Infocomm Media Masterplan
The last week of October in Singapore was rich with inaugural events organized by iDA, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore: Smart Nation: Data Works on the 28th and 29th October at Hotel Fort Canning and Cloud Expo Asia 2014, co-located with Data Centre World Asia 2014, taking place at the Suntec Exhibition Centre, on the 29th and 30th. Both places are 10 minutes taxi ride away, but choosing between events on the overlapping day was tough.
Main event of the week - Smart Nation: Data Works connected the business and tech communities, debated the latest data trends, bridging the gap between business use and technology. More than 1000 participating business users, industry influencers and tech start-ups, the event included keynote addresses by data visionaries and tech leaders; panel discussions and in-person meet ups with industry experts, innovation showcases, and personal sharing of experiences.
Second day of the event overlapped with the first day of Cloud Expo Asia, the largest dedicated cloud computing conference and exhibition in the APAC region hold alongside with Data Centre World Asia, Asia Pacific’s leading event for data centre professionals.
The Cloud Providers’ Register brochure available from the iDA Smart Nation booth at the Cloud Expo however was a giveaway, revealing the link between the events and their part in Infocomm Media Masterplan aiming to tap on infocomm and media (ICM) to enrich the lives of Singaporeans and create economic competitiveness for Singapore in the next 10 years. Chosen approach is the Private Sector-Led Masterplanning Effort
InfoComm’s Development Authority of Singapore (iDA) Masterplan, called Infocomm Media in 2025 or iN2025 has a goal to establish Singapore as a Smart Nation leading the world in tapping the potential of ICM, nurtures innovative talent and enterprises, making ICM sectors conducive for economic growth and social cohesion, improving quality of life for Singaporeans. With the vison of a Smart Nation, iDA promotes innovative ICM solutions hoping to achieve Sustainable and Quality Growth using the ICM sectors to optimise national resources, drive productivity for critical industries, and build globally competitive Singapore-based ICM companies.
The word Media in the plan is the acknowledgement of the fact that rapid digitisation ofinformation and media content, ubiquity of mobile devices, and easy access to high-speed Internet have blurred the lines between infocomm and media sectors, affecting other sectors.
On 31 Mar 2014, the Steering Committee released a consultation document that will guide the development of the Infocomm and Media (ICM) sectors until 2025, as well as highlight available opportunities. The document features preliminary ideas being considered for the Masterplan expected to be completed in mid-2015. A summary (not meant to be comprehensive at this stage) is available in the consultation booklet. The ideas are preliminary and members of the public are encouraged to provide feedback and join consultation sessions.
The 10-year Masterplan will focus on five main strategies:
1.Establishing an agile, pervasive, and trusted ICM infrastructure
The committee proposed a Heterogeneous Network to provide seamless transitions to the best available network in range. They also plan to position Singapore as a regional Digital Harbour to drive economic growth, and deploy sensors using Above the Ground boxes to provide high-speed backend connectivity. A plan to build a Data Marketplace will be put in place to help generate new applications, products, and services.
2.Building vibrant, strategic and enabled ICM sectors
This strategy aims to help companies in Singapore flourish in the globalised business landscape. To achieve this, the committee proposed to create a Self-Sustaining Start-up Ecosystem for ICM start-ups from Singapore to have access to and tap on the expertise, international connections and capital of a wide network of private investors.
The committee also aims to provide a Media Service for Next Generation Seniors to enhance social interaction. This can come in the forms of learning and sharing, shopping and e-services, video chatting, games and television.
3.Growing and retaining passionate ICM human capital with required skills
Here, the aim is to develop Singapore as an ICM hub where Singaporeans, supplemented with skilled international talent, form the core of the workforce. To achieve this, the committee plans to focus on Computational Thinking as a National Capability, and this entails introducing ICM and innovation to young people and piquing their interests. Proposed programmes include enrichment classes at the pre-tertiary level, motivating young people to help charitable organisations and also creating online communities to spark interest in the infocomm industry.
Facilitating open and Accelerated Professional Development is also in the plan. This will provide learning opportunities for ICM professionals and job opportunities for individuals hoping to venture into the ICM industry.
4.Enabling people and businesses to harness the power of ICM
To enable people and businesses to tap on the full potential of ICM, the committee proposed accessibility to healthcare with strategies that will help Singaporeans live independently in a connected and cohesive society.
One of the proposed ideas is the Smart Health-Assist. This involves convenient access to healthcare from home where health conditions can be monitored through sensors, and transmitting accurate information to healthcare providers. Another is the Urban Logistics that will actively contribute to enhancing productivity in the logistics sector by developing new technologies to facilitate more efficient delivery processes. For example, through ICM, companies can explore the possibility of sharing resources and also coordinate delivery routes effectively.
The committee also hopes to enhance social interactions through social projects like the Community Time Exchange. The Community Time Exchange is an ICM-enabled platform that allows people to trade services, and will play a crucial role in the Masterplan’s vision of having ICM result in Singapore’s economic growth.
5.Building a R&D ecosystem that supports ICM innovation and commercialisation
By building a resilient R&D system, the committee hopes to Enhance Market Demand for ICM Technologies and also establish a Fast and Affordable Intellectual Property (IP) Licensing Framework. The IP licensing framework will encourage a smoother flow of IPs into the ecosystem for government-funded R&D. These plans will take effect in areas such as media production, digital advertising, cyber security, advanced robotics, cloud computing and more.
Infocomm Media Master plan is a follow up on the Singapore's 10-year plan to grow the infocomm sector, the iN2015 Masterplan, launched in 2006, an ascendant of the first 1981’s National Computerisation plan.
In a typical Singapore’s project style, iN2015 was crafted as a living blueprint, jointly developed by the public and private sectors, aiming “to navigate Singapore's transition into An Intelligent Nation, to fuel creativity and enable innovation among businesses and individuals by providing an infocomm platform to connect businesses, individuals and communities, to enable access to the world's resources and for Singapore to export her ideas, products and services to the global marketplace”.
Goals of the Singapore's iN2015 strategy were to
- To establish an ultra-high speed, pervasive, intelligent and trusted infocomm infrastructure
- To develop a globally competitive infocomm industry
- To develop an infocomm-savvy workforce and globally competitive infocomm manpower
To spearhead the transformation of key economic sectors, government and society through more sophisticated and innovative use of infocomm
The building blocks of iN2015 were to establish an ultra-high speed, pervasive, intelligent and trusted infocomm infrastructure, develop a globally competitive infocomm industry, develop an infocomm-savvy workforce and globally competitive infocomm manpower, and spearhead the transformation of key economic sectors, government and society through infocomm.
Those building blocks included
An integrated government, furnishing citizens with more proactive, user-friendly, responsive and integrated Government services even on the move. Giving ability to provide feedback and exchange views with the Government on public policies and initiatives from anywhere, at anytime.
Empowering learners, empower individuals to learn at one's own pace, place, and time. Beyond textbooks, giving students and teachers access to a wealth of interactive digital learning resources. Outside the school, teachers can monitor the progress of learners through new assessment modes and form virtual communities to learn from and collaborate with others within and outside Singapore.
Enhancing experience and services, allowing visitors to have personal Digital Concierge deliver intelligent personalised information and services on demand, raise customer service standards, drive efficiencies in supply chains, and generate new revenue sources; enhance the growth and competitiveness of the tourism hospitality and retail sectors.
Creation of a digital marketplace, providing the framework to establish Singapore as a digital marketplace for creation and commercialisation of new interactive and digital media technologies, content and services; establishing Singapore as the global centre for the processing, management and trading of digital assets.
Improving healthcare and biomedical sciences, linking hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and laboratories with patients' homes, enabling healthcare professionals to access comprehensive patient information instantly; develop the infrastructure that will transform biomedical research into healthcare delivery and empower individuals, giving them more control of their health through access to personal healthcare records and relevant healthcare information.
Financial services, making Singapore a premier wealth management centre, with intelligent data management and analysis and efficient back- office processes and the assurance of authentication, privacy, information systems, and security, with automated reporting, corporate transparency and greater analytical coverage.
Enabling high-value manufacturing, augmenting high value-added activities such as research and product development, develop new manufacturing services business models, reduce time to markets and support one platform for national trade information and transactions.
In 2014, Singapore has an established infocomm industry and a strong pool of infocomm manpower. Infocomm adoption rates in Singapore have also continued their steady rise as infocomm has become an integral part of life.
Singapore has consistently performed well in international infocomm and e-Government rankings such as the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report and the Waseda University World e-Government Ranking, which monitors and analyses the development of e-Government worldwide.
The government is mindful that the infocomm landscape will continue to evolve. The private sector led committee proposed to create a heterogeneous network to provide seamless transitions to the best available network in range. They also plan to boost the start-up scene where Singapore-based ICM start-ups can tap on the expertise, international connections and capital of a wide network of private investors. Additionally, they plan to create data marketplace where private and public sector datasets are available to help generate new applications, products and services.