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Industry partners government to benefit businesses and Singaporeans through Infocomm Media 2025

Singapore – The Government working hand in hand with the industry will be key to Singapore’s success in riding the next wave of opportunities as a Smart Nation.

Three new partnerships – using robots in preschools, enhancing connectivity and developing tech professionals – were announced by Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim at the opening of Infocomm Media Business Exchange 2016. Minister Yaacob also shared progress of the Infocomm Media 2025 (ICM2025) plan launched last year, and articulated his vision of how Singapore is positioning ourselves for the future.

Robots for Early Childhood Education

Children, especially pre-schoolers, learn through imaginative play[1] and storytelling. The introduction of age and developmentally appropriate technologies can enhance pre-schoolers’ learning experience. Apart from developing their creativity, children are also encouraged to interact in a group setting and to learn to work as a team. Social robots are one such technology that can complement traditional learning methods by adding new elements of imagination into playing and learning for pre-schoolers. The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is taking a step into the future by collaborating with SoftBank Telecom Singapore and the Nanyang Technological University Robotics Research Centre to explore the use of social robots in early childhood education. Since April 2016, two social robots – Pepper and NAO – are being piloted at My First Skool Jurong Point and MY World @ Bukit Panjang respectively, to complement pre-school learning through collaborative play and interactive storytelling. The pilot will run till October 2016.

Enhancing Connectivity

[email protected] has gone through a series of enhancements, such as the increase in speed and coverage, as well as the introduction of the SIM login feature[2] to enhance users’ experience. IDA is looking into a new development area, to explore the possibility of expanding the pervasiveness of [email protected] into outdoor spaces. Sentosa for example, is now covered by more than 200 hotspots spread across various outdoor locations. IDA will be partnering Aruba, M1, Skylab and Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) in a new Green Wi-Fi Pilot @ Sentosa initiative. To be deployed along the Merlion Walk by early June, the pilot will explore using solar energy to power outdoor Wi-Fi in a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable manner. IDA and SDC will review the pilot results and consider deploying more outdoor [email protected] hotspots across Sentosa. SDC will also be piloting a trial on its mobile app to ensure seamless connection to [email protected]

Developing Tech Professionals

Launched in March 2016, the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) is an integrated approach to ICT skills acquisition and practitioner training, both in core ICT and sector-specific areas. The objective is to create better job placement outcomes. To coordinate the development of TeSA, a Governing Council has been set up and chairpersons of Sector Committees have been appointed, who will in turn look into appointing their members within the next few weeks. IDA will also be identifying specialised lead training providers for different sectors. Minister Yaacob announced the members of the Governing Council today.

Mr Gabriel Lim, CE-designate of the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Co-Managing Director of IDA, will chair the Governing Council. Representing the ICT industry, members include Ms Shirley Wong, Chairman of Singapore IT Federation; Mr Howie Lau, President, Singapore Computer Society; and Mr Alvin Ong, President, IT Management Association. To represent the hirers in the economy, the council will include Mr Robert Yap Min Choy, Deputy Honorary Secretary, Singapore National Employers Federation.

As a whole-of-government initiative, TeSA will also see representation from Mr Ng Cher Pong, CEO, Workforce Development Authority of Singapore; Mr Augustin Lee, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Manpower; and Ms Jacqueline Poh, CE-designate, Government Technology Agency.

The Governing Council will be further supported by hirers of tech manpower in sector committees, starting with Financial Services, Healthcare and ICT. They will all work collaboratively with the aim of creating job placement outcomes for working professionals. The chairs and co-chairs of these three sector committees are also members of the Governing Council. They are:

• Co-Chairs for TeSA Finance: Mr Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer of MAS, and Ms Susan Hwee, the Managing Director and Head of Group Technology and Operations, at UOB, the current bank chairing the Association of Banks in Singapore.

• Chair for TeSA Healthcare: Dr Chong Yoke Sin, CEO of Integrated Health Information Systems or IHIS, the single and largest employer of ICT professionals in the public healthcare sector.

• Co-Chairs for TeSA ICT: Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant CEO of IDA, and the Singapore IT Federation; as well as Mr Lim Kang Song and Mr Benjamin Mah, both leading the Talent and Capabilities Committee within the Singapore IT Federation.

Mr Gabriel Lim, CE-designate of the IMDA and Co-Managing Director of IDA said, “While IMDA will be formally established later this year, work has already started for us, helping Singaporeans and industry stakeholders harness new opportunities as we implement ICM2025. New pilots such as the Green WiFi initiative in Sentosa, and robots in preschools, as well as new initiatives such as TeSA, reflect how we are exploring new ways to collaborate with the industry to grow the ICM sector, build a strong talent pool, and connect our people and communities to the digital economy.”

<Press Release IDA>

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