SINGAPORE – 30 September, 2016: The Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) was officially launched today following the restructuring of the Info-communications Development Authority (IDA) and the Media Development Authority (MDA).
Speaking at the official launch event at Infinite Studios, Minister for Communications and Information Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim announced IMDA’s strategies to spearhead Singapore’s transition into a digital future by helping businesses, workers and the community to harness the opportunities from Infocomm Media (ICM) convergence and technological change. These strategies include developing a strong ICM sector to power and transform our economy;building an environment of trust through regulations; and improving Singaporeans’ lives through ICM. The new IMDA logo, signifying the abundant opportunities in the ICM sector, was also unveiled at the event. The event was attended by 700 guests comprising industry players from the info-comm and media sectors, representatives from partner agencies, programme beneficiaries and members of the public.
Developing a strong ICM Sector to power and transform our economy
IMDA will roll out plans to help businesses take advantage of ICM and technology to grow.
For instance, urban logistics solutions can reduce the number of trucks on the road, cut delivery manpower, and reduce in-waiting and queuing time for deliveries. An initiative together with SPRING and CapitaLand Mall Trust Management Limited will see delivery schedules coordinated to improve the efficiency of loading and unloading of goods at malls. The initiative has been introduced at Bedok Mall and Tampines Mall.
IMDA will also launch the Smart Facility management (Smart FM) initiative, which will help Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) service providers from the cleaning, security guarding, landscaping and maintenance sectors to incorporate smart technology such as sensors, data and analytics and autonomous system for facility management in commercial, retail and industrial buildings. IMDA is partnering Starmall to deploy Smart FM at Jurong Point to increase productivity with smart tech as an enabler. IMDA is also exploring launching similar trials with AsiaMalls Management. This initiative is supported by IMDA’s Enhanced iSPRINT programme which helps SMEs employ technology solutions in solving sector-wide challenges.
Opportunities abound for businesses and individuals with convergence
IMDA is collaborating with local media company Beach House Pictures to bring classrooms to life, by taking students on immersive and interactive virtual journeys for the learning of Social Studies. The use of VR can transport students to different cultural and historical sites and enable experiential learning without the need to leave the classroom. This exemplifies how the convergence of media content and technology can enhance learning experiences, and open up new business opportunities for local firms to leverage new ICM technologies to climb the value chain.
IMDA will also explore the use of virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) in medical training, which will allow healthcare professionals to be trained in life-saving skills and procedures in a risk-free environment. To achieve this goal, IMDA will be partnering Side Effects Pte Ltd and other digital media and tech companies.
To assist the growth of young and promising Singapore-based ICM start-ups, IMDA will expand the [email protected] ([email protected]) programme to help start-ups in the media sector through a collaboration with Mediacorp on their Mediapreneur incubator programme. [email protected] will complement Mediapreneur’s efforts to nurture media-related start-ups by providing mentorship in areas such as technical product testing, building of financial models and fund raising pitches, tailored to the different growth stages of start-ups.
Improving Singaporeans’ lives through ICM
IMDA also recognises technology can play a key role in improving everyday lives, in areas such as healthcare. One community-driven initiative by The Good Life Co-operative (TGLC) aims to put health monitoring kiosks in every Community Centre and Residents’ Corner to make sure residents stay healthy and live independently. It is currently developing the system which will involve 200 community users. Concurrently, SATA Commhealth (SATA) is using Telehealth solution to deliver care to 60 of its chronic diseases patients in the Southeast CDC. Both initiatives are supported by IT solutions providers Philips Healthcare and Napier Healthcare Solutions Pte Ltd respectively.
As part of IMDA’s Home Access (HA) Programme, IMDA will be collaborating with the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) to partner three social service organisations to reach out to low-income households. Beneficiaries will receive a Home Access bundle comprising a basic computing device (i.e. tablet) and four years of internet connectivity. They will be guided on how to use their tablets through classes at the centre or home-based trainings for beneficiaries who are unable to travel. This new support programme will ensure beneficiaries are equipped with fundamental skills to use the tablets and reap the benefits of being connected through technology.
Minister said, “IMDA’s success ultimately depends on whether it has used ICM to empower possibilities for all Singaporeans to participate in our digital future. While other countries grapple with digital divides, let us set the example of using ICM to generate a digital multiplier for our people.” Reiterating the need for IMDA to take full advantage of convergence in the ICM sector, he added, “The opportunities are there. It is up to us to seize them and harness the full potential of technology and media to empower a future of possibilities for Singapore. It is no easy task, and will require open minds, hard work, and, most importantly, close partnerships between the government, industry and the people.”