Government agencies and enterprises are in an unprecedented time, going through the largest digital transformation in history. The pandemic has vaulted the government headfirst into the next stage of digital transformation – catalysed by the need for online delivery and powered by a huge surge in data. Indeed, there is a good case to be made that digital transformation is likely to fall short unless it is based on a solid foundation of “data transformation.”
To become a truly data-driven organisation that operates in real-time, agencies are undertaking multiple modernisation initiatives, including advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, .cloud and data management.
Government agencies are beginning to take a deeper look at capturing data about streaming events. Being able to act as soon as events occur improves operational responsiveness and organisational effectiveness. The challenge is moving beyond the limited value that static data assessment provides.
Through strengthening data management, agencies can improve integration in the planning, implementation and evaluation of development policies. All stakeholders believe that implementing e-government (SPBE) will be key to efficient, high-quality, transparent and accountable public services by making use of efficiently integrated data from both central and regional governments.
The Government of Indonesia is taking the right steps in the direction of utilising data to serve its citizens better. Satu Data Indonesia has been established by President Joko Widodo through Presidential Regulation Number 39 of 2019 – the legal foundation for creating accurate, up-to-date, integrated and accountable data.
Satu Data Indonesia is the answer to proper data management, including supporting various urgent government programs such as handling the pandemic, providing social assistance, and digital transformation.
Satu Data Indonesia also plays a strategic role in efforts to develop the digital sector and optimise productive efforts for the advancement of the nation. Therefore, accelerating the implementation of one data policy is the key to the success of digital transformation and supporting the government in resolving strategic issues.
This points to several questions:
- Are the agencies well equipped to manage, process and analyse the volume of data at hand?
- Do the agencies have the technologies to make sure data is standardised and interoperable?
- Are agencies able to uncover insights from those events and make real-time intelligent decisions?
- Can agencies utilise insights to define, test and refine projects?
Government missions are no longer static, but continuously in motion, handling the “now.” To be effective, agencies need to continually innovate to provide seamless and easy-to-use services and improve the resilience and security of digital platforms for citizens, businesses and public officers.
Agencies need a complete streaming data platform that treats data in motion, whether it is driving action or producing real-time analysis. And this platform must be capable of supporting workloads anywhere, anytime across the nation, whether it is in the cloud, on-prem or at the edge and connect them all.
The OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight held on 21 April 2022 was aimed at imparting knowledge on how public sector agencies can power mission outcomes, better serve citizens, enhance IT efficiency and maximise productivity with a platform built for data in motion.
Turning government policy into practice
Kicking off the session, Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director & Editor-in-Chief acknowledges that the pandemic has brought significant changes in culture and perspective. Data is needed everywhere, Mohit asserts, but ‘data is only an asset if you can use it.” He adds that, like oil, data needs to be refined – accurate, accessible, clean and trustworthy.
In Singapore, Singpass allows access to over 2,000 services from over 700 government agencies and businesses and more than 29,000,000 transactions are made per month. Businesses and agencies can tap on Singpass’ application programming interfaces (APIs) to enable access or create new value-added services for Singapore residents.
A single source of truth is critical, Mohit believes. Data is only valuable when institutions have a holistic view of data. “Are organisations able to manage, process and analyse the volume of data at hand? Is the Data standardised and interoperable? Can we make real-time intelligent decisions?”
Size, however, is not a barrier to the adoption of data, Mohit claims, as he shares the example of India’s application of centralised data.
There are several issues at hand. Firstly data has a shelf-life – not all data is valuable for eternity. Secondly, citizens are becoming more demanding and want service any time, anywhere and on any device. Organisations and government services need to adopt technology to keep up with rising expectations. Fundamentally, Satu Data will take time to happen.
Closing his address, Mohit strongly recommends organisations look for specialists to partner with. “Let the experts do what they do best,” Mohit urges. “It not only allows the best systems and infrastructure to be put in place but also frees up organisations to focus on their core.”
Harnessing technology in centralising data
Delvi Eka Putra, Principal Pre-Sales Solutions Architect, SAS Indonesia spoke next about how Data Management and Advanced Analytics can help with mitigating the challenges of realising Satu Data.
He began by elaborating on the challenges of the Satu Data initiative. Firstly, there are diverse sources of data – central government, state institutions, ministries/non-ministries -across a widespread area, consisting of provinces and cities:
- Various applications
- Multiple storages
- Various Formats
- Data Duplication
- Data Provision
- Data Quality & Validity
- Data Security
Those are the areas that SAS is able to provide help in, Delvi further explained. SAS has expertise in data management with AI/ML & in-memory processing that can accelerate the processing of large amounts of data. Some ways SAS is able to provide assistance include:
- Access to multiple sources on the server/cloud in batches/ streaming
- Data Integration
- Data Standardisation, QKB
- Profile and Metadata Management.
- Quality & Integrity
- Master Data Management
SAS Advanced Analytics aids business improvements because it helps with forecast and optimisation, visual investigation, decision management, ML/AI/DL/Statistic and Computer Vision. Delvi shared about the use case of SAS® Data Management and SAS® Advanced Analytics in Government Institutions
- Automation, predictive modelling, text mining, network link analysis to detect fraud in state revenues and expenditures
- Analysis of past data and other factors to improve the accuracy of budget management
- Health and Social Welfare
- Data Management and Analytics accelerate vaccine and drug research
- Contact Tracing to accelerate the tracking of people with infectious diseases
- Forecasting optimises health facilities and personnel as well as pharmaceutical inventory
Civil Defense and Security
- Detection and investigation to solve crimes and terrorism, well as improving strategy, operations and tactics
- Predictive Maintenance to improve combat equipment readiness
- Workforce Analytics to improve quality, quantity, and personnel readiness
- Infrastructure and Smart City
- Analyse IoT sensors, weather data, and other data in real-time for monitoring, predicting, and optimising disaster prevention and management
- Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning to improve services, health, public safety, more efficiently
In conclusion, Delvi believes that SAS can contribute to government agencies and health institutions in healthcare and education. SAS solutions and technologies have been implemented by governments in various countries and government agencies have benefited from SAS.
Transforming government through data
Chris Buxton, Chief Digital Officer, Statistics New Zealand spoke next about how to harness data-based insights to deliver citizen-centric services.
He began by emphasising that the commercial world is advertising every day on multiple platforms. They practise Next Best Action Marketing, which considers multiple different actions that could be taken for a customer and decides on the best one to provide. From a citizen perspective, this would mean thinking about what would be the next best decision that a government can make around expenditure to have the best outcome – this reduces dependence on the state and extends lifespans.
To do so, institutions need to:
- Predict their interests, values, and needs
- Personalise to each individual and context
- Deliver in moments of need
- Adapt to their changing situation
When understanding what data is available, it can be approached either from the demand or supply perspective. It indicates where data is at, what people are worried about, health and education information, social information and non-government data. Combine that in a centralised data warehouse and it is a powerful advantage.
The reason for this approach, Chris shares, was because the data quality was not conducive to data analytics. There are two ways to approach that:
Solve the data quality issue at the point of analytics, which means everyone must solve it each time they encounter it; or centralise it and resolve it at once
Chris shared his own experience of Integrated Data at Statistics New Zealand. There is a difference between Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) and Longitudinal Business Database (LBD).
IDI: An integrated database containing de-identified longitudinal microdata about people and households.
LBD: An integrated database containing de-identified longitudinal microdata about businesses
Statistics New Zealand’s IDI is a large research database containing de-identified microdata about people and households. The IDI contains person-centric microdata from a range of government agencies, whereas LBD complements the IDI with microdata about businesses.
It happens over time, Chris shares; over the years they have acquired more data and are highly exacting about the quality of data that enters the centralised data warehouse – he believes that data needs to have longitudinal data, or it would be difficult to measure the impact of the activity.
Statistics New Zealand has been able to build up a rich picture of the activity of their country and pick out trends.
Accordingly, he shares the two use cases of how Stats NZ have applied data analytics:
Better targeting services to vulnerable children: By looking at data on factors that affect later-life outcomes for children, the insights are informing how policies are angled.
The Virtual Health Information Network: Data is also used to understand the impact of lifestyle on health
In conclusion, Chris suggests that institutions should not try to do everything in one go but understand that it is a relationship between various aspects that institutions need to pay attention to. In terms of recommendations, he suggests starting small, being prepared for surprises, measuring well, getting management on board and focusing on customers.
“Putting the citizen at the heart of everything that the organisation does,” is something that organisations should not lose sight of.
After the informative presentations, delegates participated in interactive discussions facilitated by polling questions. This activity is designed to provide live-audience interaction, promote engagement, hear real-life experiences, and facilitate discussions that impart professional learning and development for participants.
The first poll asked delegates if they thought it is important to have Satu Data repository as a single source of truth. An overwhelming majority (79%) felt that it is very important (79%) while 21% believe it to be important.
On being asked about the initiatives that their organisation have taken to ensure the quality of their advanced data analytics, over a third (38%) indicated that they have implemented data management tools to ensure data quality, governance and lineage. The remaining delegates indicated that they have implemented data warehouse/data lake/big data initiatives (30%), are looking for the right solutions (19%) or have an in-house team of skilled data scientists (13%).
In response to the results, Delvi believes that with a data warehouse, organisations can make quicker decisions and serve the public better. Security is also important in ensuring that there is data protection for the public. He also added that having high-quality data is critical for all organisations.
Mohit added that India has demonstrated that size is not an issue.
For Chris, building skills without a data warehouse would be difficult as people need to have the foundational capability and context that will help them to learn.
On their organisation’s biggest challenge in the application of advanced data analytics, almost half (40%) found the lack of skilled staff a major challenge. Other delegates are challenged by the inability to synchronise disparate data sources (26%), the inability to derive meaningful insights through data analytics (20%), the inability to get voluminous data onto a big data platform (7%) and the lack of quality data and proper data storage (7%).
A delegate shared that his organisation manages a lot of data from another ministry and there are many kinds of data that are missing.
To that, Mohit remarked that the sharing of data and the accessibility of data is an issue that prohibits a central source of truth.
Another participant opined that “mindset is the most important.” Currently, there is no perception and appreciation of how important centralised data is. He echoed the point made by Chris about the need to get management to see the importance of data.
Mohit added that providing them with information will make them realise that “it is not about today, but tomorrow”.
In response to the results, Chris remarked that the skills gap is fundamental and pressing all over the world – few people understand the full data management life cycle.
The next question asked delegates about the data analytics use case that is frequently asked by business users or top management in their organisation. Most of the delegates (67%) found the use case of having a single view of unified information from all lines of businesses the top question. The rest of the delegates found the use cases of financial performance analytics (8%), forecasting business performance (7%) and other unstated use cases (17%) the most sought after.
A delegate remarked that “data is not the end product – knowledge is the end product”.
Mohit concurred, “It is the insights to make informed decisions that are valuable.”
The final poll asked the delegates the criterion for considering advanced analytics as a success in their organisation. Most of the delegates (42%) believe that data accuracy and the ability to drill up to every detail is the benchmark of success. Other delegates opted for being able to get analytics reports promptly (33%), effective dashboard reporting (17%) and real-time updates (8%) as the benchmarks of success.
A delegate expressed that mining precise data and representing the function or information that organisations need is the first step. For him, accuracy is the biggest problem – there are too many data sources, he claims.
For Chris, the criterion for success depends on perspective. Senior executives might measure success through effective dashboard reports. Data scientists might consider the state where users can do analytics without IT’s help as successful. For people who want to make decisions, data accuracy would be the choice.
After the interactive discussion, the session segued into a demonstration by Wibowo Leksono, Senior Customer Advisory, SAS Indonesia, who did a demonstrated how SAS’ software can be used to generate actionable insights.
Febrianto Siboro, Managing Director, SAS Indonesia closed the session by thanking everyone for their enthusiastic participation.
He recognised that there are many concerns with Satu Data, but he shared that SAS would be able to help organisations build a quality database and equip organisations with data processing technology, data control and sovereignty to provide better citizen experiences.
He encouraged delegates to keep the conversation alive and to reach out to him if there are questions they might have.
In a stirring address at the Emerging Enterprise Awards (EEA) 2023, Senior Minister of State Tan Kiat How underscored the pivotal role of continuous learning and skills acquisition in navigating the dynamic landscape of the modern world.
Emphasising that education should be viewed as a lifelong journey, extending beyond formal academic years, he articulated the need for individuals to adapt to the evolving demands of an ever-changing workplace.
Acknowledging the government’s commitment to supporting Singaporeans in this quest for perpetual learning, Tan Kiat How also appealed to business owners and industry leaders to create an enabling environment for employees to upgrade their skills. He highlighted the Forward Singapore report, a comprehensive guide to the nation’s major developmental shifts, urging those unfamiliar with it to explore its insights.
The Senior Minister of State asserted that embracing technology as a strategic enabler is integral to overcoming traditional constraints and enhancing competitiveness. He underscored Singapore’s pioneering role in digital technology adoption, dating back to the 1980s when the nation became one of the first in the world to integrate computers into its public service and workplaces.
Singapore places a paramount emphasis on the pivotal role of digitalisation in revolutionising its educational landscape. With a focus on enhancing learning experiences, fostering global competitiveness, and preparing students for the future workforce, the nation is embracing innovative teaching methods and personalised learning through advanced digital tools.
The integration of technology not only streamlines administrative processes but also facilitates seamless transitions between in-person and online learning models. This commitment to digitalisation reflects Singapore’s dedication to staying at the forefront of educational innovation, equipping students with essential technological skills for the evolving global landscape.
This commitment to technological advancement has persisted, forming the bedrock of Singapore’s digital foundation. Senior Minister Tan shed light on the government’s SMEs Go Digital programme, an initiative integrating emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud services into Industry Digital Plans (IDPs).
These IDPs serve as roadmaps, guiding businesses across various sectors in adopting digital solutions and upskilling their workforce. In a recent example, the Tourism (Attractions) IDP incorporated AI to streamline workflows and provide data-driven insights, enhancing decision-making for attraction operators.
The government’s holistic approach extends beyond specific sectors, with a thorough examination of industry disciplines sector by sector. This involves updating strategies, incorporating emerging technologies, and ensuring that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can boost productivity and competitiveness while navigating the complexities of digital transformation.
Senior Minister Tan cited the Chief Information Security Officers-as-a-Service initiative, where cybersecurity consultants aid firms in enhancing cyber resilience through “check-ups” and tailored health plans.
Encouraging firms and networks to actively engage with these programmes, Senior Minister Tan emphasised the need for Singapore to embrace its agency in shaping its future. He urged the nation to leverage its strong foundation and the strategic roadmap outlined in Forward Singapore.
As Singapore charts its digital odyssey, the EEA 2023 serves as a platform not just for acknowledging achievements but for inspiring a collective commitment to a future where technological innovation and lifelong learning propel the nation to new heights.
The Senior Minister of State added that Singapore’s exceptionalism relies on collective ambition, hard work, and unity, ensuring that the nation continues to defy the odds and stand as a beacon on the global stage.
Union Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and Electronics & IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar shared comprehensive insights into India’s tech landscape at the 26th Edition of the Bengaluru Tech Summit.
Minister Chandrasekhar navigated through a spectrum of crucial tech domains, unravelling India’s transformative journey and the role of entrepreneurship and innovation in the digital economy. He shed light on India’s burgeoning semiconductor industry, the transformative potential of AI, and the instrumental role of startups in shaping the nation’s economic future.
Minister Chandrasekhar reflected on the dynamic shift in India’s semiconductor narrative, echoing the sentiments articulated by India’s Prime Minister at the Semicon India 2023 Summit. He underscored the evolving perspective from “why India” to “when in India” and “why not in India.”
This transformation signifies the growing confidence and capabilities within India’s tech ecosystem, a testament to the nation’s progress in diverse domains such as AI, semiconductors, electronics, Web 3, supercomputing, and high-performance computing.
“Pre-2014, India’s semiconductor story was a series of missed opportunities,” reflected Minister Chandrasekhar while tracing the trajectory of the semiconductor industry’s evolution.
Despite lacking a design legacy, Minister Chandrasekhar emphasised India’s strides in the semiconductor sector. Acknowledging the catch-up game after missed opportunities, he highlighted India’s leapfrogging approach, skipping a generation to explore novel opportunities for the next decade.
The focus on talent, design, packaging, and research has propelled India towards becoming a significant player in the global semiconductor ecosystem, marking a definitive trajectory of growth.
Minister Chandrasekhar reiterated India’s emphasis on harnessing AI’s transformative power resonates deeply with India’s commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technology for societal betterment and enhanced living standards across diverse segments of the population.
“We believe that AI when harnessed correctly, can transform healthcare, agriculture, governance and language translation”: MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar
By integrating AI technologies into these sectors, the aim is to revolutionise service delivery, streamline operations, and democratise access to advanced services for all citizens. However, he also addressed the inherent risks posed by the potential misuse of AI by bad actors, stressing the need for legislative guardrails to ensure safety and trust in AI applications. Aligning with global sentiments, Chandrasekhar highlighted the necessity for regulatory frameworks to prevent misuse and foster ethical AI deployment.
“The world is now aligning with India’s view that we need guardrails of safety and trust for the Internet,” he said.
In an increasingly tech-dependant world, Mnster Chnadrashekhar believes that innovation and entrepreneurship are vital – startups are the pillars of India’s tech evolution. Elaborating on India’s startup landscape, Minister Chandrasekhar showcased the pivotal role played by startups since 2014, citing the emergence of 102 unicorns and a substantial influx of FDI.
He emphasised how startups are not just economic entities but integral components of India’s tech vision, contributing significantly to the digital economy’s $1 trillion goal. With a focus on nurturing the futureDESIGN DLI startups, Chandrasekhar envisaged their potential to become the unicorns of tomorrow, driving innovation across AI, semiconductors, and next-gen electronic systems.
Minister Chandrasekhar’s insights underscore India’s rapid tech evolution, emphasising the nation’s strides in semiconductors, the transformative impact of AI, and the pivotal role of startups. As India charts its course towards a $1 trillion digital economy, its vision encapsulates the imperative of regulatory frameworks, innovative strides, and collaborative efforts in harnessing technology for inclusive growth and global relevance.
OpenGov Asia reported that Minister Chandrasekhar, who spoke at two influential tech events: the Indian Express Digifraud & Safety Summit 2023 and YourStory Techsparks’23, expressed similar views on India’s technological advancements, regulatory policies, and the nation’s promising future in the global tech landscape.
At these tech summits, Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar outlined India’s ambitious technological trajectory, reinforcing the government’s dedication to fostering innovation, ensuring a safe digital environment, and harnessing the transformative power of technology for the nation’s progress.
In emphasising the importance of inclusivity, technology must cater to individuals with physical impairments who face challenges in using traditional input devices like mice and keyboards, which often leads to their exclusion from technical professions.
To foster inclusive accessibility, multiple alternative methods should be actively identified and implemented to facilitate individuals with physical impairments to engage in coding activities. The evolution of these alternative input methods signifies a positive shift towards a more inclusive and accessible technological landscape.
In an initiative to encourage digital inclusion and technological education, a KidBright Workshop has targeted students and teachers from 10 schools catering to children with disabilities. This workshop showcased the power of the KidBright AI Platform in guiding participants to construct embedded system projects.
Dr Patchralita Chatwalitpong, The National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) Vice President for Science and Technology Human Resources Development, emphasised the significance of advancing science and technology education among disabled individuals. “Disabilities children also have the right to gain knowledge in this digital realm. Physically impairment is not merely the obstacle for it,” she addressed.
KidBright, a coding learning tool developed by NECTEC-NSTDA, emerged as a beacon of innovation. As an open-source embedded programming platform, KidBright enables children to learn coding through its embedded board and KidBright Integrated Development Environment programme (KidBright IDE). The platform’s accessibility and user-friendly interface empower young learners to delve into coding seamlessly.
The genesis of this impactful project traces back to 2018, when NSTDA initiated a pioneering effort to promote coding skills specifically tailored for children with disabilities. From 2018 to 2020, KidBright boards and UtuNoi STATION packages were distributed across these schools, accompanied by a series of workshops for both students and teachers. These workshops provided comprehensive training on programming KidBright boards and equipped participants with the skills to create embedded system projects.
The inclusion of data science knowledge in 2019 and 2020 further enriched the project, empowering educators and students to devise innovative solutions catering to the needs of people with disabilities. Notably, several of these inventive creations garnered accolades in innovation contests.
The project’s trajectory leapt in 2023 with a strategic expansion into artificial intelligence (AI). This follow-up session spotlighted the development of science projects utilising the KidBright AI Platform. Led by the adept Educational Technology Research Team and spearheaded by Dr Saowaluck Kaewkamnerd, this workshop aimed to deepen participants’ understanding of AI and encourage the creation of innovative projects with real-world applications.
This multifaceted project exemplifies the commitment to advancing education in emerging technologies and ensuring inclusivity in digital literacy. Integrating coding, embedded systems, data science, and AI into the curriculum empowers students, especially those with disabilities, to become adept in the digital landscape. The KidBright AI Platform catalyses nurturing creativity, problem-solving skills, and a passion for technology among the younger generation, transcending barriers and fostering a more inclusive and technologically literate society.
Further, the recognition of inclusivity has gained global attention, exemplified by its acknowledgement in the United States. The Alliance for Access, the Computing Career Centre from Washington University, outlined several approaches that can enhance programming accessibility for students with diverse disabilities. To illustrate:
- Clear Instructions and Examples: Providing clear instructions and relevant examples universally benefits all students, promoting a better understanding of programming concepts.
- Speech Input Software: Students who face challenges with conventional keyboards can leverage speech input software.
- Macro-Writing Programmes: Utilising a macro-writing programme for individuals with mobility impairments becomes invaluable. This programme facilitates the creation of shortcuts, simplifying the typing process.
- IDE Features: Integrated development environments (IDEs) may incorporate features specifically beneficial for students with disabilities.
- Word or Syntax Auto-Completion: Predictive typing assists users by anticipating their input.
- Syntax Highlighting: Color-coded representation of typed code enhances visual distinction.
- Variable Name Highlighting: Ensures consistent spelling of variable names.
- Inline Spell-Check: This feature can benefit some students, promoting accurate coding.
By highlighting and implementing this in the programming environment among disabled children in Thailand, educators can create a more inclusive and supportive learning experience for students with disabilities, not only enhancing the knowledge of students but also fostering inclusivity and equality.
Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Defence, Heng Chee How, and Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Health, Dr Janil Puthucheary, recently visited the Critical Infrastructure Defence Exercise (CIDeX) 2023, underscoring the government’s commitment to fortifying national cybersecurity.
The exercise, held at the National University of Singapore School of Computing, witnessed over 200 participants engaging in operational technology (OT) critical infrastructure defence training.
Organised by the Digital and Intelligence Service (DIS) and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), with support from iTrust/SUTD and the National Cybersecurity R&D Laboratory (NCL), CIDeX 2023 marked a collaborative effort to enhance Whole-Of-Government (WoG) cyber capabilities. The exercise focused on detecting and countering cyber threats to both Information Technology (IT) and OT networks governing critical infrastructure sectors.
This year’s edition boasted participation from DIS, CSA, and 24 other national agencies across six Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) sectors. With an expanded digital infrastructure comprising six enterprise IT networks and three new OT testbeds, participants operated on six OT testbeds within key sectors—power, water, telecom, and aviation.
CIDeX 2023 featured Blue Teams, composed of national agency participants serving as cyber defenders, defending their digital infrastructure against simulated cyber-attacks launched by a composite Red Team comprising DIS, CSA, DSTA, and IMDA personnel. The exercises simulated attacks on both IT and OT networks, including scenarios such as overloading an airport substation, disrupting water distribution, and shutting down a gas plant.
The exercise provided a platform for participants to hone their technical competencies, enhance collaboration, and share expertise across agencies. Before CIDeX, participants underwent a five-day hands-on training programme at the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)’s Cyber Defence Test and Evaluation Centre (CyTEC) at Stagmont Camp, ensuring readiness for cyber defence challenges.
On the sidelines of CIDeX 2023, the DIS solidified cyber collaboration by signing Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with key technology sector partners, expanding its partnerships beyond the earlier agreement with Microsoft earlier in the year.
Senior Minister Heng emphasised the importance of inter-agency cooperation, stating, “CIDeX is a platform where we bring together many agencies throughout the government to come together to learn how to defend together.” He highlighted the collective effort involving 26 agencies and over 200 participants, acknowledging the significance of unity in cybersecurity.
Dr Janil echoed this sentiment, emphasising CIDeX’s role in the Whole-of-Government (WoG) cyber defence effort. He remarked, “Defending Singapore’s cyberspace is not an easy task, and it is a team effort.”
He commended the strong partnership between the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore and the Digital and Intelligence Service, recognising the exercise as a crucial element in strengthening the nation’s digital resilience and national cybersecurity posture.
By leveraging collaboration, innovation, and a robust defence strategy, Singapore aims not just to protect its critical infrastructure but to set a global standard in cybersecurity practices.
CIDeX 2023 serves as a compelling embodiment of Singapore’s unwavering dedication to maintaining a leadership position in cybersecurity practices. This strategic exercise underscores the nation’s commitment to cultivating collaboration and fortifying its resilience against continually evolving cyber threats.
Beyond a training ground for sharpening the skills of cyber defenders, CIDeX 2023 encapsulates the government’s profound commitment to adopting a robust, collaborative, and forward-thinking approach to safeguarding the integrity and security of the nation’s critical infrastructure in the dynamic landscape of the digital age.
The Cyberport Entrepreneurship Programmes’ 20th Anniversary Celebration and Graduation Ceremony was a major event attended by notable personalities, distinguished guests and budding innovators.
Cyberport is Hong Kong’s digital technology flagship and incubator for entrepreneurship with over 2,000 members including over 900 onsite and close to 1,100 offsite start-ups and technology companies. It is managed by Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, wholly owned by the Hong Kong SAR Government.
With a vision to become Hong Kong’s digital technology hub and stimulate a fresh economic impetus, Cyberport is dedicated to cultivating a dynamic tech environment. This commitment involves nurturing talent, encouraging youth entrepreneurship, aiding startups, fostering industry growth through strategic partnerships with local and international entities, and driving digital transformation across public and private sectors, bridging new and traditional economies.
Professor Sun Dong, the Secretary for Innovation, Technology, and Industry, Hong Kong highlighted Cyberport’s incredible journey and the achievements of its vibrant community. Expressing his delight in commemorating Cyberport’s two-decade-long legacy, he emphasised the institution’s pivotal role as an ICT powerhouse in Hong Kong.
From its humble beginnings to its present stature, Cyberport has emerged as a catalyst for innovation, nurturing over 2,000 technology companies and startups and showcasing an exponential growth rate over the past five years.
Cyberport’s community has attracted a staggering US$38 billion of investment, marking its significance as an ICT flagship in Hong Kong. The establishment takes pride in its contribution to nurturing numerous innovative ideas and fostering dynamic business ventures, with seven notable unicorns in fintech, smart living, and digital entertainment sectors.
Cyberport excelled at the prestigious Hong Kong ICT Awards, with 25 startups securing 28 accolades, including the esteemed Award of the Year. This achievement showcased the institution’s exceptional calibre and innovation prowess nurtured within its ecosystem.
Acknowledging the pivotal role of startups in Cyberport’s success story, Professor Sun Dong shared how these young enterprises, often starting with a simple idea at a small table, grow in tandem with Cyberport’s support. The institution provides not just financial aid but also a nurturing environment where entrepreneurs can leverage extensive networks, collaborative spaces, and expert guidance to cultivate their ideas into commercial successes.
The graduation of more than 200 startups from the Entrepreneurship Programme stood as a testament to Cyberport’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurial talent. This initiative empowers startups to translate their ideas into tangible commercial solutions and market breakthroughs, laying the foundation for their future success.
Looking ahead, Professor Sun Dong outlined Cyberport’s exciting plans, including the upcoming expansion block slated for completion in two years, aimed at providing additional space for the community’s development. He also highlighted Cyberport’s initiative to establish the Artificial Intelligence Supercomputing Centre, a pioneering endeavour set to commence in 2024, envisioned to be a pioneering and substantial facility in Hong Kong.
Cyberport’s extraordinary journey showcases significant achievements while charting a promising future, embodying the core values of innovation, collaboration, and collective growth.
Professor Sun expressed gratitude on behalf of the Government, acknowledging their hard work and contributions to the tech ecosystem emphasising the importance of collective participation for a better future.
The vibrant success of events like the Cyberport Venture Capital Forum 2023 resonates with Cyberport’s commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration, further cementing its role as a catalyst for technological advancement and entrepreneurial growth in Hong Kong.
The Cyberport Venture Capital Forum (CVCF) 2023 saw a turnout of over 2,500 participants during its two-day hybrid event. Themed “Venture Forward: Game Changing through Innovation,” the forum convened 80 global visionary venture experts, entrepreneurial pioneers, and influential thinkers. With more than 120,000 page views and over 300 fundraising meetings facilitated, it solidified its position as a pivotal platform fostering networking and collaborative opportunities.
In a significant stride towards technological innovation and sustainable development, the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) have joined forces to revolutionise India’s construction and wastewater treatment sectors.
This pioneering collaboration under the “Access to Knowledge for Technology Development and Dissemination (A2K+) Studies” Scheme of DSIR is aimed at aligning with India’s Smart Cities Mission and its ambitious commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2070.
DSIR’s allocation of two crucial research studies to TERI signifies a pivotal step in bridging the informational gap on advanced building materials, designs for energy efficiency, and the assessment of membrane-based sewage wastewater treatment systems for reuse and recycling.
A significant milestone in this partnership was marked by a high-profile Stakeholder Consultant Meeting held at the prestigious India Habitat Center in New Delhi. Attended by key decision-makers, esteemed experts from academia, industry leaders, and policymakers, this event became a platform for insightful discussions and collaborations.
Dr Sujata Chaklanobis, Scientist ‘G’ and Head of A2K+ Studies at DSIR, emphasised the importance of promoting industrial research for indigenous technology development, utilisation, and transfer in her address. Her words underscored the crucial role of research and innovation in fostering sustainable technological advancements.
Mr Sanjay Seth, Senior Director of TERI’s Sustainable Infrastructure Programme highlighted India’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2070. He stressed the imperative integration of cutting-edge technologies and innovative designs in buildings to significantly reduce energy consumption, a key step towards a sustainable, low-carbon future.
The first session of the consultation centred on leveraging emerging technologies and innovative solutions for advanced building design to enhance energy efficiency. Experts from various domains provided insightful suggestions and information, fostering dialogue on energy-efficient building designs and sustainable construction practices.
The second session delved into the current status and prospects of membrane technologies in India for sewage treatment. Insights from academia, including professors from prestigious institutions, shed light on research gaps and opportunities for commercialisation in the domain of membrane-based technologies.
Industry experts also provided valuable perspectives on the current membrane market, innovations, and opportunities, creating a comprehensive understanding of the landscape and paving the way for future developments.
The amalgamation of insights from academia, industry, and end-users enriched the discussions, providing a roadmap for future innovation and development in these critical sectors. The event culminated with a commitment from both DSIR and TERI to embark on an innovation journey, heralding a sustainable and resilient future for India.
The DSIR-TERI collaborative consultation stands as a beacon of transformative progress in advancing sustainable building practices and sewage treatment technologies. It underscores the power of partnership in driving technological evolution for a more sustainable tomorrow.
India’s ambitions intertwine technological progress with a steadffast commitment to sustainability, envisioning a future where innovation not only drives economic growth but also champions environmental stewardship.
Through strategic initiatives and cooperation, India aims to leverage cutting-edge technologies to address pressing global challenges, ensuring a harmonious balance between technological advancement, environmental preservation, and societal well-being.
NITI Aayog, in collaboration with CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, initiated the India Australia Rapid Innovation and Startup Expansion (RISE) Accelerator under the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) to bolster circular economy startups from both countries, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT-Kanpur) and the African-Asian Rural Development Organisation (AARDO) jointly organised an international training programme, focused on exploring the application of nanotechnology in promoting plant growth and crop protection for sustainable agriculture.
According to an IIT-Kanpur statement, the programme served as a forum for experts from diverse fields to discuss and deliberate on solutions to meet the urgent global challenge of achieving food security and promoting sustainability in agriculture.
The Indonesian government actively strives to implement thematic Bureaucratic Reform (RB) directly addressing societal issues. Minister of State Apparatus Empowerment and Bureaucratic Reform (PANRB) Abdullah Azwar Anas emphasised that innovation is one way to realise impactful bureaucracy.
To create impactful bureaucracy through innovation, the PANRB Ministry, which oversees public services, encourages local governments to replicate innovations through the Public Service Innovation Replication Forum (FRIPP). This is done to expand the reach of inventions and make them an integral part of the Bureaucratic Reform effort. The PANRB Ministry, as the overseer of public services, pays special attention to the steps local governments take in implementing innovations in public service delivery.
The Public Service Innovation Replication Forum (FRIPP) is a platform for local governments to share and discuss their experiences adopting specific innovations. By sharing best practices and learnings, local governments can gain valuable insights to enhance the quality of public services at the local level.
Furthermore, Abdullah Azwar Anas emphasised that inter-government collaboration is critical to building an innovative and positively impactful bureaucracy. “Through FRIPP, we encourage local governments to inspire and adopt innovations that have proven to provide real benefits to the community,” said Minister Abdullah Azwar Anas.
As previously reported by OpenGov Asia, the PANRB Ministry, along with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the National Administrative Agency (LAN), successfully launched the National Public Service Innovation Network (JIPPNas) website as a knowledge management system and the national database for public service innovations.
JIPPNas represents a concrete step in building an innovation ecosystem at the national level. This platform allows local governments to share ideas, projects, and innovative solutions in delivering public services. With this platform, other local governments can easily access and adopt innovations, accelerating the spread of best practices.
“Therefore, the presence of JIPPNas is expected to be an effort to grow new public service models through collaboration to achieve the future government,” said Minister Abdullah Azwar Anas.
In the discourse of Future Government, Minister Abdullah Azwar Anas outlined four main focus areas of the Thematic Bureaucratic Reform, which serve as the foundation for ambitious goals: poverty alleviation, increased investment, digitisation of government administration, and accelerating the current President’s priorities. Emphasis on these areas is crucial to ensuring that the bureaucracy is an effective and efficient driving force in realising the government’s vision and mission.
Minister Anas stressed the importance of a prime bureaucratic condition as a foundation to achieve the desired goals. Like a machine that must be well-maintained, the bureaucracy is directed to be able to drive the “vehicle” of the government towards the desired direction. Thus, the success of implementing the Thematic Bureaucratic Reform involves not only structural transformation but also upholding the quality and readiness of the bureaucracy as the primary driver of development.
Addressing Future Governance or Governance 5.0, Minister Anas detailed a significant paradigm shift. The “government regulating society” transitions to “Government working together with society,” or more precisely, considering society as a partner. This concept marks an evolution in how the government interacts with society, creating closer and more inclusive collaboration.
The importance of support from strategic partners such as Indonesia Infrastructure Project Governance (IIPG) is also highlighted. As a supporter of public governance reform, IIPG significantly contributes to maintaining synergy and harmonisation of roles across multi-sectors, both from the private and public sectors. This synergy is crucial in maintaining optimal performance and achieving public governance reform goals.
In line with the paradigm shift and focus on reform, these steps mark the government’s severe efforts to build a foundation for an adaptive, responsive, and actively engaged Future Government. Thematic Bureaucratic Reform is not just about structural transformation but also an effort to create a governance ecosystem capable of meeting the challenges and demands of the times effectively and competitively.