targeting the international market

Dated: 22 April 2010

From massively multiplayer online games to films that can be distributed globally and next-generation digital media applications that serve users worldwide –the Media Development Authority (MDA) is scaling up the capability of Singapore’s media companies to undertake large-scale media projects targeting the international market.

Addressing some 300 members of the industry at its annual Media Business Forum, MDA today announced a slate of project calls across television, film, animation, games, interactive media, publishing and music, with an emphasis on projects that are internationally-marketable and scale across media platforms.

Said Dr Christopher Chia, MDA’s Chief Executive Officer: “Over the past few years, Singapore media content and applications have made inroads into the global market;our television content can be seen in some 70 countries and our digital media applications are enjoyed by millions in over 210 countries. Singapore media companies have been taking on larger-scale projects, after years of delivering high quality projects through global co-production. Some have even gone on to the creation of their own intellectual property that is recognisable globally.

“Those whom have made content that informs, entertains or educates and found markets globally, have in their own ways –carried a little of Singapore to many parts of the world –be it through the stories, the films, the TV series, the publications, the games, or any of the content that is shown in so many countries worldwide. Companies that have made their mark with international collaborations have in turn also begun to attract more production work to Singapore, therefore creating jobs for those more inclined to create, opening up new opportunities in terms of jobs, skills’ transfer and business opportunities in the media sector.”

In total, nine different project calls today open for submissions, of which four are new and five are recurring calls. Please see Annex A​ for details.

$20 million boost over three years for next-generation games with GAME+ ​Programme
To take Singapore games to the next level, MDA has earmarked S$20 million over three years to implement the GAME+ Programme, which aims to address the needs of the entire games value chain by providing support for concept development all the way to go-to-market strategies. 

It includes the newly launched INSPIRE+, which will see MDA co-investing up to 30 per cent in large-scale, bigger-budget game content projects such as the development of multi-million dollar massively multiplayer online games.

Complementing this is INVIGORATE+, which starts its series of quarterly calls today targeted at start-ups and individuals for proposals for games on emerging platforms such as social networking sites, mobile phones, handheld devices and online game services. Providing aspiring game developers with further support are GAME + Development Centres that will offer mentoring and guidance. Internationally renowned game development institute DigiPen and the School of Interactive and Digital Media in Nanyang Polytechnic are partnering MDA to establish the first GAME+ Development Centres in Singapore. 

In addition, MDA is also partnering industry and other partners to create demand for games that encourage developers to approach and apply games in new and different ways. Under INNOVATE+, MDA today issued a joint call with the Central Provident Fund Board for financial management games on social networking sites and mobile phones. Aside from CPF Board, MDA will continue to work collaboratively with other industry partners.

Spurring interactive digital media adopti​​​on in other economic sectors
MDA will also focus on driving sector transformation by embedding interactive digital media or IDM in other economic sectors to create new consumer experiences.

Building on the Future of Media concept introduced last year to fuel industry-driven innovation, MDA today launched a Cross-Sector (X-sector) initiative to stimulate the commercialisation of new IDM content, applications and services for deployment in five economic sectors: Education, Learning &Training;Advertising;Wellness &Healthcare;Tourism &Hospitality;and, Sports.  The X-sector call invites industry players to collaborate with technology companies, which are making available the research outcomes previously supported by the IDM Programme Office (IDMPO) for deployment in the five pre-identified sectors. 

The call represents the move to mesh industry needs with research outcomes by extracting commercial opportunities from existing research and development projects supported by the multi-agency IDMPO hosted within MDA.  

“The IDMPO has, over the last three years, funded R&D of diverse technologies. Some of these are now ready to be applied into creation of marketable products and solutions. The X-sector initiative aims to catalyse the commercial deployment of these technologies in depth within a particular sector. We begin the initiative with five economic sectors that possess rich possibilities for the overlay of digital media and will explore extending the programme to other key sectors. The vision is to bring about ‘IDM everywhere’ across the economy beyond just the media sector,” added Dr Chia.

In addition to the four inaugural calls described above, recurring calls that open for project submissions at today’s Media Business Forum include Spearheading Publishing Innovation for New Enterprise (SPINE), Content 360˚ TV and Public Service Content, which collectively aim to prepare locally-produced publishing and television content for cross-platform business enhancement and overseas distribution. 

Returning for a second round of project calls are Music, which is on the hunt for initiatives that can raise the international profile of Singapore’s music industry;and, the International Film Fund, which seeks film proposals that have international box office potential. 

These nine project calls come on the heels of last week’s launch of the International Animation Fund to solicit proposals for internationally-marketable animated TV series, telemovies and films. 

In the cases of the International Film Fund and International Animation Fund, MDA co-investment of up to S$5 million a project aims to encourage big budget film and animation projects that will be represented worldwide by well-established international distribution companies, namely Distribution Workshop and FremantleMedia Enterprises respectively. 

Moving forward, MDA will drive more project calls at regular intervals throughout the year to stimulate a steady project pipeline for the media sector.


Media Development Author​ity of Singapore (MDA)

Formed in 2003, the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) plays a vital role in transforming Singapore into a Global Media City and positioning it at the forefront of the digital media age. MDA spearheads initiatives that promote developments in film, video, television, radio, publishing, music, games, animation, media services and Interactive Digital Media.  At the same time, in ensuring clear and consistent regulatory policies and guidelines, MDA helps to foster a pro-business environment for industry players and increase media choices for consumers. For more information, visit and