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Posted by on in Uncategorized

inance Minister Heng Swee Keat presented this year's Budget in Parliament on Monday (Feb 19), where he unveiled Singapore's plans in the face of three major shifts in the coming decade:

  1. GREATER EMPHASIS ON ASIA
  2. NEW TECHNOLOGIES
  3. AGEING POPULATION

 

to compare:

 

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

Malaysia’s 2018 PM Budget proposals: trade-oriented economy, focusing on high-impact export sectors, while accelerating the logistics and transport system. The budget is laying the foundation for the National Transformation 2050 (TN50)

Efficient infrastructure system to improve the logistics and transportation sectors.(East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) 2 Line, MRT3 Line, The Light Rail Transit (LRT) 3 project, The Kuala Lumpur and Singapore High Speed Rail, West Coast Highway)


Financial market: boosting the exchange-traded fund and structured warrants, capital market and access to investment and alternative trading system; credit financing facilities to SME exporters:

·         SJPP, using intellectual property as an instrument of financial collateral with up to 80% financing guarantee;

·         tax exemption on stamp duties imposed on contract notes for sales and purchase transactions of Exchange-Traded Fund  (ETF) and Structured Warrants for three years;

·         investments in venture capital in main selected sectors coordinated by Securities Commission;

·         income tax exemption to include management and performance fees received by venture capital management company;

·         reducing the minimum investment in venture companies from 70% to 50%;

·         companies or individuals investing in venture capital companies are provided tax deduction equivalent to the amount of the investment made in the venture companies….

Under the Industrial Revolution 4.0, the Government has proposed to provide a matching grant under the Domestic Investment Strategic Fund to upgrade the Smart Manufacturing facilities.

Promotional programmes, and expand export markets by Matrade (
export promotion activities will be focused in key markets where Malaysia has Free Trade Agreements with and markets with high demand for Malaysian exports especially in sectors such as furniture, electrical and electronics, information, communication and technology, oil and gas, food and beverage, construction and others), Mida and SME Corp, MaGIC (all of the programs and initiatives under the centre share one uniting goal – to build an ecosystem of entrepreneurs with creative skills and the capability to innovate)

Digital Economy continues to be a key driver of growth, contributing 18.2 per cent to Malaysia’s gross domestic product this year and expected to exceed the projected target of 20 per cent earlier than 2020

Green Technology:

·         Green Technology Financing Scheme.

·         The government intends to implement the non-revenue water programme to reduce the average loss of water.

Malaysia will be the first in the world outside China to establish a Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) which comprises e-Fulfilment Hub, Satellite Services Hub and e-Service Platform to stimulate growth in electronic trade

 

  • https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/10/27/budget-2018-full-speech/
  • https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/10/27/highlights-of-budget-2018-proposals/
  • https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-27/malaysia-budget-2018-winners-and-losers-as-najib-courts-votes
  • https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2017/10/296200/budget-2018-set-boost-digital-economy-mdec

 

 

 

 

 

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Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) has announced the official launch of the ACE International Centre (ACEIC). The centre will facilitate opportunities for both local startups seeking regional growth and international startups setting up their bases in Singapore, strengthening its position as a leading startup hub and a launch-pad for the region.

The organization has also signed an MoU with KPMG, to work with the audit firm’s Digital Village for setting up a regional co-innovation hub in Singapore

read the full article: http://techseen.com/2017/09/06/ace-singapore-startup-center/

 

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

According to Nikkei Asia Review, the country received 81% of U.S. investment in the entire ASEAN region for 2012 through 2016, and 85% of what the European Union poured into the bloc.

For European and American companies, the strength of Singapore's economy and its concentrated talent pool make it the logical choice for key operations in the region.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_300x250_GIF-Banner.gifSWITCH (Singapore Week of Innovation & TeCHnology) is a leading “plug and play” platform in Asia that showcases the best ideas, technology and innovation from around the world. Through a series of complementing technology and innovation events held between 18 - 20 September 2017, SWITCH brings together the best minds to create exchanges that will shape our world. 

At SWITCH, interactions are the catalyst for change; at the end of the day, technology does not shape our future - we do. SWITCH brings together partners from around the world in the technology, innovation and enterprise ecosystem, featuring exhibitions, conferences, workshops and activities revolving around topics such as open innovation, technology transfer, tech entrepreneurship, venture funding and talent development. 

SWITCH is brought to you by National Research Foundation Singapore, and organised by SGInnovate. SWITCH Partners include Convergence, Impact Hub, Nature SciCafé, Slingshot@SWITCH, Slush Singapore, SWITCH ON@LaunchPad, TechInnovation, VentureCon (e27) and Women in Tech. 

For more information, please visit www.switchsg.org

Russian Venture Company (RVC), is a government fund of funds and a development institute of the Russian Federation, one of Russia's key tools in building of its own national innovation system is participating in the event for the 4th time as one of the sponsors of SWITCH.
This year we will bring a team from #GenerationS and a slew of innovative technology companies:
LocalGuide, Newton (NWTN-Group), Oz Forensics, Panda Money, Synthes.

#GenerationS is the largest business accelerator for start-ups and corporations in Russia and CIS countries, promising potential partners in Asia an access to the best industrial technologies from all over Russia and beyond (30 countries, 240 cities, 72 regions of Russia), as well as to the leading universities, techno-parks, incubators and engineering centres, the largest network of mentors, investors and industrial partners in Russia


#GenerationS is connecting innovations with market opportunities and funding, offering
FOR START-UPS
    Intensive coaching and mentors’ support for free
    Access to the most prominent VCs and business angels
    Corporate platforms for testing pilots, products and sales to corporate customers
FOR CORPORATIONS
    Profit gains from existing products
    Creation of new products and entering new markets
    Optimization of production and product chains
    Mentoring opportunities
FOR INVESTORS
    Hedging of investment risks
    Access to the best startups
    Access to expert resources for startup selection
    Mentoring opportunities

Participating Start-ups:


1.    LocalGuide  

LocalGuide presents Palaround platform  – an all-in- one C2B2C and P2P mobile marketplace for on-demand assistance for tourist (aka smart concierge service) to connect clients with local businesses: professional guides, interpreters, volunteers, grocery, food delivery, chefs, house-cleaning, laundry, nursing, babysitting, doctor call-out, fitness instructors and general assistance.

The company is addressing a market niche of “can’t-wait- to-explore” micro moments (according to ThinkWithGoogle methodology) implying ad. hoc. search for activities only after arrival at the travel destination.


2.    Newton (NWTN-Group)
    B2B and B2C brokerage platform providing up-to-date market analytics and info on traded instruments:
    Trading terminal: Decision-support system with the ability to make settlements
    Brokerage: Client broker that gives the access to Russian and American markets
    Content: Fundamentals, news, multipliers on Russian and American stock market


3.    Oz Forensics
Oz Forensics helps financial institutions to reduce digital fraud risks and costs by automating
KYC processes with image, video and biometric authenticity recognition analysis.
The platform provides automation and can be integrated into

  •     Bank credit process
  •     Insurance loss adjustment
  •     Remote customer authentication in payment systems
  •     Digital documents check and customer`s verification in microfinance organizations
  •     Customers` remote services in fintech companies

The platform reduces

  •     Number of bad loans in financial organizations
  •     Risks of fraud in remote client authentication


4.    Panda Money

https://youtu.be/-rgZKV0DPXQ
    A mobile platform a bank for kids and adults, teaching budgeting and gamification the process of money     saving and understanding finance
    The platform provides children with the ability to:

  •     use pre-paid cards with unique parental controls.
  •     set up a goal and save money for a dream.
  •     transfer money between parents, child, and friends.

    PandaMoney allows parents to make an immediate money transfer both to children card and to their mobile     “piggy bank”.

  •    learn more about finance in a game format.

    For parents, PandaMoney helps to teach their kids finance and also to control how much money they're     spending. Parents set tasks and spending rules for the child.
    PandaMoney has B2C and B2B business model. For end customers (B2C), we are offering the subscription model.     For banks, are offering White Label solution.


5.    Synthes – manufacturing, processing and application of steels; pellets and metal powders (including     refractory metals) for Powder Metallurgy (PM) and Additive Machines, producing consumables for RD Printers     and end-product manufacturers, using high-frequency plasma spheroidizing technology
    Videos
    https://yadi.sk/d/Ig1Nu2Bi3LkrAf
    https://yadi.sk/i/vGG9Wxth3Lkrf8
    https://yadi.sk/d/Ig1Nu2Bi3LkrAf
    https://yadi.sk/i/abJWd0Ra3LksNr
    https://yadi.sk/i/fG1W7cjk3LkuRF

 Come to visit us at the RVC booth!

300x250_GIF-Banner.gif

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Singapore introduces a new umbrella branding to support startup schemes:


Three key changes will be implemented using the work pass scheme EntrePass:

  1. Removal of the requirement for applicants to have a paid-up capital of at least $50,000 in their startups
  2. Extending the validity of each EntrePass from the current one year to two years, after the first renewal at Year 2
  3. Enhancing the co-investment support for promising startups in deep-tech areas, such as in medical technology, clean technology and advanced manufacturing, to catalyse private sector investment for this group.


According to Mr Koh, Minister of State for Trade and Industry,  the investment cap for the co-investment portion for deep-tech startups will be doubled from $2m to $4m, allowing the government to tier its funding support according to the differing needs as well as the proportion of the co-investment funding support for supported investments will be raised from 50% to 70%. technology and advanced manufacturing, to catalyse private sector investment for this group.

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on in Technology

 In 2017 budget, Singapore government invests $1.7B into smart nation, digital transformation. The funds would go towards ICT tenders in its fiscal 2017, which would encompass investments in various technology areas including data analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, as well as enhancements to the necessary communications infrastructures.

An agency with 1,800 data scientists, technologists and engineers was launched on Oct 7 2016 to pave the way for the Singapore Government to better serve its citizens.

GovTech transforms the delivery of Government digital services by taking an "outside-in" view, where users are at the heart of everything services do: harnessing info-communications technology and related engineering for public sector transformation.

GovTech’s role include

  • deploying a wide range of ICT solutions within the public sector
  • growing new capabilities and talent to support digital service delivery
  • developing the Smart Nation infrastructure and applications.

GovTech and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) are formed as a result of a re-structuring between the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) and the Media Development Authority MDA).

From 1 May 2017 onwards, GovTech reports to a new Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG), under the Prime Minister’s Office.

From 2018, the effectiveness of government digital services will also be rated, bringing measurable data to further fine-tune them over time

1st wave- completed: deliver new digital services and enhance the quality of life for citizens and improve businesses.
2nd wave - high quality digital services. Citizens expect the same smooth and intuitive experience they get from the fast-moving private sector.

Technologies behind digital services:   

  • location sensing
  • cloud computing
  • mobile connectivity
  • Big Data
  • artificial intelligence

The goal: high-impact services that improve citizens’ quality of life in a Smart Nation.

Normal 0 false false false EN-NZ X-NONE X-NONE

[1] https://www.tech.gov.sg/-/media/GovTech/About-us/Corporate-Publications/eGov/eGovBOOK1115.pdf?la=en

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Singapore Autonomous Vehicle Initiative (SAVI) is a joint partnership between LTA and A*STAR to provide a technical platform for industry partners and stakeholders to conduct research and development (R&D) and test-bedding of AV technology, applications and solutions.

http://tinyurl.com/jq8b9ok

 

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Posted by on in Big Data

Deep learning is a branch of machine learning algorithms based on learning multiple levels of representation. The multiple levels of representation corresponds to multiple levels of abstraction. This post explores the idea that if we can successfully learn multiple levels of representation then we can generalize well.

The lecture “Deep Learning: Theoretical Motivations” given by Dr. Yoshua Bengio at Deep Learning Summer School, Montreal 2015 is  highly recommended for a deeper understanding of the topic.

 


Deep Learning:Theoretical Motivations

Yoshua Bengio

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Posted by on in Security

UK and Singapore signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate in four areas, including cyber security incident response and cyber security talent development. (July 29)[1]. There will also be joint cyber research and development collaboration between the UK and Singapore, with funding being doubled over three years, from £1.2 million to £2.4 million (S$5.1 million).
The MOU was signed by Cyber Security Agency chief executive David Koh and Britain's National Security Adviser, Sir Nigel Kim Darroch. It built on agreements made during President Tony Tan Keng Yam's state visit to Britain last year[2].
The specific deliverables under the four areas are currently being discussed, and will be finalised during the next UK-Singapore Cyber Dialogue.
Temasek Poly sets up IT security and forensics hub[3]
The hub aims to provide students with hands-on training in areas such as IT networking, digital forensics and security operations, in order to increase the pool of trained cyber security specialists.
Opportunities in cybersecurity market in Asia for upcoming decade[4].
Not only Hong Kong or Singapore leading the efforts, , but many second-tier markets like Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia are investing as well.
The rising wave of attacks and the awareness of them in the region reflect what happened in the United States 10 years ago.
“Asian organisations are right in the crosshairs of today’s APT (advance persistent threat) attackers,” FireEye chief technology officer Grady Summers said at the RSA Conference Asia Pacific & Japan (RSAC APJ) 2015 in Singapore last week, citing research conducted by his security software firm.

  • APAC customers 33% more likely to be targeted than global average of 27%
  • China Govt the culprit behind many of these attacks or campaigns

About 37% of FireEye’s customers in Asia Pacific detected advanced cyber-attacks in the second half of 2014, and are 33% more likely to be targeted than the global average of 27%.
 
Speaking to Digital News Asia (DNA) on the side-lines of the conference, Summers said that in terms of IT maturity, Europe was about five to six years behind the United States while Asia was about 10 years behind. “Ten years ago in American IT, it was all about cost-cutting. Outsource all your IT to India, and we were getting 10-20% cost cuts year on year, but after a while you ran up against a brick wall in terms of security – and that forced a lot of change. “There are a lot of factors at play and IT is now being seen as a driver of business, so we are seeing budgets creeping up again. “Asia as a region can be averse to spending money on IT and security, but the trend has to reverse in the next few years because you can’t solve this problem with cost cutting,” he said.
Summers also reported that in the past 12 months, the APT space had got more diverse, with groups emerging from different geographies. “Now we’re seeing countries like Iran, North Korea and Syria getting in the game,” he said.

[1] http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-uk-agree-to/2014622.html
[2] http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/spore-britain-boost-cooperation-cyber-security
[3] http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/temasek-poly-sets-up-it/2009764.html
[4] https://www.digitalnewsasia.com/digital-economy/asia-in-the-crosshairs-of-apt-attackers-fireeye-cto

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Posted by on in Big Data

According to Markets and Markets Report, the global smart cities market is expected to grow from $411.31 Billion in 2014 to $1,134.84 Billion by 2019, at a CAGR of 22.5% during the forecast period of 2014–2019.

"Major migration trends from the rural towards the urban regions could be seen due to the rapid growth in population and the growing employment opportunities in the urban areas. Thus, in order to support the growing urbanization, the need for transformation of urban infrastructure gets intensified. This factor would serve as the main driver for the smart cities market in the near future. The growing environmental concerns across the globe and the need for smarter resources are also considered to be one the major drivers for the smart cities market. The project funding and the capital expenditures required for such large-scale deployment of technology are extremely high. Therefore, this factor is expected to hinder the growing smart cities market. The transformational downtime as well as the big data generated in the smart cities routine operations are considered to be some serious concerns serving as significant restraints for the smart cities market.
The global smart cities market is segmented by regions into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America. North America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe have the highest adoption rates in the smart cities market, while regions such as Latin America along with Middle East and Africa offer a lot of opportunities for the vendors where majority of the countries are yet to expansively adopt smart cities solutions. Some of the major solution providers in the smart cities market include ABB, Alcatel Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, GE, Honeywell, Hitachi, IBM, Siemens, and Schneider Electric among others".

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Posted by on in Big Data

Smart Nation

Realising, that many big neighbours around Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, China are creating competitive landscape and moving fast; Singapore follows the concept “If you don’t move forward, you fall behind” . The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), together with other agencies is working towards Singapore’s vision to becoming the world’s first smart nation

Singapore announced plans for a new Integrated Infocomm Media Masterplan [i]in June 2013, the vision has coalesced around the transformation into a Smart Nation underpinned by data and analytics.

According to the Gartner’s estimates[ii] , fuelled by public sector spending on software, IT manpower and outsourcing, the Singapore government’s IT bill is expected to reach US$3.2 billion this year

Singapore has set up a new smart nation programme office to coordinate efforts by various government agencies that are already using IT to serve citizens. The Smart Nation Program constitutes Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s priority, and every government department is involved.

In a usual practical approach, projects under Smart Nation Programme revolve around the question: “what problems are we going to solve; and the “Innovation” itself is defined as solving people’s problems.

In this approach, the “Innovative technologies” serve as the backbone of a smart nation’s infrastructure and should not necessarily be cutting-edge ones; but rather, present new and innovative way of bringing together existing technologies that makes these technologies “innovative.” The main goal of such innovation is the optimization of existing resources, rather than reliance on new ones.

The key to understanding governance in a smart nation; unlike business entities, the government cannot choose its customers and must serve all citizens: citizen-centric approach calls for long term view and plan in order to deal with added complexity;

  1. Common Data Infrastructure for the Government, which would solve the problem of the incompatibility of data sets coming from different government agencies. The government cloud platform to serve the needs of ministries and agencies.
  2. Collaboration with citizens, industry and academia - The government nurtures a collaborative ecosystem and serve as a connector and matchmaker without attempting to dominate.
  3. Government to review and reform its own structures to support the required level of agility, efficiency and flexibility, and effectively manage change.
  4. Diversity - nurture diversity among its own staff to ensure a variety of views and diversity of skill sets, so that government employees can learn from each other and partner with those outside the government in order to sustain the co-creation and inclusiveness of the ecosystem.

And the projects are built upon Cross-agency collaboration, Data Sharing and Big Data analytics

Smart Nation will collect and process data across the country, and derive insights by analysing the data in order to improve performance and enhance services across the board. The concept rides on strategic deployment of cutting-edge technology trends, such as a nationwide network of connected sensors and sensory devices, the Internet of Things (IoT), along with the infrastructure of data centres to handle big data and analytics.

Essential components of a smart nation include a pervasive, scalable, ultra-high speed, intelligent and secured ICT infrastructure, coupled with a ICT eco-system with a ready pool of skilled tech workforce, a regulatory environment that protects the data and privacy of citizens while ensuring fairness and access to essential information. The country made progress in laying the backbone infrastructure to prepare for Big Data & Analytics, the Internet of Things and other transformational trends and developments, thanks to its 10 years Intelligent Nation (iN2015) Masterplan. Singapore has completed its Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (NGNBN) rollout and is developing a nationwide wireless network, with plans for a new Heterogeneous Network (HetNet) that will enable seamless mobile connectivity for citizens across different networks.

Since then iDA has announced several multi-pronged initiatives that will deliver the Smart Nation vision, including the roll-out of a Smart Nation Platform (SNP) that includes an operating system for public agencies and companies to connect to.

Singapore’s SNP is aimed at bringing together a nationwide sensor network and data analytics abilities.The SNP has three focus areas

  1. Connect - the enhancement of Singapore’s pervasive network and communications backbone, with new developments such as Above Ground (AG) Boxes – utility boxes that allow sensors to be easily powered and quickly connected to the fibre network — and the HetNet.
  2. Collect - the roll-out of a nationwide sensor network, communications backbone based the SNP operating system where public agencies could be plugged in to access essential sensor data; provide the efficient sharing of collected sensor data (protected, and managed, before being shared)
  3. Comprehend – providing situational awareness through data analysis that will empower individuals, government and businesses alike via data analytics and real-world applications

Challenges in Singapore:

Singapore faces two big pressures – increased urban density and an ageing population

There are three priorities for tackling these pressures:

Smart health care

  1. Health care in the context of an ageing population: The country’s vision includes remote diagnostics, DNA sequencing, automated ambulances and smart public housing that react to residents’ needs
  2. Transport: Singapore is testing autonomous vehicles in the west of the island. Plans to use a virtual model to track real-time commuting patterns and plan future transport systems. The Multi-Agent Transport Simulation Toolkit Singapore (MATSim Singapore) takes data from the Land Transport Authority and the Urban Redevelopment Authority. It uses real patterns of behaviour to create virtual commuters, which are used to test the impact of potential train lines, bus routes, cycle lanes and new solutions such as autonomous cars and car sharing.[iii]
  3. Housing: Smart housing, which includes waste and energy management. Advantage - around 80 per cent of Singaporeans live in public housing, which are broadly wired the same way. New block of housing in Punggol will test smart lighting, waste management and car park monitoring.[iv]

Smart Nation Prerequisites:

Connectivity

Fast internet access is essential everywhere in Singapore. Train tunnels, lift shafts, any square meter will have connectivity. The priority is expanding the existing reach in a plan called E3A – connecting Everything and Everybody Everywhere All the Time.

The experimental city

Singapore will continue to open labs to test parts of its Smart Nation plan. In place - lab in Jurong West for testing out smart street lights and transport

Flexibility:

“Whenever we see something where we say ‘that’s cool’, we add it in.”

The Smart Nation Programme itself is a living blueprint and does not feature complete end-to-end strategy design, featuring sometimes the approach “we do it now and fix later”, rather that miss the opportunity and inhibit development. With so much data involved, concerns about data privacy and security were causing discussions, however, the discussion were not as hot as expected to be.

Data Sources:

  • Citizens data
  • Data relayed by sensors that are being installed on the ground for better situational awareness and resource allocation.

Education

The IDA will be partnering with providers of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to offer online analytics courses to grow the local talent pool. The first focus training area will be on Data Sciences & Analytics, and iDA will be using Coursera MOOC platform's data sciences platform with content provided by Johns Hopkins University.

Living Analytics Lab (LARC ) at Singapore Management University (SMU) aspires to make pioneering breakthroughs in statistical and experimental theories, methods and tools for conducting Behavioral Insight Experiments within pervasively networked environments and defines the following priorities for Smart Nation Projects:[v]

  • Intelligent Systems for Mining and Analytics
  • Social and Management Science
  • Network Experimentation
  • Security, Data Fusion and Privacy Preservation
  • Systems and Infrastructure

Cyber security and privacy issues

Becoming a Smart Nation also makes Singapore a bigger target for hacktivists, cyber criminals and state actors

The government has announced a new Cyber Security Agency to pull together this capability [vi]

Key Components

  1. A Smart Nation Platform will bring together a nationwide sensor network and data analytics abilities to provide better situational awareness through the efficient collection and sharing of data.
  2. A HetNet (heterogenous network) will enable mobile users to switch seamlessly between different types of wireless networks.
  3. Aggregation Gateway (AG) Boxes will provide high-speed fibre connectivity and power at the street level, and accommodate sensors from different government agencies to monitor everything from traffic to street lights and crowded buses.

Singapore is making headway in developing its own smart grid infrastructure. State-owned energy utility Singapore Power (SP) is currently involved in a project to upgrade and renew the country’s ageing grid infrastructure.

Concurrently, SP is in partnership with national energy regulator Energy Market Authority (EMA) to evaluate and develop the Intelligent Energy System (IES) pilot to modernise electricity transmission and distribution networks with new information, communication, and sensor

However threats, specifically cyberthreats, are evolving at a greater rate than the grid can keep up with. Developed before cyber-security was a concern, the primary risk factor for the power grid in the 80's and 90's was physical security threats.

Governance recommendations to protect the infrastructure:

  • Use two-factor authentication
  • Consider switching to a static Code Management Systems
  • Enforce lock-out policies
  • Patch anti-virus and browsers
  • Segregate key assets

Approach:

The Singaporean government is to set up its own telecommunications network to manage a network of sensors across the country as part of a 'Smart Nation' project; The 'internet of things' network[vii] will include security cameras across the centre of the city, and sensors to monitor things as diverse as potential flooding in drains and the health of elderly residents in their homes.

IDA’s tender documents, available on the government tender website Gebiz, describe how a supplier has to connect to the various data collection boxes, known as AG or Above Ground boxes[viii], around the island. It seems the government wishes to avoid depending fully on telecom operators to provide all the links to its many sensors in future. While that unusual move is understandable, more puzzling is another government announcement on its smart nation project this “nationwide operating system” that it is working with Microsoft on.

There is not much known of this operating system, except it is supposed to be the “brains” of the smart nation installation in the next few years [ix] “The Government will own the operating system of the Smart Nation Platform (SNP) in order to safeguard the robustness and trustworthiness of the system, and to protect all data collected, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA)”

Central Role of a Cloud

Announced at CloudAsia 2014 Cloud Service Providers’ Registry (CSP) allows choosing cloud vendors through registry, standards. The CSP Registry was conceived to engender trust through transparency for the benefit of cloud adopters by making available online information about CSPs. This was facilitated by services such as a self-disclosure form and information on a CSP's Multi-Tier Cloud Security Singapore Standard (MTCS SS) certification

Security, continues to be one of the largest impediments to cloud adoption, which was why the IDA and the Singapore Standards Council, launched the world's first Multi-Tier Cloud Security Singapore Standard (MTCS SS). The MTCS SS provides specifications for CSPs to give clarity around their security service levels for customer understanding, while also increasing the level of accountability and transparency from them.

While adopting the MTCS is voluntary, certification by a Certification Body will be a requirement for CSPs participating in future public cloud service bulk tenders from the Government.

Initiatives:

IDA announces the launch of a pilot for Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), to become an important building block for the Smart Nation. The DaaS pilot seeks to address this using a federated approach with individual Dataset Registries (DSR) based on an open source data portal platform, creating a coherent mechanism for users to easily discover private sector datasets made available from data providers across various industry sectors. Participating data providers will operate their own instance of DSR which runs on their own infrastructure and maintain the dataset catalogue.

The data providers will be given an opportunity to understand and check the relative quality of their datasets through a set of industry-domain agnostic Data Quality Metrics. The metrics cover areas such as reliability, relevance, accessibility, timeliness and ease of use, and will also give potential users a base of comparison between similar datasets from distinct owners.

New platform, data.gov.sg, serves as a central source of government data contains more than 8,000 datasets that are available to citizens, app developers and researchers.

Network of information centers called Citizen Connect has been established to bridge the digital divide and facilitate free access to government services including eCitizen, an e-government platform, for those who do not have internet access.

The government recently awarded a tender for the development of the Social Service Net (SSNet), a unified content management system for the social service sector to facilitate information sharing among multiple social services providers and government agencies.

At least 15 trials involving more than 20 partnering companies and various public agencies are being rolled out at Jurong Lake District, where over 1,000 data sensors are being deployed to create a “live environment and living lab” for Smart Nation projects ranging from smart queue monitoring and smart navigation to autonomous buggies.

Indoors, efforts are underway to enable seamless interoperability between connected smart devices within the home, under the IoT@Home initiative. An Industry Working Group has been set up within IDA’s IT Standards Committee to identify relevant open standards and establish a set of Technical References.

Smart Nation Projects

  • A*STAR catalyses R&D value capture for Singapore amounting to over $380 million from over 1,700 industry projects
  • The creation of a detailed 3D model of Singapore by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to help planners and architects design and build the city with greater insight and sensitivity to finer details · Virtual Singapore, a project that will culminate in an integrated 3D map with layers of data about local buildings, land and the environment. It was launched by the National Research Foundation, Singapore Land Authority and Infocomm Development Authority.
  • Project Bus Stop, the re-imagining of a bus stop in Jurong East as a meaningful social node which incorporates greenery, interactive smart boards, a phone charging station, a swing and bicycle parking.
  • PLANET (Planning for Land TrAnsport NETwork), the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) enterprise business intelligence platform for big data analytics, public transport performance monitoring and predictive simulation of public transport initiatives.
  • myENV (My Environment), an app which gives members of the public real-time access to information on Singapore’s weather and heavy rainfall alerts, the latest air quality information, location of dengue clusters and 3R (reduce, reuse and recycle) tips, amongst others.
  • The Police Camera (PolCam) project by Singapore Police Force, under which about 18,000 cameras have been installed at 3,300 HDB blocks and multi-storey car parks across all 16 Town Councils and 87 wards since May 2012 to enhance SPF’s crime-fighting ability in HDB estates.
  • The tele-rehabilitation project[x] led by A/Prof Gerald Koh enhances the use of technology to supervise the recovery of stroke patients in the comfort of their own home. The tele-rehab system will be able to perform supervised rehabilitation exercises from home which potentially alleviates stress and inconvenience suffered by caregivers and patients who would otherwise have to travel to rehab centres
  • Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is looking into streamlining different modes of payment into a single instrument — which may take the form of a watch, ring, or even an identity card, fitted with a chip. Consumers will thus be spared from having to carry too many cards around.
  • To enhance eldercare, the HDB is piloting the Smart Elderly Monitoring and Alert System sensors in 12 flats. The sensors monitor the movements of the elderly folks in the flats, and alert family members when they detect anything unusual.

Legal Challenges

To consider:

  • Legal mechanisms that limit risk and liability as corporations tap on growth opportunities in Singapore's Smart Nation Initiative.
  • How to acquire technology and bid for ICT projects
    Smart Grids and IoT, privacy
  • Privacy challenges in acquiring and processing data collected via smart meters
  • Systems availability beyond service level agreements

Collaborating with Start-ups

 

The Accreditation@IDA programme - the programme allows young Singapore-based tech companies with the “IDA Accredited Product” mark to be considered first, where relevant, for innovative tech government projects[xi]

IDA Accreditation, together with IDA Accelerator and IDA Labs, were the three key programmes[xii] introduced in 2014 to help local companies strengthen their competitive edge in a dynamic global ecosystem.

The Accelerator initiative, which is managed by IDA’s investment subsidiary Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd (IIPL), aims to raise the quality of tech start-ups in Singapore by putting them through an “internship” where they will be challenged as to the kind of “go-to-market” strategies that they have, whether their business are scalable and whether they have the right people.

Recently IIPL has partnered with leading accelerators like Joyful Frog Digital Incubator (JFDI) or Startupbootcamp FinTech to run accelerator programmes to groom promising tech start-ups in Singapore at the early and seed stages.

Another initiative to build up Singapore tech companies is the iPACT[xiii] (Partnership for Capability Transformation for the Infocomm Sector), introduced to help them work more closely with large enterprises on projects to boost their productivity. IDA has committed S$15 million to drive the iPACT initiative over three years through to March 2017; and

IDA has also continued to give recognition to role models for the tech industry through its National Infocomm Awards [xiv], which were presented in November 2014.

Embracing overseas start-ups

The IDA has opened outposts in London and San Francisco to monitor the latest start-ups and university research projects.

The government is also investing in start-ups – regardless of where they are based in the world

Small prints:

  1. While the city invests in foreign start-ups, iDA does like them to have a connection to Singapore, to have a strong link to Singapore - whether it means a percentage of the staff are Singaporean or the company is based in Singapore for the longer term. In return, Singapore is a gateway to Asia, representing access to markets including Cambodia, Laos and Indonesia. The city is keen for start-ups to see it as a testing ground;
  2. The government wants to tackle the big issues and won’t be investing in any taxi booking apps.

According to CommunicAsia 2014 Conference, Top Technologies are:

  • Smart Technologies
  • Internet of Things
  • Mobile Services
  • 4K Ultra HD
  • Telco OTT


[ii] http://www.techgoondu.com/2014/11/18/gartner-singapore-government-to-spend-us3-2-billion-on-it-this-year/

[iii] http://www.futuregov.asia/articles/6094-ura-gets-its-own-version-of-the-sims-for-planning

[iv] http://www.futuregov.asia/articles/5078-singapore-to-track-residents-waste-disposal-in-new-high-tech-housing-estate

[v] http://larc.smu.edu.sg/research-priorities/

[vi] http://www.futuregov.asia/articles/6092-singapore-restructures-to-battle-cyber-security-threats

[vii] http://www.ida.gov.sg/~/media/Files/Infocomm%20Landscape/Technology/TechnologyRoadmap/InternetOfThings.pdf

[viii] http://www.techgoondu.com/2014/06/17/commentary-idas-smart-nation-vision-needs-buy-in/

[ix] http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/government-own-brains-smart-nation-platform-ida

[x] http://www.sph.nus.edu.sg/index.php/news-events/news/8-news/361-tele-rehabilitation-will-ease-stroke-patients-recovery

[xi] http://www.ida.gov.sg/blog/insg/featured/accreditationida-goes-live/

[xii] http://www.ida.gov.sg/blog/insg/featured/ida-announces-three-initiatives-to-boost-tech-start-ups/

[xiii] http://www.ida.gov.sg/blog/insg/ict-enterprises/ict-talent-collaboration-critical-for-singapore-innovation/

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The Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore plans a slew of technology initiatives to harness technology for convenient travel. Innovation being the key.

 

The Government aims to shift 75 per cent of all peak hour trips to public transport by 2030, up from about 63 per cent now.

 

The authorities are also working on a use-first-pay-later system for public transport. The vision for fare payment, though, is what is termed the Be-In-Be-Out system. Instead of making commuters tap in and out to register a trip, the technology can detect and automatically register commuters in a bus or train so long as they have the fare cards on them. Such hands-free systems will offer commuters the "ultimate convenience"

There are plans to test truck platooning, or what is also known as "follow-me" technology. This comprises a lead truck steered by a driver, followed by a convoy of about three to four driverless trucks, which reduces manpower reliance and increases productivity.

 

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The government is matching venture capital investments and teaching kids in grade school how to start their own companies

Singapore has spent the last decade building out an infrastructure to help its best and brightest get over their fear of failure so they can launch new companies. "In the early 2000s the government decided we didn't want to put all our eggs into the foreign investment basket, which means we need to create our own start-ups," said Edwin Chow, director of planning at SPRING Singapore, an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry founded in 2003 to promote and support start-ups.

The nation boasts a broad range of government-sponsored initiatives as well as public-private partnerships. They include almost 40 government-supported incubator programs and several programs that match, dollar-for-dollar, any money a start-up gets from the private sector up to $1.5 million. To name just a few:

  • The Hub Singapore, a entrepreneurial-minded co-working space that supports 500 start-ups. It raised $1.1 million in a Series A round of funding in June.
  • Block 71, one of three buildings in the LaunchPad @ One North complex is a government-funded startup incubator in Singapore.
  • Program at the LaunchPad @ One North, a SPRING-funded start-up incubator, helped Sanjna Parasrampuria found her company, Newcleus, a predictive analytics platform for high-end sales.
  • Joint project of the JTC Corp., a government agency that encourages economic development, and SPRING Singapore, it's a three-building complex with three more buildings slated to open by 2017.
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Posted by on in Uncategorized

Fitch, the international ratings agency, in its unsolicited credit rating of Malaysia, has maintained Malaysia's credit rating and revised the outlook upwards to stable. After setting the stage over months for a cut in Malaysia's debt rating which in its own words was "more than 50 per cent likely”.
Based on Maybank's FX research head Saktiandi Supaat's estimate, the downgrade fear coupled with the concern over Malaysia's rising contingent liabilities - a weakness also flagged by Fitch earlier this year - could have contributed to a 10-20 sent drop in the ringgit value against the US dollar. Other factors such as fall in oil prices and capital outflow as US rates rise also led to the ringgit being the worst performing currency in Asia this year. Malaysian equities, where foreign net sell totaled RM9 billion (S$3.23 billion) in the first half this year, far surpassing RM7 billion in the whole of 2014, and bonds have also suffered partly due to the spectre of a downgrade, according to Mr Saktiandi. The looming downgrade and Malaysia's imminent loss of the single A debt status had rattled the market and was one of the key culprits for the major slump in the ringgit which has lost nearly 8 per cent this year and 14 per cent over 12 months.
Late Tuesday night (2015 June 2nd), the UK and US-based rating firm left Malaysia's debt rating unchanged at A minus, much to the surprise of market watchers and providing a huge relief to the country's policymakers. 
"It is a big positive surprise...almost equivalent to an outright upgrade compared with what they had signaled (previously)," says Nomura Holdings South-east Asia economist Euben Paracuelles.
Fitch commended Malaysia's progress of fiscal reforms chiefly this April's implementation of the Goods and Services Tax plus its fuel subsidy reforms - last year, it abolished fuel subsidies - to prop up its fiscal finances.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/fitchs-mixed-signals-on-malaysia-confounding

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Posted by on in Security

Answers to a rhetorical questions - do most organizations are having difficulty balancing the need for improved security with employee productivity demands. Well, yes!

A report, "Corporate Data: A Protected Asset or a Ticking Time Bomb?" is derived from interviews conducted in October 2014 based on survey commissioned by Varonis Systems, Inc. and conducted by the Ponemon Institute surfaces an important factor that is often overlooked: employees commonly have too much access to data, beyond what the This research surfaces an important factor that is often overlooked: employees commonly have too much access to data, beyond what they need to do their jobs, and when that access is not tracked or audited, an attack that gains access to employee accounts can have devastating consequences."

key findings on control and oversight include:

  • 71 percent of end users say that they have access to company data they should not be able to see.
  • 54 percent of those end users who have access they shouldn't characterize that access as frequent or very frequent.
  • 4 in 5 IT practitioners (80 percent) say their organizations don't enforce a strict least-privilege (or need-to-know) data model.
  • Only 22 percent of employees say their organization is able to tell them what happened to lost data, files or emails.
  • 48 percent of IT practitioners say they either permit end users to use public cloud file sync services or permission is not required.
  • 73 percent of end users believe the growth of emails, presentations, multimedia files and other types of company data has very significantly or significantly affected their ability to find and access data.
  • 43 percent of end users say it takes weeks, months or longer to be granted access to data they request access to in order to do their jobs, and only 22 percent report that access is typically granted within minutes or hours.
  • 60 percent of IT practitioners say it is very difficult or difficult for employees to search and find company data or files they or their co-workers have created that isn't stored on their own computers.
  • 68 percent of end users say it is difficult or very difficult to share appropriate data or files with business partners such as customers or vendors.
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Normal 0 false false false EN-SG JA X-NONE

In 2013, Bloomberg integrated Live Twitter Feeds into Financial Platform.  Bloomberg classifies tweets by company, asset class, person and topic.

Last Spring Bloomberg introduced a Twitter compartment that sits alongside the flow of other news and financial data that appear on its terminals. The feature provides a way for employees to read but not send tweets. This month, Bloomberg took the technology a step further by announcing a sentiment analysis tool, built in-house

Links:

  1. http://tinyurl.com/l3ma2bh
  2. http://tinyurl.com/lx782sk
  3. http://tinyurl.com/pxss79l

Disclaimer:

I am not affiliated with Bloomberg in any shape of form nor have a vested interest in the company

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Cloud Expo Asia is the most definitive gathering of cloud thought leaders, visionaries and practitioners in the world took at the Suntec Exhibition Centre, Singapore on the 29th and 30th October 2014 and was closed with a record-breaking number of over 9,000 delegates in attendance.

 

pic3-2

Collocated with Data Centre World Asia, Asia Pacific’s leading event for data centre professionals and CloudAsia, the conference, it brought together operators, enterprises and experts from the cloud computing eco-system in a conference programme. It is an excellent platform for the regional and international cloud computing industry, comprising of a case-study driven programme, a research and innovation programme and a track focused on the latest technology and solutions in Cloud Computing and Data Centre

The highlight of Cloud Expo Asia 2014, focusing on cloud computing which is quickly gaining traction was that global trends suggest cloud computing will pave the road to the future the next phase of growth for enterprises..

Speaking at the opening of CloudAsia 2014, IDA Singapore assistant chief executive, Khoong Hock Yun said that Singapore will look increasingly to the cloud on its journey to be a smart nation. The Cloud will be crucial to achieving Singapore's "Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, All the time" goal of collecting and comprehending data for better services for the nation. He said that every year, cloud computing continues to gain momentum as more companies grasp the nimble, versatile and flexible nature of the cloud. Cloud adoption in Singapore continued to grow strongly last year with cloud spending among enterprises at about S$512 million. This is expected to almost double to about S$1 billion by 2018.

Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in Singapore are expected to spend S$520 million (US$415.26 million) on cloud this year, putting most of their dollars in infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).

Smart Nation

IDA consider Cloud Computing Ecosystems as a key to Singapore's Smart Nation Platform, conceived “to tackle difficult urban challenges in areas such as healthcare and energy, we need to capture and analyze massive amounts of data, and use that situational awareness to take meaningful actions.”[i]

Singapore reaffirmed its commitment to the cloud with a number of announcements around the technology like the its Cloud Service Provider Registry (CSP Registry) with near-real-time analytics, and the world's first Multi-Tier Cloud Security Singapore Standard last year to help users gain clarity over security provisioning by CSPs

1.      Data as A Service (DaaS)

Singapore has unveiled new initiatives in data analytics and cloud including a data-as-a-service (DaaS) pilot, as the government looks to drive further drive its smart nation ambition. 

The IDA announced a new trial aimed at increasing "the visibility of datasets" and enabling content providers to evaluate the quality of their datasets through a set of Data Quality Metrics. "Currently, there is no coherent mechanism for users to easily discover private-sector datasets made available from data providers across the various industry sectors. 

"The DaaS platform, also named the Federated Dataset Registry (FDSR), is intended to enable a mechanism to ease dataset discovery," said IDA in a statement. It added that the registry comprises various individual Dataset Registries (DSRs) based on the open source data portal platform, CKAN (Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network).

There are currently 11 data providers participating in the pilot including DHI Water & Environment, which provides data on water and environment, Hutbitat and StreetSine Singapore, both of which offer real estate data, and Sense Infosys, which provides maritime logistics data. 

Scheduled to run until March 31, 2016, the DaaS pilot will allow IDA to gather feedback and assess the platform. To encourage participation, the ICT regulator has roped in Amazon Web Services (AWS) to offer cloud computing services to the first 25 data providers that sign on for the trial. The cloud vendor will provide usage credits worth US$3,000 each to the 25 participants, which can then redeem the credits to host their dataset registries or datasets with AWS. 

Participants in the DaaS pilot will operate their own DSR, which will run on their own infrastructure such as a web server or cloud data center. Each registry should carry a dataset catalogue maintained by the data provider, containing details of datasets including meta information and sample datasets.

IDA also urged participating data providers to provide data quality metrics for users who can then assess the quality of the datasets and compare these with other similar data. Users can then contact the data providers should they want access to the datasets to support their mobile apps, for instance, and establish a financial or licensing agreement to do so.

2.      CSP registry

CPS registry allows choosing cloud vendors through registry, standards.

Announced at CloudAsia 2014, the additions will give potential cloud consumers more information on performance and availability of an operator on top of current existing static listings via the registry. This offers interested customers almost real-time analytics on how various cloud services are faring to aid them when making a choice on which CSP to use.

Currently with six vendors in the registry, The CSP Registry was conceived to engender trust through transparency for the benefit of cloud adopters by making available online information about CSPs. This was facilitated by services such as a self-disclosure form and information on a CSP's Multi-Tier Cloud Security Singapore Standard (MTCS SS) certification.

IDA is collaborating with Dynatrace (formerly known as Compuware), who will provide the free use of software tools and expertise for this monitoring, and encourage operators to make pertinent information available on the CSP Registry as well.

IDA on Wednesday also announced that "near real-time analytics" have been added to its Cloud Service Provider (CSP) Registry to provide information on the performance and availability of cloud vendors. The database previously offered only static listings of market players, providing information such as those provided on a self-disclosure form and the vendor's Multi-Tier Cloud Security Singapore Standard (MTCS SS) certification.

The additional analytics will be provided through Compuware, enabling information on the CSPs' availability and performance to be generated in near real-time, said IDA. It added that Compuware will provide free use of its software tools and expertise in monitoring the cloud vendors' performance via the registry.

Khoong Hock Yun, IDA's assistant chief executive, said during his speech Wednesday at the CloudAsia 2014 conference: "Potential cloud adopters can use the registry to compare and contrast different CSPs based on the information published, making it easier for them to decide which CSP is right for their needs." 

He added in a statement that the addition of near real-time tools will better enable potential cloud adopters to understand what each provider is offering, as well as encourage greater trust

3.      Enhancing cloud security with MTCS

Security, however, continues to be one of the largest impediments to cloud adoption, Khoong said, which was why the IDA and the Singapore Standards Council, under the aegis of SPRING Singapore, launched the world's first Multi-Tier Cloud Security Singapore Standard (MTCS SS) last year to help users gain clarity over security provisioning by CSPs.

The MTCS SS provides specifications for CSPs to give clarity around their security service levels for customer understanding, while also increasing the level of accountability and transparency from them. Local CSPs which are keen to adopt the MTCS SS can tap on SPRING's Capability Development Grant based on their eligibility to cover up to 70% of qualifying project costs.

"The new accreditation programme provides a stringent set of criteria to ensure that certification bodies conduct good certification practices in accordance with international best practices. CSPs which are certified against the MTCS SS by accredited certification bodies will provide greater assurance on cloud security to cloud users," said Steven Tan, SPRING's group director (Quality & Standards).

While adopting the MTCS is voluntary, certification by a Certification Body will be a requirement for CSPs participating in future public cloud service bulk tenders from the Government. IDA has received 13 industry proposals for its next tender which is currently under evaluation.

"Alongside this is an encouraging takeup of the MTCS SS standard for clarity around CSPs security service levels. All of this will help in Singapore's drive to be a smart nation," he said. Launched last year, the cloud security standard was developed to help local enterprises choose a suitable cloud vendor by providing insights on the level of information security each cloud provider offers with their services.

Khoong expects more MTCS certification to be adopted soon, noting that IDA had received 13 industry proposals from CSPs from its third public cloud services bulk tender in which MTCS certification was a mandatory requirement. He added that Singapore's first liberal arts college, the NUS-Yale College, reportedly was aiming to be certified MTCS Level One for its hybrid cloud running on open technologies.

To further encourage cloud vendors to boost their cloud security competencies, he said the Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC), under the aegis of SPRING, on Wednesday launched an accreditation programme for MTCS certification. "Certification Bodies (CBs) accredited by SAC will have been assessed to meet stringent criteria of conducting good certification practices in accordance with international best practices. SAC accreditation ensures that CBs are competent in providing certification to the MTCS SS.

"As such, CSPs with accredited certification will provide greater assurance on cloud security to cloud users following the stringent certification processes in place to ensure that it meets the MTCS SS." 

Khoong added that the cloud security standard is undergoing a review by IDA and the IT Standards Committee to evaluate how it can be further improved, following a second round of industry feedback that will end on November 28. 

Cloud adoption in Singapore[ii]

The Survey of Cloud Computing Adoption conducted at the Expo highlighted key barriers, objectives:

The Republic of Singapore is the largest and fastest-growing cloud and data centre event in Asia.

However, interest in cloud computing is one thing; adoption is a totally different ball game.

EMC Corporation in collaboration with IDG Connect conducted a survey tounderstand the state of cloud computing in Singapore. The survey, which concentrated mainly on hybrid cloud adoption, found that on-premise, private cloud solutions managed by the IT department is the most used model of cloud computing here, with 64 per cent of the respondents saying that their organisations used this model.

According to David Wirt, EMC Asia Pacific and Japan's vice-president for global services, security and/or governance stood out as the most pursued as well as the most important objectives when implementing cloud computing solutions (88 per cent and 61 per cent respectively). Concerns over security, data protection and availability are the most important barriers (45 per cent of respondents agree) to adoption and expansion in use of public cloud computing for most organisations. On the other hand, the cost associated with integrating legacy on premise systems with hybrid cloud infrastructure (29 per cent) is the most prevalent barrier to the adoption of hybrid cloud solutions.

"Flexibility, the ability to scale IT capacity up or down as required to match business
requirements is another key factor in determining the IT investment in Singapore businesses," Mr. Wirt said.

The survey showed that almost all organisations have a defined cloud computing usage and
governance policy (as many as 95 per cent of the respondents agreed) which is an indication that businesses
realise the benefits of public and private cloud technologies. "Even so, security and governance remain key concerns for businesses in the adoption process."

Industries dealing with large amounts of data, such as banking and finance, insurance and healthcare are the most forward thinking in terms of cloud adoption. In contrast to the banking sector, industries such as legal, construction and commercial transport still do not feel the urgency to use cloud services.

Singapore is among the most mature countries in Asia in terms of cloud computing adoption
with the Singapore government making conscious effort to promote cloud computing in the city-state, Mr. Wirt noted. "However, on a global level Singapore is still behind some leading cloud adopters, such as the US, the UK and Germany."

Energy Efficiency

The Conference focused on a few selected topics, like energy efficiency, for example.

The current state of affairs in Cloud Ecosystems adopts practical “standard today – regulations tomorrow approach” .

The Green Grid, a not-for-profit international consortium with a balanced mix of more than 200 member companies globally sees its purpose in bridging the gap between the positive impact of the growing digital universe and efficient ICT ecosystems with critical metrics, models, and best practices. The Green Grid is developing meaningful, user-centric metrics to help IT and facilities to manage better their computing resources, tools to help implement efficient computing. The Consortium is heavily engaged in promotion and training about standards, measurement methods, best practices, and technologies; collaborating with governments and other standards makers around the world to drive effective and accountable resource efficiency across the entire ICT ecosystem.

Among those the projects:

  •   Data Center Maturity Model Assessment Tool
  •   Data Centre Life Cycle Assessment Guidelines

Making the foundation for future directions, working on

  • Financial and Operational Efficiencies as well as Technically Orientated Efficiencies such as
  • Private & Public Cloud Architecture
  • Software And It Hardware Efficiencies
  • Internet Of Things Impact To Data Centers
  • Value Of Collaborating With Regulatory Bodies
  • Proactively engaging in Emerging Environmental Policy.

The Green Grid is proactively collaborating with Governments and Standards Bodies globally. For example:

In United States: Federal Data Center Consolidation (FDDC) Efforts; Energy Efficient Government Technology Act; US Department of Energy; US Environmental Protection Agency

In European Union with EU Codes of Conduct: GAMES (www.green-datacentres.eu); FIT4GREEN (www.fit4green.eu); ALL4GREEN (www.all4green-project.eu); CoolEmAll (www.coolemall.eu)

In Japan – MIIT and GIPC; In China – MIIT, CCSR and with iDA in Singapore

Security

Massive discussion were dedicated to the topics of Security, like advanced Persistent Threats, Data security and Compliance, Exposure of sensitive information, Security of cloud providers, Balancing Security and Risk in a Cloud Connected Enterprise.

Singapore continues to Enhance Cyber Security with a Five-Year National Cyber Security Masterplan 2018.

Anil Karmel; Founder and CEO, C2 Labs; Co-Chair, NIST Cloud Security Working Group spoke on the main pain points of the modern ICT: the Cloud, a powerful ROI with real security challenges; BYOD with mobile application management resulting in security and privacy concerns; Social, an agency data inadvertently ends up on public social networks via geotagging.

The mosaic effect of balancing time to market, cost concerns, security, manageability and risk in the move to a cloud-connected enterprise is being address with Certification/ SS 584:2013; The world’s first Multi-Tier Security Standard (MTSC), launched on 13 Nov 2013, provides opportunities, enabling certified Cloud Service Providers to specify security levels that they can offer to their users. Certification under SS 584 a requirement for CSPs participating in future public cloud services bulk tenders from Singapore Government. MTCS standard aims to foster and encourage the adoption of sound risk management and security practices for Cloud Computing by providing relevant cloud computing security practices and controls for cloud environments. The Contractor is required to be certified for the Services proposed under MTCS standard as per certification scheme defined at IDA website, which assures the required security to the customer. Contractor is to state and describe clearly the scope of certification when completing the table 5 of Annex II in Part 3. The submitted certification information such as certificates, statement of applicability, and self-disclosure may be published at a public website to be decided later.

Miscellanea

  1. a. Big Opportunities in Big Market Data - David Davies, Global Head Commercial Control, Infrastructure Services, Standard Chartered Bank
  2. b. A notable project not related to a Cloud or Grid technology, the InfiniCortex, was presented by Marek T. Michalewicz, Senior Director of A*STAR Computational Resource Centre (A*CRC)

The InfiniCortex introduce the concurrent supercomputing across the globe utilising trans-continental InfiniBand and Galaxy of Supercomputers

The project was originally motivated by a joint A*STAR, NUS, NTU, SUTD and NRF proposal comprised of two parts:

National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC)

·         New 12+ PetaFLOP Supercomputer

·         Recurrent investment every 35 years, pooling of uppermid to high tier compute resources at A*STAR & IHLs

·         Coinvestment from primary stakeholders

Science, Technology and Research Network (STARN). A high bandwidth network to connect the distributed compute resources providing high speed access to users (both public and private) anywhere, supporting transfer of large datasets (both locally and internally, to deepen local and international network connectivity.

The InfiniCortex Components

  1. ACA 100 Asia Connects America 100 Gbps, by November 2014 (Challenge issued by Yves Poppe at APAN 37 in Budung, Indonesia, February 2014)
  2. InfiniBand over trans-Pacific distance made possible with Obsidian Strategics Longbow range extenders
  3. Galaxy of Supercomputers. Supercomputer interconnect topology (work by Y. Deng, M. Michalewicz and L. Orlowski ). Obsidian Strategic Crossbow InfiniBand router
  4. Application layer from simplest file transfer: dsync+ to complex workflows: ADIOS, multiscale models

C. Interesting presentation: Territorial Innovative Clusters of the Regions of Russia by AIRR (Association of Innovative Regions of Russia) presenting a great overview of what is going on in Russia.

It is impossible in a short article to present all the topics covered at this conference therefore, after mentioning a few discussion I am posting a link to the presentations: Conference Programme[iii]

  1. http://www.cloudexpoasia.com/page.cfm/Link=103/
  2. http://www.ngp.org.sg/cloud-asia2014/?q=technical-program
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Smart nation:Data Works

The two days event was packed with discussion and actions, Starting from the

Opening Address by IDA - Singapore’s Smart Nation Journey: Data Analytics to enable win-win scenarios, by Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman of IDA Singapore,

and Keynote Addresses:

  • Enabling Smart Business / Government collaborations with Data Analytics, Amazon Web Services, Vice President, Teresa H. Carlson
  • Empowering Smart Businesses for Data Analytics success, Cloudera, Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer, Amr Awadallah
  • Harnessing new oilfields of Internet-of-Things, Mobility, Cloud & Big Data; Microsoft, Chief Technology Officer, APAC, Erick Stephens

followed by Case Studies and General Presentations, just to mention a few:

  • Driving real-time action with Data Analytics platforms; Oracle Corporation, Vice President, Product Management, Paul Rodwick
  • Advancing Customer 360: Turbo-charging CRM with Big Data and wearables; Salesforce.com, Area Vice President, Enterprise Sales, Simon Davies
  • New Rules for the Data Age – Talent, Innovation, Funding, Infrastructure, Value; Tamr, Co-Founder, Ihab Ilyas ; Ernst & Young Advisory, Partner, IT Advisory Services ASEAN , Bill Lee
  • Seizing Smart Technologies for new opportunities, insights and value; Misfit Wearables, MD, PhD (Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation), Medical Director, Dr. Matthew Diamond
  • Data Talent: Recruiting, Training and Retaining Great Data Innovators; Google, Head of Branding, Retail & Government, Singapore, Gerald Breatnach
  • Data Innovations: Leveraging machine intelligence to curate and connect data to unlock value; Tamr, Co-Founder, Ihab Ilyas
  • Data Engagement: Leveraging Twitter Analytics for reach, presence and engagement; Twitter, Managing Director, Online Sales APAC, Aliza Knox
  • Unlocking business value with Data Analytics, DBS Bank, Managing Director & Group Executive, David Gledhill

and practical discussions on how Businesses & Government can work together,

  • Amazon Web Services, Vice President, Teresa H. Carlson
  • DBS Bank, Managing Director & Group Executive , David Gledhill
  • Land Transportation Authority of Singapore, Deputy Director of IT Planning and e-Strategy Development, Seah Thiam Siong
  • SingPost, eCommerce, Chief Executive Officer, Marcelo Wesseler
  • SingTel, Chief Executive Officer, Group Enterprise & Country Chief Officer, Singapore, Bill Chang
  • IDA Singapore, Assistant Chief Executive, Development Group, Khoong Hock Yun

about Startups in Data Analytics

  • Cloudera, Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer, Amr Awadallah
  • Red Dot Ventures, Founder, Leslie Loh
  • StarHub, Chief Technology Officer, Mock Pak Lum
  • You Technology, Chief Executive Officer & Co-founder, Don Hunt
  • InfoComm Investments Pte Ltd (IIPL), Head, Dr Alex Lin

and Healthcare Frontiers -- Big Data, Emerging Technology and Personalised Medicine,

  • Duke-NUS, MD, PhD, Professor, Cancer and Stem Cell Biology, Genomic Institute of Singapore, Associate Director (Genomic Medicine), Prof. Patrick Tan
  • Genome Institute of Singapore, Executive Director, Prof. Ng Huck Hui
  • Misfit Wearables, MD, PhD (Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation), Medical Director, Dr. Matthew Diamond
  • Tucker Medical, Founder, Dr. Steven Tucker
  • IDC Asia/ Pacific, Associate Vice President, Big Data, Analytics, Software , Craig Stires

Not to mention Banking & Finance – Supporting transformation with Data Analytics

  • Citibank Singapore, Director, Decision Management, Irene Xu
  • Facebook, Director, APAC Marketing Science, Christopher Plambeck
  • IBM Global Business Services ASEAN, Partner, Strategy & Analytics Leader , Arun Biswas
  • OCBC, Head, E-business & Business Transformation, Pranav Seth
  • Prudential Singapore, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, David Ng
  • Research Board, Gartner, Vice President, Asia Pacific & Japan, Subrato Basu

followed by more specialised Coffee Chat sessions:

  • Driving effectiveness & success with predictive analytics; SAS Singapore, Chief Technology Officer, Shanmuga Sunthar
  • From concept to impact – the journey of DataSpark; DataSpark  Chief Data Science Officer, Dr. Amy Shi-Nash
  • Keeping the flash on enterprise innovation; Pure Storage, Chief Technology Officer, Asia Pacific and Japan, Michael Cornwell
  • Data mashing is more than one plus one; StarHub, Vice President, Smarthub, Lim Woo Lip
  • Challenges in Precision Medicine; Tucker Medical, Founder, Dr. Steven Tucker
  • A Data Analytics Journey: The Pain and Gain;  Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Maunik Thacker
  • The Evolution of assistive technology;  Nanyang Technological University, Acting Head, Division of Engineering Mechanics, Dr Ang Wei Tech
  • The commercial value of Open Data and collaboration; Newton Circus, Chief Executive Officer, Daryl Arnold
  • Driving Smart Nation with Co-Innovation; SAP, Head of Global SAP Co-Innovation Labs Network, Rudolf Held
  • Data Analytics – it’s no longer a matter of WHY; FusionEx, Managing Director, Ivan Teh
  • Data Works, for Smart Nation, and for the Bad Guys too; Oracle, Senior Director (Global Lead, Justice and Public Safety), Koh Hong Eng
  • Operationalising Advanced Analytics on a Business Data Lake;  Pivotal APJ, Chief Technology Officer , Steve Illingworth
  • Innovating through Cognitive technology, a computer that works and thinks like us; IBM ASEAN, Executive, Watson Group, Kooi Eng Ching;  Crayon Data, Founder, Suresh V Shankar
  • The Evolution of Retail Bank Credit Risk Management From Human Judgement to Profitable Analytics; Standard Chartered Bank, Technical Specialist, Seth Rubinstein
  • Better Privacy Means Better Data; You Technology, CEO & Co-founder, Don Hunt
  • How to ignore the revenue model and use data to make investment decisions; Golden Gate Ventures, Managing Partner, Vinnie Lauria

and Tech Alley presentation

  • Data Monetisation: New Monetisation opportunities with Data Analytics; Facebook, Director, APAC Marketing Science, Christopher Plambeck
  • Healthcare Leader: Creating Possibilities with Genomics Technologies; Genome Institute of Singapore, Executive Director, Prof. Ng Huck Hui
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Data Works. Dash-boarding Singapore

Singapore first declared its intention to be the world’s first Smart Nation at the Infocomm Media Business Exchange (imbX) 2013 event, held in Singapore. Since then, several new initiatives, including a new platform that encompasses the necessary infrastructure and technical architecture to support a smart nation ecosystem were announced.

A Smart Nation strategy seeks to harness advanced technologies to tackle the key challenges facing modern nation-states, including:

  • Urban Density: the increasing populations of urban centres and cities
  • Greater demands on limited resources
  • Higher expectations of citizens

Key benefits of a Smart Nation are summarised at three different levels:

  1. Policy Level, the Government can use the insights gained to craft better policies and to engage citizens to participate actively.
  2. Industry Level, the insights gained can results in the development of new business models and revenue streams, adding to the economic growth of the country.
  3. Individual Level, the individuals can improve their productivity and alleviate some of the inconveniences they might face in daily life

Smart Nation will collect and process data across the country, and derive insights by analysing the data in order to improve performance and enhance services across the board. The concept rides on strategic deployment of cutting-edge technology trends, such as a nationwide network of connected sensors and sensory devices, the Internet of Things (IoT), along with the infrastructure of data centres to handle big data and analytics.

Essential components of a smart nation include a pervasive, scalable, ultra-high speed, intelligent and secured ICT infrastructure, coupled with a ICT eco-system with a ready pool of skilled tech workforce, a regulatory environment that protects the data and privacy of citizens while ensuring fairness and access to essential information. The country made progress in laying the backbone infrastructure to prepare for Big Data & Analytics, the Internet of Things and other transformational trends and developments, thanks to its 10 years Intelligent Nation (iN2015) Masterplan. Singapore has completed its Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (NGNBN) rollout and is developing a nationwide wireless network, with plans for a new Heterogeneous Network (HetNet) that will enable seamless mobile connectivity for citizens across different networks.

Since then iDA has announced several multi-pronged initiatives that will deliver the Smart Nation vision, including the roll-out of a Smart Nation Platform (SNP) that includes an operating system for public agencies and companies to connect to.
Singapore’s SNP is aimed at bringing together a nationwide sensor network and data analytics abilities.The SNP has three focus areas:

  1. Connect - the enhancement of Singapore’s pervasive network and communications backbone, with new developments such as Above Ground (AG) Boxes – utility boxes that allow sensors to be easily powered and quickly connected to the fibre network — and the HetNet.
  2. Collect -  the roll-out of a nationwide sensor network, communications backbone based the SNP operating system where public agencies could be plugged in to access essential sensor data; provide the efficient sharing of collected sensor data (protected, and managed, before being shared)
  3. Comprehend – providing situational awareness through data analysis that will empower individuals, government and businesses alike via data analytics and real-world applications

The IDA started technology trials under the Smart Nation initiative from July 2014, working in partnership with several companies.

Some of the trials taking place in the in-development Jurong Lake District (JLD), touted as the largest commercial and regional centre outside Singapore’s Central Business District. As a part of the trial  1,000 sensors were deployed to monitor air, water quality and public safety. The sensors will be deployed at six high-traffic areas first, including Orchard Road and Little India, and works are expected to be completed by end-2015. Environmental sensors - some of which are able to record video - will be installed in the Jurong East estate of Yuhua, potentially allowing authorities to monitor the air quality in the area. Sensors will also be installed in five other "high traffic" areas: the Civic District, Orchard Road, Singapore River, Little India and Geylang.

Trials involve multiple government agencies including the Housing Development Board (HDB), Urban Redevelopment Authority, National Environment Agency, and Land Transport Authority, as well as more than 20 companies and start-ups.

In one trial RF Net, Panasonic, and Elixir Technology, will assess a smart queue monitoring system that taps advanced video sensing to determine in real-time the length and flow of a queue, for instance, at taxi stands. This information including potential waiting time can be fed to commuters who can then decide if they want to join the queue or take the bus. The data can also alert taxi companies on locations that require more cabs.

Another pilot will see ST Electronics developing a common traffic simulation platform to simulate and evaluate different traffic control algorithms, with possible traffic signal control plans to improve road traffic management in the district.

The plan calls for all data captured via the sensors to be collected, analyzed, and securely managed through a new Smart Nation Platform, which all government agencies can connect to. IDA says the government will own this platform but is open to having private sector entities operate and manage it. If that happens, these companies will have to abide by parameters and regulations mandated by the government in managing the platform.

Currently, different agencies have their own tracking equipment. However, a Smart Nation Platform will support the agencies' existing operations and allow them to share data.
A tender for the deployment of the sensors will be issued by end of the year, and works are expected to be completed by end-2015. Phase 2 of the Smart Nation plan will see these sensors being deployed nationwide.

To kick-start the process, it will be seeking the industry's views on the design of the entire system. Consultations will be held as early as the first quarter of next year.

Collaborative approach

On October 23, 2014, Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in an annual infocomm technology event hosted by A*STAR’s Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), announced a slew of new initiatives that contribute towards Singapore’s Smart Nation vision, including new partnerships across public and private sectors to strengthen Singapore’s capabilities in cybersecurity, energy and transport. A few new research collaborations in Smarter Networks and Cybersecurity, Smart R&D in energy and transport were unveiled:

Research pact with IDA: A*STAR and IDA signed a Master Research Collaboration Agreement to architect and develop innovative technologies in Data Analytics, Cyber Security and Heterogeneous Networks (HetNet).

Advanced security and forensics lab: I2R and ST Electronics (Info-Security) will set up a joint laboratory collaboration to develop advanced security and forensics solutions to enhance the infocomm structure in Singapore.  A*STAR announced the additional collaboration agreements between I2R and its partners across regulatory agencies and the private sector to build a greener and safer Smart Nation.

Renewable energy systems: HDB, I2R, Singapore Power and Narada signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop energy storage systems for solar-generated power, which will power HDB residences or supply electricity back to the grid.

Intelligent Transport Systems: I2R, Continental and TUM CREATE have established a joint laboratory to research, study and test-bed a range of communications, information and innovations that improve the safety, efficiency, and performance of transport systems in Singapore.

Urban Mobility Research Centre: A*STAR also launched the Urban Mobility Research Centre @I2R, or UMRC@I2R. The new centre brings together A*STAR’s multi-disciplinary research in urban mobile technologies for  its Intelligent Transport Systems and Autonomous Vehicle  programme to enhance the public transport commuting experience for urban travellers. The centre will function as a one-stop platform for close partnerships and collaboration with government agencies such as the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and IDA and the industry.

As part of ICM Horizons 2014, a two-day exhibition was carried out showcasing home-grown innovations under various themes such as: Smart Security, Smart Health, Smart Grid, Smart Environment, Smart Living, Smart Mobility. These ICM technologies are the results of A*STAR researchers’ creative ideas to enable Singapore to manage future challenges.

Smart Nation: Data Works

On the 28th September 2014, Infocomm Development Authority (iDA), the country’s lead agency on ICT policy making, presented two days opportunity for public and private companies, industry experts and influencers to discuss data analytics. It was part of a series of data activities happening from 26 to 31 October 2014. The event featured a line-up of international and local speakers sharing their perspectives on how data can be harnessed to create significant advantages for the industry and country.
The event was hold at Fort Canning hotel, and started with keynote address by Mr. Steve Leonard, iDA’s Executive Deputy Chairman. Singapore is building the world's first Smart Nation where data and analytics will play a critical role. To support this vision, the iDA will be boosting the data ecosystem through a series of key initiatives that were announced

The Forum kicked off a series of practical step in the Smart Nation Initiative, and helped help participants and to understand and be inspired to use data to gain a major competitive advantage

The Smart Nation: Data Works event gathered together Singapore’s technical community inviting SME to take active role in “dashboarding Singapore”, addressing primary areas of concern: Urban density and Aging population. iDA unveiled a new pilot aimed at increasing the "visibility of datasets" via quality metrics, offering free AWS credits to drive participation, and adds "near real-time analytics" to its cloud service provider registry to better assess vendor performance

Two key initiatives :

  • Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) pilot that seeks to address the challenge of discovering datasets in the private sector. Data providers from all industries can participate in the pilot to increase the visibility of their datasets and reach out to new customers. Data providers will also be given an opportunity to understand and check the relative quality of their datasets through a set of Data Quality Metrics. 
  • Using telemetrics to measure changes and conditions around the country will help Singapore tackle urban challenges.

Steve Leonard touched on the need for anonymity. He stressed that the aim was to enable individuals and organisations to be connected only with their consent and that useful, anonymous data can also result from collecting large numbers of data points.

iDA has signed a Memorandum of Intent with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide cloud computing services to the first 25 data providers when they sign on to the pilot via AWS. AWS will offer usage credits worth US$3,000 (S$3,800) to each of the 25 participating data providers in hosting their dataset registries and/or their datasets.

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Keynote: Enabling Smart Business / Government collaborations with Data Analytics (Amazon Web Services, Vice President, Teresa H. Carlson)

IDA signed a Memorandum of Intent with SAP Asia to develop local manpower capabilities in the field of data analytics.  The IDA will be partnering with providers of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to offer online analytics courses to grow the local talent pool. The first focus training area will be on Data Sciences & Analytics, and iDA will be using Coursera MOOC platform's data sciences platform with content provided by Johns Hopkins University.

iDA also announced three innovative tech product companies accredited by IDA. Tagit, Kai Square and V-Key. Their product focuses are in enterprise mobility, video analytics and security, technologies that can address challenges in a Smart Nation.

The Data Works Event gathered most influential industrial leaders, the industry who-is who list can be easily compiled (and their connectivity graph was kindly presented by the organisers)

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It is a Living Blueprint

The Smart Nation Programme itself is a living blueprint and does not feature complete end-to-end strategy design, featuring sometimes the approach “we do it now and fix later”, rather that miss the opportunity and inhibit development. With so much data involved, concerns about data privacy and security were causing discussions, however, the discussion were not as hot as expected to be.

Data Privacy

In 2013 Singapore introduced Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). The PDPA established a data protection law that comprises various rules governing the collection, use, disclosure and care of personal data. It recognises both the rights of individuals to protect their personal data, including rights of access and correction, and the needs of organisations to collect, use or disclose personal data for legitimate and reasonable purposes.

The PDPA provides for the establishment of a national Do Not Call (DNC) Registry. The DNC Registry allows individuals to register their Singapore telephone numbers to opt out of receiving marketing phone calls, mobile text messages such as SMS or MMS, and faxes from organisations. PDPA was enacted in 2014.

According to iDA's Steve Leonard,  "We're not pretending we have the answer to everything", "difficult questions" that still needed to be addressed so the benefits Singapore hoped to generate from its smart nation plan would be enjoyed by its citizens.

Personal privacy is an area the ICT regulator takes seriously. Nevertheless, the public sector is excluded from the country's Personal Data Protection Act , and there are private companies involved in the smart nation trials and rollouts. iDA has a view that the exclusion was to allow data to be easily shared between government ministries and agencies, and facilitate better e-government services for citizens. dialogue and assessment of the best way to proceed, for example, with regard to striking the right balance involving data privacy.

Singapore might be forced to expand its data protection laws in the future .  "It could well be that Singapore may come under pressure to follow those which do not have such exemptions like the European Union and Hong Kong,"

There is a concern also that exclusion of the public sector might cause change of business models in a few cases. Imagine< for example that a government affiliated insurance company obtains medical data. That will grossly reduce the risk calculations for the company, considerable increasing the revenues, at a cost paid by unfortunate individual that can be refused insurance coverage.

References:

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/smart-nation-1-000/1407416.html
http://www.noodls.com/view/79BF5D57D55B2303C2DE14EA9057A14B34A27287?3342xxx1414034503
http://www.zdnet.com/sg/spore-data-protection-law-should-include-govt-7000007893/

http://www.zdnet.com/sg/spore-data-protection-bill-must-continue-to-evolve-7000004944/

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