Image Source: The Straits Times

The launch of Singapore’s Industry Transformation Map (ITM) for the Infocomm Media sector on 3 November 2017 signals the government’s intention to grow and play a bigger role in the digital economy. This is supported by a slew of grants offered by the Infocomm Media Development Authority to attract global industry players and professionals to base their operations here.

The ITM is the blueprint for Singapore’s strategy in the digital economy and would position the city-state as a leader in an ever-changing global digital landscape. Among its aims is to grow the industry by 6 per cent annually – twice the rate of growth for the overall economy. The sector, which employed 194,000 workers in 2016, looks set to grow this number to 210,000 by 2020.

The ITM has three priority areas: Firstly, to invest and develop the capabilities in four technological frontiers – Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics, Cybersecurity, Immersive Media and Internet of Things. Secondly, to reinforce the core of the Infocomm sector, and prepare the next generation of Infocomm professionals and companies for future employment prospects and opportunities for business. Thirdly, to guide companies and the workforce from the other sectors to adopt digital technology to improve productivity and efficiency.

Infocomm companies seeking to set up in Singapore would benefit from grants ranging from business partnerships, production assistance and marketing.

The fully-operational, 13-hectare Data Centre Park called Tanjong Kling will provide an additional boost in infrastructure by allowing multinationals and enterprise to set up their headquarters and data centre operations there.

Khoong Hock Yun, assistant chief executive of development at the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), told online magazine DataCentreDynamics: “Such infrastructure aims help data centre operators get to the market quickly and reduce overall capital expenditure and operating costs through the economies of scale provided by Tanjong Kling.”

Another development in infrastructure is the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN) which will provide ultra-high speed broadband access of 1Gbps and more to all addresses in Singapore.

In addition, Accreditation @ SG Digital, a rebranding of Accreditation @ IMDA, aims to widen the pool of accredited companies from start-ups and young SMEs to include mature SMEs and foreign deep-technology companies. This provides a leg-up for foreign tech companies based in Singapore to better showcase and commercialise their products and solutions globally with the Singapore brand.

Image Source: The Straits Times

One company that has gained from setting up here is Lucasfilm Singapore, which has 300 employees. Micheline Chau, president and chief operating officer of Lucasfilm, shared that, “Singapore was our location of choice for so many reasons: it is a cosmopolitan city, has a growing talent base and is an attractive place to live. Our long-term partnership with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) gave us the ability to begin work almost immediately in concert with our animation unit in California.”

Perhaps an indication of the pre-eminence of Singapore as a centre for Info-communications and the media is the Singapore Media Festival’s status as the leading international media event in the region.

Hosted by the Info-communications Media Development Authority from 23 November to 3 December 2017, the fourth edition of the festival saw an emphasis on emerging technologies, new platforms and creative innovation.

With an attendance of more than 20,000 media and creative professionals, industry thought leaders, and television and film fans from all over the world, the event also celebrated the best in Asian storytelling, led by a focus on virtual reality and digital content creation.