November 30, 2020

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Defence Science and Technology Agency of Singapore celebrates 20 years of leveraging technology to protect the nation

The Defence Science and Technology Agency of Singapore celebrated it’s 20th-anniversary last week. The Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) implements defence technology plans, acquires defence equipment and supplies, and develops defence infrastructure for the Ministry of Defence.

Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat made a speech at DSTA’s 20th Anniversary outlining the many achievements and contributions DSTA has made to keeping Singapore safe.

The Minister also announced during his speech that the government will be investing heavily into science, research and innovation. “We are finalising our Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 plans, and will be investing more than 20 billion dollars in science, research and innovation over the next five years.”

Technology keeping Singapore’s fighting capabilities ahead of the curve

“DSTA has grown by leaps and bounds since then. You have built a range of deep expertise – from our air, naval and land systems, to C3 and cybersecurity. Our locally designed and built platforms – like the Hunter Armoured Fighting Vehicle and Littoral Mission Vessel – are a testament to your ability to translate technology and plans into reality. These capabilities have kept our fighting capabilities ahead of the curve.”

The Hunter is the first fully digitalised armoured fighting vehicle. The Hunter fleet not only has better firepower, mobility and protection but also requires fewer operators compared to its predecessor, the Ultra M113.

DSTA has used virtual reality to provide a higher level of training, as seen in the Navy’s Littoral Mission Vessel Simulation Centre.

DSTA has also developed advanced cybersecurity solutions. Leveraging AI, to be able to better detect anomalies in their systems, and to learn and adapt as threats evolve.

“The Smart Air Base that is under development is one example of how we are heading in this direction. Together with our Air Force and other partners, you have taken an innovative fusion of AI, data analytics, robotics and other emerging technologies.”

DSTA investing in the youth and the future of STEM

The Minister acknowledge how DSTA has been actively building a pipeline of future engineers and scientists, by nurturing an interest in STEM among students to realise these possibilities.

The Young Defence Scientists’ Programme and BrainHack has given students the opportunity to view the possibilities, for example in unmanned and space technologies.

How DSTA step up in times of crisis

“Time and again, the men and women of DSTA have gone beyond the call of duty in times of crisis. In 2003, you adapted military technology to develop thermal scanners for temperature screening during SARS. In our ongoing fight against COVID-19, you have likewise contributed various solutions to support critical operations – from co-developing temperature self-check systems and Mobile Swab Stations to tapping your networks to procure emergency healthcare supplies amidst global supply chain uncertainties.”

To support the resumption of activities post-Circuit Breaker, DSTA also developed solutions to aid contact tracing, and medical and routine swabbing operations. Some of you also stepped forward to volunteer in swab testing operations and served as safe distancing ambassadors.