Singapore government to partner industry to spark innovation and build capabilities in a Smart Nation
By Digital News Asia May 25, 2017
- Government will be calling for a projected US$1.73 billion of ICT tenders in FY17
- SMEs accounted for close to two-thirds of ICT contracts in FY16
FOLLOWING the formation of the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG), the Singaporean government will accelerate Smart Nation deployment and digital transformation, and further partner and co-create with the industry to apply digital and smart technologies that improve the lives of citizens.
SNDGG, comprising the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) and the Government Technology Agency (GovTech), is leading the development of Smart Nation infrastructure and applications, and driving digital transformation across the public sector.
Together, SNDGG will be focusing on national projects that include the National Digital Identity, cashless payments with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Smart Nation Sensor Platform (SNSP).
Continued investment in data analytics, sensors, robotics and cybersecurity
To support the momentum in digitalisation efforts, the government will be calling for a projected S$2.4 billion (US$1.73 billion) of ICT tenders in FY17 and invest in technologies such as data analytics, sensors and related software and systems.
This will include a tender for data analytics and another for communications infrastructure to link up data centres and IoT (Internet-of-Things) sensors.
The government will also be partnering the industry to increase the deployment of robotics. For instance, Temasek Polytechnic will be looking for an industry partner to build an inventory robot which will utilise RFID technology to scan the print collection and navigate in its library. This will help the library carry out more and faster inventory stocktakes to boost productivity and efficiency, as well as provide early detection of missing or wrongly shelved books. Such initiatives aim to provide a cost-effective way to automate simple repetitive tasks and improve productivity.
In addition, while the government has put in place a range of measures which minimises the likelihood of government systems being infected by malware, it will continue to invest in cybersecurity to ensure that government agencies are equipped with best cybersecurity practices and next-generation technologies including advanced threat analytics and automation.
SMEs accounted for close to two-thirds of ICT contracts in FY16
GovTech chief executive Jacqueline Poh (pic, above) said, “We will continue to work with the industry and provide them with the foundational support to build Singapore as a Smart Nation. On the other hand, companies will also need to boost their ICT and engineering capabilities in order to keep up with the fast-changing technological landscape.”
She added, “Besides the established companies, we are glad that there is a growing pool of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that have stepped up and embraced new technologies. Last year, SMEs accounted for about two-thirds of the total number of ICT contracts awarded.”
An example of a local technology SME that was awarded ICT contracts last year is DC Frontiers, a local technology company accredited by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).
DC Frontiers offers an artificial intelligence solution known as Handshakes, which analyses networks of connections between people and companies to give users insights into, among other things, legal ownership, conflicts of interest and possible fraud. Last year, it began working with procurement and internal audit teams in the government to enhance and automate checks for conflict of interest.
Through the Accreditation@IMDA programme, promising ICT SMEs will be identified and proactively involved in the government’s digital transformation efforts. To-date, companies under the programme have won more than 90 projects with various government agencies and are currently engaged in many more project discussions.
These announcements were made at GovTech’s annual Smart Nation and Digital Government Industry Briefing (IB), where GovTech provides updates on government strategies and business opportunities for the ICT industry.
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