Third IDA Labs launched, to develop next-gen tech tinkers and thinkers
By Benjamin Cher November 23, 2015
- IDA Labs aims to build tech talent through workshops and training
- Space offered for tinkering with equipment within a public library
THE Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), in partnership with the National Library Board (NLB), has launched its third IDA Labs facility, part of a programme to develop the next generation of technology talent.
This third facility is located at the Jurong Regional Library, spans 135 sq metres and is dubbed IDA [email protected]. The other IDA Labs are located at IDA’s headquarters and the National Design Centre.
The IDA Labs programme was launched in March 2014 to encourage and foster a mind-set of continuous experimentation within youth. More than 250 workshops for over 9,000 participants have been conducted to date.
The whole idea is to help Singaporeans move from being just passive consumers of technology and into active creators, according to Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information.
“Visitors to IDA Labs can look forward to getting hands-on experience tinkering with technologies like 3D printers, robotics and microcontrollers,” he said at the launch.
“From talks about technology to hands-on workshops, these activities target a wide spectrum of visitors to make tech and innovation part of our lives,” he added.
IDA [email protected] will allow booking of select maker kits and equipment during ‘tinkering hours’ within the premises. A 3D printer and maker kits such as Arduino Uno, littleBits, Makey Makey and Raspberry Pi B+ are available for the public to use.
The facilities and equipment are not just for ‘techies,’ said Yaacob, stressing that a Smart Nation requires everyone to build on each other’s strengths.
“We want to encourage co-creation between different groups of society – to bring together the artists and techies, to come up with creative solutions to improve our everyday lives,” he said.
Talks and workshops will be held to help familiarise the public with the equipment available in IDA [email protected].
“The heartlands location of the third IDA Labs makes it easier for the community to come together to explore and tinker with tech,” IDA assistant chief executive Khoong Hock Yun said in a statement.
“In our Smart Nation journey, we want to encourage everyone in the community to adopt and cultivate a mindset of continuous experimentation,” he added.
Meanwhile, Yaacob said he hoped that IDA [email protected] would help inspire the innovators and entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
“Just as libraries pass on knowledge through books, we hope that the IDA [email protected] can pass on the spirit of experimentation and innovation through the tools being made available,” he said.
“We want to help the public develop confidence in creating technology … and contribute meaningful projects to advance society,” he added.
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