The greatest innovations in the history of mankind were born out of crisis and necessity. The ability to adapt and innovate in dire times is what separates success from failure; leaders that show the way forward from those that follow.
OpenGov is always seeking to recognize and promote such leaders of innovation. This pursuit has led to partner with SMU’s Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which provides support and a platform for budding innovators.
One such group of mavericks is the team at Anzene. OpenGov had the opportunity to speak with Joshua Lin, Chief Operating Officer – Business Development & Partnership at Anzene.
Anzene is a cleantech hardware start up dedicated to producing standardized, smart and safe batteries powered with blockchain for green energy transition in smart cities.
Joshua told us that the genesis of this idea began in August 2018, when he and two other friends, who shared the passion for tech and concern for the environment, decided to create a portable power block would allow consumers to utilize renewable energy resources to power urban lifestyle.
This shared vision led to the creation of the Anzene energy Block. The energy block is a cuboid, weighs around 2 Kilograms and has the capability to store and channel solar and wind energy.
The team’s intention is to make it as accessible as possible to all specifications. With this is mind, it has versatile voltage outputs and can power different brands and kinds of electric vehicles and urban home appliances.
It come with various USB ports and can also be attached to a universal AC adapter that allows powering multiple devices simultaneously. It is a gift for people who work remotely and off grid as it gives them more flexibility and secured access to power.
Joshua shared that there were two major focus points for the team while developing the technology for this power wonder: 1) Smart and 2) Safe.
1) Smart: Anzene energy systems have IOT features (4G and Low range radio communication, data loggers) that are powered by blockchain to track green energy generation, usage, and storage. This feature will eventually allow it to be used by city planners to predict and plan urban energy consumption patterns.
2) Safe: There have been ample incidents in just the recent past of batteries overheating and catching on fires. In order to ensure the safety of its user, Anzene power block comes with a patented mini fire extinguisher pre-installed and connected to its battery management system.
The moment the block detects excessive heat in the battery, the extinguisher deploys automatically ensuring the safety of the user. It is purely a preventive measure by the Anzene team as they are using the superior quality Lishen cells that do not overheat unless it is abused or used carelessly.
Anzene’s novel energy idea and consciousness for the ecosystem has earned the team recognition on different platforms in various countries.
The first accolade was at the 2019 K-Startup Grand Challenge in South Korea – a nation that is a huge powerhouse for battery manufacturing and recycling. Anzene was among the Top 20 teams that gave a demonstration of their product after 3.5 months of acceleration.
Being a Singapore Management University (SMU) alumni, Joshua and team enrolled in SMU, Institute of Innovation & Entrepreneurship’s incubation programme – Business Innovations Generator (BIG) which gave the team valuable exposure of ASEAN market, and was one of the 7 teams selected for the third Shell Idearefinery Programme, Singapore.
Anzene plans to launch the power block in market in the second quarter of 2021. They are still fine-tuning the innovation and plan to make it more powerful using a swapping station with multiple energy blocks.
Utilising wind and solar energy require specialised equipment like panels and turbines to harness the power. These are often bulky and too complex for everyone to use. The team exploring options for consumer grade channelling equipment to make their energy block more accessible.
They also plan to modify it to make it useful to rural areas too. Joshua said the teams is determined to power villages that are off the grid using their innovative energy resource. At the very least they want their block to be able to power basic home appliances like lights, television, radio, etc. to reduce use of pollution causing non-renewable sources of energy like kerosene.
OpenGov is always eager to hear of and encourage innovation leaders like Anzene. If you have any innovations, you would like to bring to our attention please do get in touch with us.
The central city of Da Nang and the Ministry of Finance have topped the 2021 Digital Transformation Index (DTI) rankings in the cities/ provinces and ministry categories, respectively. The Ministry of Information and Telecommunications (MIC) presented the Index at the third meeting of the National Committee on Digital Transformation, earlier this week.
Da Nang city topped the ranking for cities and provinces, scoring 0.6419 points, 0.1545 higher than the 2020 ranking released last year. Thua Thien-Hue came in second place (0.5872 points) and Ho Chi Minh City climbed two spots to rank third. The top ten also included Bac Ninh, Lang Son, Ninh Binh, Quang Ninh, Thai Nguyen, Binh Phuoc, and Bac Giang.
The Ministry of Finance led the rankings of 17 ministries and ministry-level agencies providing public services, gaining 0.6321 points, 0.13 higher than the previous ranking. It was followed by the Ministry of Planning and Investment and Vietnam Social Security. Also in the top ten were the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications, the Environment and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Transport, and the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology jumped two spots to rank first among nine ministries and ministry-level agencies that do not offer public services with 0.4736 points. It was followed by Vietnam Television (VTV) and Vietnam News Agency (VNA). VNA led in two indicators on cybersecurity and digital transformation.
The MIC Deputy Minister stated that 2021 was the second year Vietnam had implemented the national programme on digital transformation despite the adverse resurgence of COVID-19. In this context, Vietnam has pioneered the application of various digital apps and platforms, attracting millions of users. He urged ministries and localities nationwide to continue the acceleration of digital transformation.
In February, Da Nang became the second city in Southeast Asia to deploy chatbot tech in tourism. To increase the variety of tourist self-service tools and information channels, the municipal Tourism Department had coordinated with a private artificial intelligence (AI) developer to create and pilot Chatbot Danang Fantasticity, the first automatic tourism information search and support channel via text message conversation in Vietnam.
As OpenGov Asia reported, during its six-month trial, the chatbot was updated with relevant information about famous destinations, events, weather, ATM locations, and hotlines, among others. According to the Da Nang Tourism Promotion Centre, Event Countdown is one of Danang FantastiCity Chatbot’s notable features. The function helps tourists avoid missing out on any ongoing or future events in the city and can even plan routes to the destinations.
By registering with an email or phone number, tourists can receive e-coupon bar codes with price promotions. A wide range of attraction sites, tourist activities, and entertainment outlets around the city offer e-coupons via the chatbot. The technology can also communicate with international tourists as it offers English for all its information categories. The chatbot will be available in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.
Further, as part of its digital transformation journey, in April, traders at wet markets in Da Nang went cashless using the e-wallet mobile application Viettel Money, under a 4.0 wet market model. Owners of over 1,000 stalls at Da Nang’s three major wet markets, namely Con, Han, and Dong Da, used QR codes that allowed customers to make online payments through access to select banks and Viettel Money.
Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Affairs has been keen to accelerate the implementation of projects to organise communication lines in the different areas of the major cities in the region, such as Chiang Mai, Nong Khai.
The Ministry, through the National Telecommunications Public Company Limited, a Thai state-owned telecommunications company operates a project in various provinces to promote tourism and improve the road landscape in Udon Dutsadi and Nong Khai Municipality.
Recently, the Minister of Digital Economy and Society (DES), Chaiwut Thanakmanusorn, visited the provinces of Udon Thani and Nong Khai to assess the state of communication lines that had been reported to be experiencing communication issues.
Minister Chaiwut wants to ensure the relevant integration works to solve such problems immediately and to organise the communication lines to have a beautiful view and safe for the lives and property of the residents.
The Minister said that all lines that go through the mess will be put underground by 2023, which is run by the company National Telecommunications Public Company Limited and telecommunication service providers, whose mobile operators will rent underground pipes to connect with each other. He acknowledged that there are a lot of projects and plans for the provinces and to their residents.
Meanwhile, Minister Chaiwut is confident that start-up companies will be an important force in bringing digital technology to create a business – a new, modern service that generates income to support the country’s economic growth in response to the Thailand 4.0 policy.
He emphasised that start-ups are what the government encourages because he believes it is the cornerstone of the future economy as the new generation is doing modern business to adopt digital technology. This could lead to good opportunities in the country and generate income for both entrepreneurs including making the economy grow.
The nation’s Digital GDP is to be driven by at least 30% of all industries within the next 5 years. Hence, the Ministry of Digital the Digital Economy Promotion Agency has continuously promoted and encouraged enterprises to start applying technology and digital innovations in their business operations through various driving measures.
Particularly, the initiatives or financial aid for creating digital enterprises that promote and support partnerships with digital start-ups to implement digital technologies.
In addition, Dr Nattapon Natthasomboon, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Digital Economy and Society hosted the recently held meeting of the ASEAN Joint Working Group on Digital.
The meeting was organised to discuss driving the key outcomes of other relevant ASEAN framework meetings; monitoring of the implementation of the ASEAN Digital Master Plan 2025 and the consideration of detailed project proposals for implementation in 2023, which has given importance to accelerating the development of the digital economy.
Furthermore, Noppawan Chaiyamun, spokesman for the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society for Political Affairs announced a mobile application that will allow people to access government services easily.
The app aims to provide services to citizens such as medical treatment, social security, health insurance, credit bureau information, check civil registration, check traffic tickets, and pay fines, among others. It also includes water and electricity bills that can be paid via QR code. The mobile app is regarded as the centre for governmental services that are intended to benefit the public.
The pandemic has had a significant impact on every country in the world in various sectors and industries. However, the epidemic has also inspired people to speed up their adoption of digital technology. ,This, in turn, has resulted in an increase in the amount of time individuals spend in the digital world.
“The average Indonesian people access the internet for more than 8 hours every day, both to find information and communicate to work online, study online, shop online and other online activities,” says Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, Director General of Informatics Applications at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
According to research conducted by Indonesian internet service providers, 210 million people in Indonesia now utilise the internet, which is 77% of the country’s entire population.
Director General Semuel believes that awareness and responsible management of the processing of personal data must be balanced with people’s lifestyles in the digital world.
The Director General emphasised that all activities in the digital space produce data that can be used to create new services or make decisions and policies. These decisions are often known as “data-driven decisions.”
He added that the legal basis for protecting personal data is still spread across 32 regulations, such as the telecommunications sector, the Electronic Information and Transaction Law and Government Regulation No. 71 of 2019 Concerning the Implementation of Electronic Systems and Transactions.
To provide Indonesia with a comprehensive legal framework that governs the protection of personal data, the Ministry of Communications and Informatics and the Indonesian House of Representatives continue to work on the Personal Data Protection Bill.
Meanwhile, the 3rd Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) Meeting of the G20 Indonesia Presidency ended with a workshop about the flow of data across national borders. The goal of the workshop is to improve the cross-border data flow agenda for the G20 ministerial meeting in September 2022.
Each of the G20 countries held in-depth discussions to reach a mutual agreement on the agenda for cross-country data flows.
Not only G20 member countries, but also private sectors, international organisations, academics, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are taking part in the discussion of the agenda related to data flow across borders.
Indonesia is working hard to implement the cross-border data flow agenda as soon as possible for it to be compatible with the regulations under consideration, particularly the rules pertaining to the draught personal data protection (PDP) legislation.
The expectation is that the rule will safeguard domestic consumers when they engage in financial transactions on the digital market. According to him, Indonesians frequently utilise foreign digital markets.
It will be very vital in the future to execute a cross-border data flow agreement, as this will allow all G20 member countries to have a good impact on each other. Hence, there are currently efforts being made to establish global platform applications that are active in the countries that make up the G20.
As the country with the largest economy in the ASEAN region, Indonesia has pledged to make the problem of the flow of data across borders a topic of discussion at the G20 summit.
When it comes to streamlining the purchase and sale of goods and services, digital industries frequently include the exchange of data across international borders. The constantly expanding realm of electronic commerce is the primary driver of data flows, which ultimately result in data being monetised and contributing to the value of global markets.
For businesses at the vanguard of the digital transformation and to give customers a better experience, 5G makes it possible for technologies like AI, Digital Twin, augmented reality, and extended reality to operate together smoothly.
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) is collaborating with numerous industries to develop new business use-cases and give enterprises the ability to commercialise both locally and internationally as part of the advancement of Singapore’s 5G ecosystem.
Singapore will continue to push the boundaries of innovation through frontier technologies such as 5G. We are excited to work with our industry partners to unlock the real impact of 5G. We look forward to seeing new and exciting ways 5G will benefit our businesses and consumers.
– Lew Chuen Hong, Chief Executive, IMDA
To strengthen Singapore’s 5G ecosystem, three new 5G projects have been launched. SG$ 30 million has been allocated under IMDA’s 5G Innovation Programme to hasten the adoption and commercialisation of 5G products. IMDA announces the projects for which it has awarded funding:
- Asia Pacific’s first 5G mobile edge computing for holomedicine and mixed reality applications
- The first outdoor 5G-enabled augmented reality (AR) experience in the region
- The first maritime 5G AR/VR Smart Glasses solution in Southeast Asia
An emerging field of research called “Holomedicine,” which makes use of holographic displays and pictures to improve and augment healthcare delivery, uses Mixed Reality (MR) technology.
When it comes to the creation and application of mixed reality technology in the healthcare industry, the National University Health System (NUHS) is at the forefront.
This collaboration with IMDA will further strengthen NUHS’ capacity to create MR modules and solutions that will improve clinical capacities, clinicians’ skills, patient trajectories, and patient outcomes.
Additionally, IMDA and its partners will work together to create the first outdoor 5G-enabled cinematic grade AR experience in the region. This experience will make use of the entire computing power and bandwidth of 5G and 5G-enabled mobile devices.
A real-time augmented reality performance in Marina Bay will immerse viewers in a display of expansive, cinematic AR representations of Singapore’s cityscape. This programme will serve as a cutting-edge platform for digital marketing companies and their clients, giving them a more direct line of communication with consumers.
The potential addition of a dedicated Metaverse and a companion game to the App ecosystem is already being considered. Users can download the AR application and use performance tickets purchased through Marina Bay Sands’ website to unlock it.
However, Covid-19 has disrupted physical inspections, site and vessel surveys, and audits, all of which rely substantially on current technological capabilities. IMDA collaborates to create and market 5G-enabled products for the maritime industry.
The inspection and asset maintenance processes are digitalized using smart glasses. Inspection workers can view work instructions via the display headset while wearing Smart Glasses and controlling them with voice commands.
Real-time sensor data can be used in this AR application to monitor equipment performance and onboard system characteristics. Field engineers will be able to record and stream live data to their main office using AR-enabled Smart Glasses to obtain real-time remote advice.
Engineers, clients, and other organisations will be able to perform pre-construction feasibility assessments simultaneously by using smart glasses to conduct remote virtual walkthroughs of a vessel. This will allow potential engineering design issues to be identified earlier, reducing preconstruction risks.
By creating a thriving digital economy and an inclusive digital society, IMDA is at the vanguard of Singapore’s digital development.
To create Singapore as a digital city, it promotes growth in the Infocom Technology and media sectors in tandem with progressive policies, utilising cutting-edge technologies, and fostering local talent and digital infrastructure ecosystems.
Malaysia’s Public Sector Data Center (PDSA) services will be upgraded to specific Cloud Computing services for use by all Government agencies. The Government is looking to integrate its services into what will be known as the government hybrid cloud or the MyGovCloud which combines services from MyGovCloud@PDSA and the Public Cloud and has chosen four Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) to make this happen.
The MyGovCloud Initiative is in line with the Fifth Initiative under Malaysia’s Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDigital) which targets 80% storage usage of Cloud Computing across the public sector this year. It aims to drive the digital transformation of the public sector holistically which can stimulate the growth of the digital economy and agenda digitization throughout the country.
The CSP selection was done following an evaluation of the proposals sent by both domestic and foreign cloud service providers. As a result of this assessment, the Government agreed to appoint a panel of four companies as CSPs to provide the best and most secure cloud services for the government portals.
To empower MyGovCloud, Centralized Contract Agreement Cloud Computing also known as a Cloud Framework Agreement (CFA) was signed between the Government, the CSPs and locally appointed CSPs known as Managed Service Providers (MSPs). The CFA contract with the Government, CSP and MSP involves four CSP companies and four MSP companies.
The involvement of the CSPs and MSPs is expected to open investment potential in the country worth between RM12 billion and RM15 billion by 2025. This investment will serve as the ‘backbone’ of the formation of a sustainable digital ecosystem to achieve sustainable economic growth, thus will make Malaysia the main digital hub in the ASEAN region.
The MyGovCloud initiative is believed to produce more experts in cloud computing through ongoing training and program certification provided by CSP and MSP. This is also possible to improve the competence and ability of civil servants in tandem with current needs and technology.
Through the implementation of CFA, public sector agencies will be able to enjoy a better, faster, and more efficient cloud service and will avail of competitive prices offered at discounted rates in bulk by the CSPs and MSPs. Overall, this CFA agreement is aimed at innovation in the procurement of cloud services across all public sector agencies and will help in strengthening the function and role of MAMPU in the future.
With this deal sealed, it is hoped that more benefits will be enjoyed by the citizens of Malaysia as well as public sector agencies, promoting developmental digital technology among all Malaysians.
The government cloud market is expected to grow from US$15.4 billion in 2017 to US$ 28.8 billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13.4%.
Government departments across the world are realising the importance of maintaining and controlling cloud data for continuity and compliance purposes. The government cloud enables these agencies to manage and store data securely and efficiently, resulting in enhanced and unified teams that can handle bigger projects at an effective cost.
Cloud hosting services provide a slew of advantages for government agencies and other small departments. These services may be taken on rent to fulfil computing power and data storage requirements, as often as needed, instead of a one-time investment being incurred for the procurement of servers and the handling of ongoing expenses towards maintaining expensive data centres.
In addition, the government cloud provides greater computing capability particularly in the implementation of disaster recovery and relief situations, as it enables government agencies to develop customised solutions for backup, with regards to the data and application types, sequence, and backup location. It involves the replication of application and data on a virtual machine, and the data can be recovered automatically when a disruption occurs.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Europe’s largest ports have teamed together to create the world’s longest Green and Digital Corridor. Decarbonising shipping is a top priority for the agency addressing climate change and calls for the cooperation of the entire maritime industry.
“As a trusted global maritime hub, Singapore contributes actively to IMO’s efforts to make international shipping more sustainable, and global supply chains more resilient,” says S Iswaran, Minister for Transport and Minister-in-Charge of Trade Relations, Singapore.
He added that the collaboration demonstrates how like-minded partners can collaborate to supplement the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) efforts and that it will serve as a valuable platform to pilot concepts that can be scaled up for more green and global shipping.
The MoU will bring together stakeholders from the entire supply chain to launch the first sustainable vessels on the route by 2027. While international shipping currently relies heavily on marine gas oil (MGO) and low-sulfur fuel oil, sustainable alternatives such as biofuels, including biogases, are becoming more widely available.
Other alternatives, such as synthetic methane, hydrogen, and hydrogen-based fuels such as ammonia and methanol, are in various stages of research and development in preparation for future trials and deployment.
Each alternative fuel has its own set of challenges in terms of cost, availability, safety, and range limitations due to lower energy density when compared to fossil fuels. To address these issues, the MOU will bring together a broad coalition of shippers, fuel suppliers, and other businesses to collaborate on potential solutions.
Apart from alternative fuels, the MoU aims to improve maritime efficiency, safety, and the transparent flow of goods by establishing a digital trade lane for the exchange of relevant data, electronic documentation, and standards. This will allow for the smooth movement of vessels and cargo while also optimising vessel arrival times from port to port.
The port authorities will collaborate with some action partners as well as other supply chain partners. This will allow the Green and Digital Corridor project to gain investor trust, attract green financing, and launch joint bunkering pilots and trials for digitalization and the use of low- and zero-carbon fuels along the route.
Moreover, shipping is one of the most important industries to decarbonize because of its extensive international reach and growing volume. Authorities can enable carriers to switch to zero-carbon fuels and accelerate the transition to more sustainable shipping by bringing parties from across the supply chain together along one of the world’s busiest trade lanes.
The MoU bolsters Singapore’s strong economic partnership by reaffirming the country’s commitment to facilitating a multi-fuel bunkering transition as part of the Maritime Singapore Decarbonisation Blueprint 2050 and accelerating digitalisation efforts to improve maritime efficiency and supply chain resilience.
The pilot will supplement efforts by the shipping industry and partners to support the decarbonisation and digitalisation transition for international shipping, with a focus on developing and scaling up green and digital solutions for wider adoption.
On the other hand, OpenGov Asia earlier reported that the MPA will keep advancing research and development, implementing marine technology (MarineTech), and enhancing maritime cybersecurity skills to establish industry-wide capabilities. This should increase the nation’s resilience and ability to handle disruptions.
Beyond 31 December 2022, MPA will continue to provide cash support for the deployment of previously authorised digital solutions to marine firms that qualify. More than 3,000 SMEs in the Sea Transport subsectors will be qualified to apply for co-funding because of the expansion.
The Ministry of Communication and Informatics together with the Communication and Information Office of East Java Province, and the Indonesian Anti-Defamation Society (MAFINDO) recently held a Digital Literacy Week which aimed to increase the digital literacy capacity of the local communities and the millennials so that they can utilise the digital technology effectively and responsibly.
There is a pressing need for digital literacy since the pace of technological advancement continues to outpace the skills of the human workforce. To keep up with the pace of technology advancements, HR development needs to accelerate.
– Hudiyono, Head, Communications and Information Technology, East Java Province
The Digital Literacy Week is one part of the National Digital Literacy Programme entitled Indonesia Makin Cakap Digital which raises four pillars of digital literacy, namely Digital Ethics, Digital Capability, Digital Security, and Digital Culture. This activity aims to reach 50 million people by 2024.
Digital literacy has been promoted since 2017 by the Ministry of Communications and Informatics but because of the pandemic, digital literacy programmes became part of President Jokowi’s vision and mission efforts regarding the development of digital human resources.
With this, millennials or the younger generation are referred to as one of the potential generations in the current era of technological disruption.
Moreover, the Ministry of Communication and Informatics has created digital literacy modules such as the digital security module on fundamental personal digital privacy and security practices; hoax resistance class; personal branding class; and creator content class.
The digital literacy discussion assembly, in which participants from millennial groups and local communities explored how to become more digitally literate using the four pillars of digital literacy, was attended by more than 350 individuals.
Meanwhile, according to the Director General of Information and Public Communication of the Ministry of Communication and Informatics, Usman Kansong, the development of digital skills for MSMEs is needed to be able to promote their products in the online market (e-commerce). In addition, with digital skills, MSMEs are expected to be able to produce new technology or applications that can be used by other similar business actors.
The agency also involves scholars, priests and the younger generation to encourage the productive use of digital space. Director General Usman emphasised that the Ministry continues to aid MSMEs in actively selling on digital platforms.
After the recently held 3rd Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) Meeting of the G20 Presidency, the Minister of Communication and Information, Johnny G. Plate visited the MSME exhibition booth in West Manggarai Regency.
The Minister noticed the product produced and interacted with West Manggarai MSME entrepreneurs and appreciated the process of agricultural products and packaging with good, attractive designs and the “Proudly Made Indonesia” logo.
The Minister also provides input so that MSME entrepreneurs can narrate their products well and are able to take advantage of technological advances to market MSME products and transact with buyers such as barcode technology.
Local entrepreneurs hope that the MSME digitisation process will be able to elevate the West Manggarai MSMEs to compete at national and international levels.
The visit of Minister Johnny is a matter of pride for them, and they hope that the process of digitising MSMEs will be able to elevate West Manggarai MSMEs to international markets, which will lead to improving the economy of MSME entrepreneurs.