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Smart Nation initiative enters the ‘build phase’

Singapore’s vision for becoming the first truly Smart Nation, led by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), is moving along well. Various partnerships have been formed between the public and private sector in order to fulfill the image of making the Smart Nation a reality.

At the Infocomm Media Business Exchange early June of this year, it was announced that the Infocomm Media Masterplan has entered the ‘build’ phase of production. "Building the world's first Smart Nation is only the beginning of the next phase of Singapore's development in information and communications technology," said former Minister for Communications and Information, Yaacob Ibrahim.

The Minister also explains in this statement that focus will be paid to three areas: Smart Logistics, Smart Nation Tech Challenges and Smart Health-Assist. Smart logistics involves the improvement of autonomous decision making from IoT devices. Singapore’s urban environment poses various tech challenges involving public safety, resource utilization, and situational awareness.Creating safer living situations for patients requires smart health-assist technologies which will need to be derived from the medical technology industry.

During this phase, focus will be paid to technological infrastructure and services that will provide for smart architecture. The trial of HetNet (heterogeneous network) is being carried out in the Jurong Lake District test bed. HetNet allows for connectivity across the grid that will help smart services communicate and operate well. There are hopes that the JLD trial will demonstrate a model for the many benefits and accessibilities provided by Smart Nation solutions.

Big Data and Analytics intelligence is important for this ‘build’ phase. That is why the IDA is employing assistance from research think tanks and analytics software developers, such as A*star’s Institute for Infocomm research. A*star plays a big role as it creates technology through science and engineering development teams. A*Star creates a platform for these Smart Nation visions to come to life by providing educated and experienced research centres.

With the vision for a Smart Nation comes a need for educated workers with computational thinking. IDA and Microsoft Corp partnered to launch a three year programme called ‘Code for Change’. This will be aimed at teaching 1.2 million Singaporeans coding at varying levels. The aim is to create a stream of coding knowledge and interest among the masses so that there is a larger pool of coders to help usher in the Smart Nation initiative.

It is necessary to bring the whole of Singapore together to make the Smart Nation exist. The intelligence of research entities, and authority of government bodies, these visions would cease to exist without private economic power. The world looks on as Singapore provides a model for smart development and future possibilities.

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