Singapore embarked on it Smart Nation journey in 2014, with PM Lee Hsien Loong outlining the vision of a “A nation where people live meaningful and fulfilled lives, enabled seamlessly by technology, offering exciting opportunities for all.”
Singapore already had the foundations in place. In fact, it was already on its way towards that vision. Singapore was a connected city with nearly universal broadband access and one of the highest smartphone penetrations in the world. The Government embraced technology to deliver digital services to citizens. Medical records were being integrated.
Since then significant progress has been made. (Click here for some of the milestones. A recently released case study from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) offering an evaluation of Singapore’s progress in meeting the objectives of the country’s ‘Smart Nation’ strategy offers an excellent summary of the achievements.)
But in February this year, PM Lee expressed dissatisfaction with the pace of progress and talked about the need to move faster on the adoption of technology and Smart Nation initiatives.
This year, the Government carried out organisational restructuring to enable the Government to be more integrated and responsive in strategy and processes for its Smart Nation and Digital Government (SNDG) objectives.
A new body, called the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) has been formed under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), comprising staff from the Digital Government Directorate of the Ministry of Finance (MOF), the Government Technology Policy department in the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), and the Smart Nation Programme Office (SNPO) in the PMO. The Government Technology Agency (GovTech), which drives digital transformation within the public sector, has been placed under the PMO and it has assumed the role of the implementing agency for the SNDGO. The SNDGO and GovTech together form the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG).
The Government identified five national strategic projects which the government will focus on in the immediate future:
- National Digital Identity (NID) framework, for citizens and businesses to transact digitally in a convenient and secure manner
- e-Payments drive, to allow everyone to make simple, swift, seamless, and safe payments
- Smart Nation Sensor Platform (SNSP), to accelerate the deployment of sensors and other IOT (Internet of Things) devices that will make our city more liveable and secure
- Smart Urban Mobility, to leverage data and digital technologies, including artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles, to further enhance the public transport commute
- Moments of Life (MOL), which bundles relevant government services, across different agencies, to the citizen at key moments of his life. This reduces the need for citizens to transact with multiple government agencies, for a more seamless and convenient experience.
But Smart Nation is not just about the government’s strategies and actions. It is essential to have the private sector as partners on the journey. Academia also plays a key role by providing the research foundations and also, educating the next generation and equipping them with the skills required for today’s digital economy.
The Government released the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) report in February with seven mutually-reinforcing strategies: 1) 1. Deepen and diversify international connections; 2) acquire and utilise deep skills; 3) Strengthen enterprise capabilities to innovate and scale up; 4) Build strong digital capabilities; 5) Develop a vibrant and connected city of opportunity; 6) Develop and implement Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs); and 7) Partner each other to enable innovation and growth.
The Singapore government has demonstrated strong commitment to bringing together different government agencies, local and international private enterprises, including large corporates, SMEs and startups, as well as academia and research institutions, to drive the Smart Nation journey.
Below we take a look at how some of the Singapore Government agencies (or government linked agencies) have contributed towards Smart Nation. Some are providers of digital services. Some are enabling digital transformation within the government. Others are seeking to facilitate the building and growth of innovative ecosystems. Yet others are regulators ensuring that the risk of adverse outcomes is minimised. Sometimes, one agency plays more than one of these roles.
Several of the initiatives listed below involve more than one government agency. Often institutes of higher learning and/ or the private sector are also involved.
Much of the work done during 2017 is about laying the foundations for the future.
Agency for Science, Technology and Research
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore’s lead public sector agency that spearheads economic oriented research.
A*STAR and its research institutes are involved in a wide range of collaborations with the public sector local and international universities, as well as industry to conduct pathbreaking research which can further economic growth and improve lives. Below are just a few examples of initiatives A*STAR announced during 2017.
In July 2017, it was announced that A*STAR will open two model factories at A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) and Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC), under the RIE 2020 plan, to simulate production environments where companies can experiment and learn new manufacturing technologies, allowing SMEs to test new technologies with the help of public sector researchers.
In September, A*STAR signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 13 companies who have expressed interest to form a consortium with capabilities spanning across the entire IIoT (Industrial Internet-of-Things) value chain. The IIoT Initiative will focus on the digitalisation of industrial customer care, to meet the demand from forward looking companies that are placing greater business emphasis on aftermarket service and support.
A*STAR has also launched an IIoT Research Programme, bringing together multi-disciplinary capabilities from A*STAR research institutes, National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). This programme is supposed to focus Singapore’s efforts on IIoT, especially in the development of highly reliable industrial wireless communications, advanced data analytics, and industrial cyber physical security for cognitive and secure IIoT systems.
A*STAR, Rolls-Royce, and Singapore Aero Engine Services Private Limited (SAESL), announced in September that they will invest up to S$60 million to set up a Joint Lab for the development of Smart Manufacturing technologies for the aerospace industry.
A*STAR and NUS also signed a MoU with leading pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Pfizer, and Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) to establish the Pharma Innovation Programme Singapore (PIPS). The focus areas for PIPS include continuous manufacturing, bio-catalysis, process analytical technology, advanced process control, and enhanced pharmaceutical operations.The focus areas for PIPS include continuous manufacturing, bio-catalysis, process analytical technology, advanced process control, and enhanced pharmaceutical operations.
Recently, A*STAR signed a MoU with SingHealth, the largest healthcare group in Singapore, focusing on: (i) harnessing big data in precision medicine; (ii) utilising smart health in a diabetes clinic of the future; and (iii) innovation in immunotherapy and drug development.
Building and Construction Authority
The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) is an agency under the Ministry of National Development, championing the development of an excellent built environment for Singapore.
The ITM for the construction industry was launched in October. The ITM recognises key global trends which impact the sector such as the digital revolution, rapid urbanisation and climate change and identifies Integrated Digital Delivery (IDD), Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA), as well as green building as key transformation areas to address the challenges faced by the sector.
It envisions an advanced and integrated construction sector with widespread adoption of leading technologies, led by progressive and collaborative firms well-poised to capture business opportunities, and supported by a skilled and competent workforce.
During 2017, BCA also reviewed its 3rd Green Building Masterplan, which was released in 2014. New initiatives based on the review will be rolled out in phases for enhancing the indoor environment quality for occupants, encouraging high energy efficient buildings and greening existing buildings and spaces.
BCA will pilot a new set of criteria for the Green Mark for Existing Non-Residential Buildings (GM ENRB: 2017) scheme for one year, which include enhanced requirements for building owners to improve the IEQ for its occupants and adopt smart control systems to operate the buildings. For instance, smart building controls and strategies are being introduced in GM ENRB: 2017 in the areas of energy monitoring, demand control, as well as integration and analytics.
Previously, In July, BCA announced a partnership with the Singapore-Berkeley Building Efficiency and Sustainability in the Tropics (SinBerBEST), to embark on a research collaboration to transform BCA’s flagship Zero Energy Building (ZEB) into a positive energy building.
BCA’s SkyLab, a state-of-the-art rotatable test facility on top of a 7-storey building, launched in 2016, has been conducting research in emerging energy efficient technologies, such as smart lighting, chilled beam (an energy efficient technology in air-conditioning) and thermochromic glass.
In November, BCA and d Housing & Development Board (HDB) have launched a Call for Proposal on using drones for Building Facade Inspection. The objective of this Call for Proposal is to develop an integrated inspection system, using advanced image-capturing drone and computing technologies, assisted by artificial intelligence (AI) to perform autonomous defect detection, based on image recognition and machine learning.
Economic Development Board
The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), a government agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, is responsible for strategies that enhance Singapore’s position as a global centre for business, innovation, and talent.
Many companies have set up centres of innovation and research & development in Singapore over the past one year. (To take a few examples, Capgemini, Procter & Gamble, Dyson, Zuelling Pharma, Expedia, Emerson, Denka, Kurita Water Industries)
In November, EDB launched a world-first tool to help industrial companies harness the potential of Industry 4.0 in a systematic and comprehensive way, in partnership with global testing, inspection, certification and training company TÜV SÜD. The Singapore Smart Industry Readiness Index serves as a diagnostic tool that companies – across all industries and sizes – can use to better understand Industry 4.0 concepts, evaluate the current state of their facilities, architect a comprehensive transformation roadmap and deliver concrete, sustained value for their businesses. (Click here for OpenGov’s in-depth look at the Index).
Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and Changi Airport Group
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is the regulatory authority for civil aviation in Singapore and continues to provide air navigation service. It also has a role in the growth and development of the air hub and aviation industry, while overseeing and promoting safety in the industry.
The Changi Airport Group (CAG) operates Changi Airport, the primary civilian airport for Singapore, and one of the largest transportation hubs in Southeast Asia.
Changi Airport’s new Terminal 4 commenced operations on October 31 2017. T4 features Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) suite, which enable passengers self-service options at various stages of departure – check-in, bag drop, immigration and boarding. Facial recognition technology has been introduced for the first time at T4. The technology is integrated in the FAST process to authenticate each passenger’s identity. This automated process replaces the need for manual identity verification by staff.
Changi Airport launched the ‘Changi Airport Living Lab Programme’ in January, in partnership with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) to drive innovation over the coming 5 years. The S$ 50 million Living Lab Programme is expected to facilitate collaboration with innovation-driven companies and start-ups from the private sector, to develop and demonstrate new technology solutions, in a live airport environment.
The Air Transport Industry Transformation Map (ITM), released in April by CAAS, aims to achieve real value-added growth of 16% from 2015 to 2020 and boost productivity by 3-4% per annum. In addition, it sets a target of creating more than 8,000 new jobs in the sector by 2025.
For promoting innovation, CAAS will set up test beds and support companies in experimenting with new technology and processes to solve urgent challenges faced by the aviation industry.
For example, a first-in-the-world Automated Passenger Loading Bridge is being developed by ST Engineering’s advanced engineering centre, which will use precision lasers and cameras, with smart algorithms, to guide the docking process safely and autonomously, even under harsh weather conditions.
Aviation Challenges (click here and here) have been launched to automate labour-intensive processes, in areas such as narrow-body aircraft baggage handling, and build-up and breakdown of cargo pallets and containers.
Innovations such as Autonomous Guided Vehicle trials to transport food items, a one-man remote-controlled aircraft pushback air tug, integration of Internet of Things (IoT) technology into daily ramp operations in the form of Smart Watches and Bluetooth bone conductor headsets are being used for productivity improvement.
In November, CAAS awarded a contract valued at close to S$7 million, to develop a smart digital tower prototype for air traffic control to be trialled at Changi Airport, over a period of 22 months.
CAAS is also looking into 3D-printed cabin parts.
Cyber Security Agency
The Cyber Security Agency (CSA) is the national agency overseeing cybersecurity strategy, operation, education, outreach, and ecosystem development. It is part of the Prime Minister’s Office and is managed by the Ministry of Communications and Information.
A smart nation is a connected nation. And a connected nation is vulnerable to cyberattacks.
In January this year, CSA formed an Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Community to create an information exchange of cybersecurity related matters in a trusted domain. Sector regulators and Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) operators from the Energy, Water. Maritime and Land Transport sectors have joined the community.
The Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) released a draft Cybersecurity Bill in August. The Bill provides a framework for the regulation of CII. It formalises the duties of CII owners in ensuring the cybersecurity of their respective CIIs and provides CSA with powers to manage and respond to cybersecurity threats and incidents. It also establishes a framework for the sharing of cybersecurity information with and by CSA, and the protection of such information.
Based on feedback received from a public consultation, MCI and CSA said that they would refine the designation of CIIs and work closely with sector regulators to streamline and harmonise the obligations of CII owners under the Bill with their respective sectoral regulations.
CSA also announced the development of a new academy to train cybersecurity professionals. The Academy will provide intermediate to advanced training to cyber defenders in the government, and also invite selected parties in the CII sectors to join in the training. The trainings will be focused on targeted niche areas that go beyond what is normally available in the market.
CSA also continued to enter into several bilateral agreements on cybersecurity cooperation.
Part 2 – Government Technology Agency; Housing & Development Board; Integrated Health Information Systems; Infocomm Media Development Authority; Intellectual Property Office of Singapore; International Enterprise Singapore
Part 3 – Land Transport Authority; Monetary Authority of Singapore; Ministry of Home Affairs; National Environment Agency; National Research Foundation; SkillsFuture Singapore/ Workforce Singapore; SGInnovate
Science, engineering, technology, and innovation give people the power to develop a country and its quality of life. Investment in these areas is vital for economic growth and social progress.
Research and development in smart tech can help build greener cities with better access to essential systems and services for all. Moreover, infrastructure development, technology transfer and public and private R&D must be supported and regulated by good policies if they are to work.
To ensure scientific progress is encouraged and embraced at all levels of government decision-making, the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) is tasked with giving strategic advice to the government and stakeholders, as well as pursuing excellence in science, engineering, and technology for the benefit of everyone.
Malaysia’s S.E.T.I. Initiatives
One of the contributions of the ASM is to incorporate interactive learning of STEM into the pedagogy of education in Malaysian schools. “To see the performance and results, inquiry-based science education (IBSE) will create an interactive learning environment in the physical classroom. Therefore, we want to have this kind of ecosystem and environment in schools.”
She is eager to see more collaboration between tertiary education and industry so that any courses and curricula provided by universities are both industry-required and future-proof. This is why their organisation is working with the government to create collaboration between industry and academia. “I believe that will help us advance more.”
ASM is currently working with the Malaysian government, in particular the central agency, to begin evaluating public decision-making universities based on data. Hence, using facts, metrics, and data to inform strategic business decisions that align with goals, objectives, and initiatives is the most effective data-driven decision-making.
Making data-driven decisions the norm within an organisation is necessary to foster a climate that values scepticism and curiosity. “Data is the starting point of conversations at every level, and people improve their data skills through practice and application,” says Hazami.
At its core, this calls for a self-service model where users can access the data they require while maintaining a balance between security and governance. Additionally, it necessitates proficiency, resulting in opportunities for training and development for workers to acquire data skills.
Additionally, ASM has developed a Responsible Conduct of Research module which acts as a benchmark to have this code of ethics in research taught to all graduates, whether they are in hard sciences or the social sciences.
“We want that because every piece of knowledge we incorporate in the future will be based on good science and value. Therefore, we must consider bioethics, biosecurity, and training modules on ethics in research,” Hazami explains.
ASM has recently directed its scientists to provide solutions in close collaboration with the ministries. Citing as an example is their committee on water, energy, health, agriculture, and biodiversity (WEHAB++). For instance, when Malaysia faces issues such as the price hike for chicken feed which causes societal dissatisfaction, solutions to food security issues such as this can be provided by the Academy’s expert network through science and technology directly to the government and stakeholders.
In addition to providing policies and strategies to decision-makers, the ASM also teaches them how to carry out those policies and strategies by applying their knowledge.
Hazami highlighted the growing movement called “Open Science” which aims to open scientific data and research to the public. In addition to democratising knowledge, the international principle of making research data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR) will support open scientific inquiry and integrity, facilitate improved research management, and encourage data-intensive research.
Unprecedented insights and solutions to local, regional, and global complex challenges are made possible by integrating numerous data streams and enormous datasets across numerous disciplines.
Through the Malaysia Open Science Alliance, the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment & Climate Change (MESTECC), now known as the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI) and the ASM are laying the groundwork for the realisation of the Malaysia Open Science Platform (MOSP), a strategic transformative project to strengthen Malaysia’s STI Collaborative Ecosystem.
“The Malaysia Open Science Platform or MOSP aims to connect raw research data, then collaborate and share,” Hazami explains. “By creating a reliable platform that enables accessibility and sharing of research data aligned to national priorities and international best practices, this initiative seeks to transform Malaysia’s research data into a valuable national asset.”
Hazami is passionate about science and technology because it has the power to change the nation. “I’m attempting to make a change, and one of those changes is in the area of science and technology.”
For her, the most meaningful contribution in her 26 years in the academy was when the government accepted 80% of their recommendations for transforming and creating change and an ecosystem. “For now, our current areas of focus are strengthening governance, the innovation ecosystem and the sustainability of R&D funding.”
A change in paradigm towards a growth mindset among policymakers, scientists and the younger generations is her greatest challenge and greatest passion. She believes that when decision-making is based on data, it can provide the best solution possible.
Hazami strongly believes that Malaysian women are more than capable of pursuing careers in science and technology. They hope to have a strong support network to help them succeed in those fields, whether as practitioners or scientists.
“Our goal is flexibility. We need to have an open work environment and open innovation because we can work from home as researchers and scientists. We are more adaptable now. If we can accomplish this, more and more women will contribute to the workforce more effectively,” she says emphatically.
By reaching out to the top management and demystifying technical terms, OpenGov Asia, a steadfast supporter of Malaysia’s digital transformation journey and an advocate for citizen-centric development, will continue to help bring about change. Hazami concludes by urging top leaders to practice a growth mindset for the betterment of the country.
Hazami strongly believes that over the course of the next five years, ASM will continue to serve as a catalyst for change and create the science, technology, innovation, and economy (STIE) ecosystem for the entire nation towards the full potential of digital transformation, including the Malaysian transformation and the humanisation of the economy. “Leaders’ courageous decisions pave the road to successful digital transformation.”
The Institute for Digital Molecular Analytics and Science (IDMxS), which aims to promote the science of analysing biological molecules (biomolecules) using information technology and data science, was recently established by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore). This could pave the way for real-time environmental or health data monitoring and analysis, like how real-time traffic data can be obtained on mobile devices.
IDMxS, NTU’s newest national Research Centre of Excellence (RCE), is funded with a total investment of over S$160 million over 10 years, with the majority coming from NTU and the National University of Singapore and S$94 million coming from the Singapore Ministry of Education.
Digital molecular analytics, a novel scientific discipline that analyses individual molecules to discover, identify, and measure biomolecules with extraordinary accuracy, is at the core of the work done at IDMxS.
Such a science will open many new areas of research, such as the creation of diagnostic testing capabilities that may then inspire the creation of new technologies and commercial spinoffs, including blood testing kits that can generate findings instantly using nothing more than a smartphone camera.
The interdisciplinary centre is anticipated to house 100 full-time researchers and employees with backgrounds ranging throughout the spectrum of engineering and science, from optics, computer science, and artificial intelligence (AI) to biology, medical technology, and chemistry.
Postgraduate students from NTU will have exceptional chances for interdisciplinary education and training that spans the molecular sciences and information technology through the graduate programme of IDMxS. More than 30 PhD students will receive support from the Centre, four of whom have already begun their studies. As clinical diagnostics become more digital, IDMxS will also create continuing education programmes aimed at developing and modernising the healthcare workforce.
By fusing the fields of biology and information technology – which have each recently undergone revolutionary changes – IDMxS will create the new science of digital molecular analytics. The objective is to develop tools that can track environmental data, such as air and water quality, and health information, like viral infections or molecular signatures that signal the existence of a disease, in real-time. To develop innovative solutions for issues with health, sickness, and environmental monitoring, this process begins with the development of fundamental science.
The ability to simultaneously gather a variety of data types from a biological sample and use tools like AI and machine learning algorithms to analyse and interpret the enormous volume of data that would otherwise be impossible for humans to make sense of is at the core of IDMxS’ digital molecular analytical strategies. The research centre intends to someday spin out solutions like widely used software using digital molecular analytics.
Moreover, making blood sample test kits is one potential use for digital molecular analytics that IDMxS is investigating. The goal of this research is to create a tool that can recognise the various chemicals responsible for illnesses, infections, and diseases.
This suggests that a physician might someday be able to take a blood sample, analyse it with a smartphone camera, and obtain an accurate, real-time reading next to the patient at the doctor’s table. A similar idea might do away with the necessity for additional time-consuming laboratory tests.
The extensive surveillance of illnesses spread by insects like dengue and malaria is another project that is now under development. Researchers can one day create an imaging system that can swiftly detect and monitor dengue among the mosquito population by recognising and analysing the chemicals that make up the dengue virus. Such studies might also be used to track other airborne infections and infectious diseases, in addition to insect-borne diseases that affect urban health.
In a bid to become a digital airline, the Vietnam Airlines Engineering Company Ltd (VAECO), a subsidiary of Vietnam Airlines, has signed a cooperation agreement with private players to deploy an aircraft maintenance and engineering management software system. Under the agreement, the system will provide technical management tools, manage the maintenance programme more closely, and more efficiently synchronise data. This will contribute to reducing maintenance costs and time, improving the operational readiness factor for the fleet.
The software also provides tools for planning, controlling maintenance procedures, and managing human resources to optimise production processes. It will minimise labour costs for recording and data entry and work control, leading to an overall increase in labour productivity, by an estimated 15-20%
The software provides synchronous information about failure status, maintenance history, and the status of spare parts. This enables technicians to make effective and timely repair decisions. It is expected to reduce flight stoppages, delays, and cancellations.
Furthermore, the system will shorten the aircraft maintenance time and create favourable conditions for the airline to concentrate human resources to expand the outside maintenance market share. The Deputy General Director of Vietnam Airlines, Nguyen Chien Thang, noted that the new technology will make an important contribution to helping VAECO become a leading aircraft maintenance service provider in the region while accelerating digital transformation.
Currently, Vietnam Airlines is the airline with the largest fleet in Vietnam, with more than 100 aircraft including Boeing 787, Airbus A350, A321, A321neom, and ATR72. The airline is constantly modernising its fleet, as well as improving its aircraft maintenance capacity and mastering new technologies.
In January, the airline launched two e-commerce platforms VNAMAZING, VNAMALL as well as its Vietnam Airlines Gift Card. The services were the first of their kind in the domestic aviation sector. VNAMAZING offers online tourism services including tour and accommodation bookings. VNAMALL provides a wide range of aviation and non-aviation goods and services.
As OpenGov Asia reported, the Vietnam Airlines Gift Card is a product available on VNAMALL, which can be used to exchange airline tickets or avail of business class upgrade benefits on flights operated by Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines, and VASCO. An official from Vietnam Airlines said that the airline considers e-commerce development one of its top priorities.
In August, the carrier announced that passengers using the airline’s air service can now access a free-of-charge news-reader application called PressReader for Vietnamese and international publications. The application provides more than 7,000 digital newspaper and magazine titles available in over 70 languages. According to Vietnam Airlines, passengers can use the application 24 hours before the scheduled departure time and 24 hours after landing.
To use the app, passengers must download the Vietnam Airlines app, choose the PressReader button, and verify their booking code and flight information. Articles can be read online or downloaded for offline reading.
Most recently, Vietnam Airlines launched an online check-in service for passengers departing from Phu Bai airport in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue. The move increases efficiency and improves customer experience and convenience. Passengers are now able to check in via the official portal or the Vietnam Airlines application within 24 hours to one hour ahead of departure.
New technology will be keeping beachgoers safer this summer with the Smart Beaches project providing real-time data to almost 50 beaches in NSW, helping the region’s lifeguards more accurately predict beach conditions using GPS and smart cameras.
The Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government stated that the NSW government had invested AU$ 1.6 million to expand the project beyond the Northern Beaches and Lake Macquarie to five new council areas up and down the coast this swim season.
He noted that wave detection buoys, artificial intelligence cameras and surf rescue boards fitted with GPS technology to gather accurate data will be used on beach conditions to enable lifeguards to be better prepared for the busy summer ahead.
These smart devices will provide real-time readings on tide conditions and wave patterns, as well as help to predict how many people will visit the beach, how long they will stay and the most popular times for a swim.
The Smart Beaches project will allow beachgoers to feel safer at the surf, knowing the lifeguards have the latest data on hand to be better prepared for dangerous conditions and prevent incidents both in and out of the water.
The Minister for Local Government stated that the expansion of the trial will mean more councils will benefit from new technology. The data insights help councils make better decisions about when and where to roster lifeguards, decisions that could save lives, she said. As a result, this programme will now be expanded to beaches in Randwick, Central Coast, Wollongong, Newcastle, and Sutherland.
The Member for Manly noted that the technology had been successfully trialled at Freshwater, Shelley, South Steyne and Dee Why beaches. Over the summer of 2020-2021, 88 lives were lost in the surf. Thus, the technology will help lifeguards make more informed decisions to reduce that toll.
The state’s lifeguards will require all help they can get monitoring the surf, conditions, crowd numbers and keeping our beachgoers safe. An app is also being developed for Summer 2023/2024 that will help councils streamline existing reporting and data systems into one, easy-to-interpret dashboard. Funding has been provided through the Smart Places Acceleration Programme, an AU$45 million allocation as part of the Digital Restart Fund.
About the Smart Places Acceleration Programme
The NSW government has launched the NSW Smart Places Acceleration Programme, an AU$45 million initiative that helps place owners – including councils, government agencies, property owners, and regional organisations – partner with the State Government to solve problems and improve the quality of life for communities across regional and metropolitan NSW.
The programme will seek to:
- Support economic and community recovery post COVID-19
- Encourage partnerships with and co-investment from local councils and industry to deliver smart place initiatives
- Support advancement and implementation of the NSW Smart Places Strategy
- Ensure NSW remains the leading state in implementing Smart Places initiatives
The Minister for Customer Service stated that this programme will connect and empower communities by driving investment in new technology and data. The aim is to use technology to make life easier for people. Be it busting congestion or improving health outcomes, the funding aims to strengthen communities. The government is calling on expressions of interest and encourages all relevant councils and place owners to bring forward ideas.
The seven best smart cities in Indonesia were announced at the Ministry of Communication and Informatics seminar and exhibition on the Movement Towards Smart Cities (Smart City) in 2022 in Jakarta. Representatives from 141 regencies attend the event in a framework for evaluating the implementation of the Smart City 2022 program.
District/city officials who have succeeded in developing a master plan under the Smart City development in their respective regions attended. The session was organised to showcase the commitment of all regional leaders so that the community see the benefits and progress, said Bambang Dwi Anggono, Director of Government Information Application Services (LAIP) of the Ministry of Communication and Information.
The five best cities and two districts took the Smart City award in the following categories:
- Smart Governance: City of Bandung,
- Smart Branding: Surakarta City,
- Smart Economy: Semarang City,
- Smart Society: City of Yogyakarta,
- Smart Living: Demak Regency,
- Smart Environment: Madiun City, and
- National Priority Tourism Area: Wonogiri
The Smart City initiative is a strategic step toward addressing development plans holistically. The programme aims to harmonise regional government sectors and regional initiative programmes with other regional governments, the central government, the business world, and even other countries. Local governments can work together with other local governments, businesses, academia, and the general public to launch various initiatives that will have a positive impact.
The Smart City Movement aims to guide regions and cities across Indonesia in designing digital-based development that considers each region’s potential and challenges. Furthermore, the Smart City programme can bring innovations from Jakarta to other areas, ensuring an even distribution of development programmes.
The Ministry of Communication and Information has facilitated interconnection with relevant parties in the Smart City development. In addition, the Ministry, through the LAIP Directorate, intends to include 50 regencies/cities in the Smart City master plan assistance in 2023.
“We hope that regional leaders (regents/mayors) will have the courage to innovate and make breakthroughs for the good of society. Correspondingly, we encourage regional heads to become change agents in these breakthroughs (SPBE),” said Bambang Dwi Anggono.
The Ministry intends to implement Smart Province next year. The Smart Province programme will select two provinces in 2023 to prepare the master plan. Smart Province development conceptualises development innovations at the provincial level and coordinates Smart City development at the district level within its jurisdiction. Two provinces will be selected to help prepare the master plan.
Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, Director General of Informatics Applications at the Ministry of Communication and Information, emphasised the importance of digital transformation as a foundation for building smart cities.
“Creating a Smart City begins with digital transformation; from there, every local government understands what is required. Because each Regional Government has unique characteristics. But, in the end, everything will point to the holistic Smart City that we taught,” he was quoted as saying.
He also stressed the importance of creating a master plan for the long-term development of Smart Cities as establishing a smart city would take 15 to 20 years. As a result, the Ministry has created a programme to educate local entities on constructing a Smart City.
The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) has sped up the development of technology to keep up with the fast changes in the economy, society, and way of life. This is especially important for the year 2023 when people’s activities around the world are expected to rely more on digital systems, such as finances, business, information management, transportation, and many other things.
The Digital Post ID was recently introduced by Chaiwut Thanakmanusorn, Minister of Digital Economy and Society (DES). The system is currently undergoing testing by the necessary organisations and is anticipated to be implemented by 2023.
The government agency is making strides to improve digital innovation infrastructure. According to the Digital Economy Promotion Master Plan (2018 – 2022), there is a proposal to alter the form of addressing information into a digital address, known as Digital Post ID by designating the Thai Post Office as a regulating body.
The MDES runs projects to improve Thailand’s delivery system, which has been based on five-digit postal codes for more than 40 years. This is done by making it easier to find people in Thailand with a digital 1post ID code that can be turned into their address coordinates down to the household level.
To facilitate having a digital post ID In the future, post offices or logistics providers will have QR code label printers that digitally affix a post ID to parcels or envelopes. Personal information will not be displayed on the box or envelope’s address, so both the recipient and sender may rest assured that their privacy will be protected.
The application must be installed on the device to scan the QR Code and display the sender-recipient information, and the QR Code has a single usage. In addition, access to various information is restricted in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act 2019 principles. In addition, it will ensure the purchase of e-Commerce products more because it may connect the delivery routes.
The Digital Post ID service provided by Thailand Post is an extremely helpful one that helps to maintain the safety and confidentiality of the documents owned by individuals. In addition, Thailand is rapidly embracing digital technology, and the country is becoming increasingly well-connected. With a population of over 69 million, the country is home to a wide range of Internet users, and digital technology is growing rapidly.
The Thai government has been proactive in promoting digital technology and has implemented several initiatives to help the country keep up with the rest of the world. This includes increasing access to high-speed Internet, encouraging digital literacy, and investing in the development of digital infrastructure.
The government has also been encouraging the use of mobile phones, tablets and laptops. These devices are becoming increasingly popular and are being used by people of all ages to access information and services.
The Thai government has also been investing in the development of cloud computing services. This has enabled businesses in the country to store their data securely and access it quickly and easily. Cloud computing has also enabled businesses to reduce their costs, as they can access services without having to invest in physical infrastructure. Furthermore, the Thai government is promoting the development of e-commerce and online payment systems
Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang announced at a cabinet meeting that Taiwan’s contract chip manufacturing firms now have a 63% share of the global market. Furthermore, Taiwanese companies handle 58% of all global integrated circuit packaging and testing. As a result, Taiwan semiconductor manufacturing has emerged as a critical player in global supply chains.
Taiwan’s semiconductor industry has risen to first place in the world in chip manufacturing and integrated circuit packaging after four decades of hard work. Taiwan also ranks second globally in integrated circuit design, with a 22% market share. Furthermore, the domestic semiconductor industry is collaborating with foreign partners to serve global clients, demonstrating that Taiwan is an essential and irreplaceable partner due to the world’s most efficient and difficult-to-duplicate production model.
The achievement began three years ago when Taiwan took advantage of the global scenario. Taiwan persuaded related industry operations to relocate from China to Taiwan. Premier Su mentions the effort that resulted in three years of economic success.
According to recent data from global indexes, the premier also stated that Taiwan ranks among the top countries in the world on criteria such as investment environment and free democracy, with the country ranking among the best in Asia in many categories. These high marks enforce even more confidence in international partners.
Nonetheless, Su emphasises the importance of Taiwan remaining vigilant. The government is developing response measures to allow domestic chip manufacturers to maintain their competitive edge and vital positions in the industry. Premier Su stated that the government is consulting with the industry to develop a future development strategy. The strategy provides more generous tax incentives, encourages R&D investment, and eases restrictions on talent recruitment, in addition to delivering Taiwan-based semiconductor manufacturers with a high-quality investment environment, including the provision of water, electricity and land.
The government’s comprehensive support for the domestic semiconductor industry will enable Taiwan to maintain its lead in advanced technology and efficient fabrication methods, secure a substantial competitive advantage, and continue contributing to the world. The country will also adhere to international norms while reassuring allies. Taiwan will maintain this stance in the future, displaying critical strengths to the world and being a team player who inspires international trust.
Meanwhile, Taiwan and Slovakia recently signed three Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in Bratislava, pledging to increase bilateral trade, startup exchanges, and talent-nurturing collaborations in the semiconductor sector. The Memoranda of Understanding were signed by the Taipei Importers and Exporters Association and the Council of Slovak Exporters, Taiwan’s Startup Terrace and the Slovak Business Agency, National Sun Yat-sen University, and the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava.
The MoUs were signed during the second session of the Taiwanese-Slovak Commission on Economic Cooperation, which was attended by a Taiwanese delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Tsai Ming-yen. During the meeting, Tsai and Peter Gerhart, Slovak State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy, discussed ways to expand bilaterally.