Innovation-Driven initiatives pave the way for Singapore’s Smart Nation Vision

Published on : Monday, April 27, 2015

smart singaporeInnovations will be critical at every step of Singapore’s Smart Nation journey. To support this, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) will be building up the innovation space with the focus on two areas – Tech Innovation and Business Innovation. A series of key initiatives under each focus area were announced today by Mr Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman, IDA, at Smart Nation Innovations held at the Hotel Fort Canning.



Tech Innovation

Singapore is working on innovative technologies that will form the infrastructural foundation for Smart Nation, bringing connectivity for “Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, All the Time” (E3A). Two of these technologies include the Smart Nation Platform (SNP) and Heterogeneous Network (HetNet).



Launched last year, SNP has begun Phase 1 deployment. Partnering the tech industry, work on critical SNP components such as the Data Centre, IP Core, AG Boxes and Data Fusion & Sense Making Platform has started. Opportunities for the industry to work with IDA on other components such as the Data Exchange would progressively be released.



The Phase 2 Industry Roundtable (IR) session has completed, and IDA has received strong validation from IR participants on areas such as building an ecosystem-based architecture for the SNP. One of the key objectives of the SNP is to allow public agencies to have better situational awareness, and render anticipatory responses and services to businesses and individual.



IDA will be launching the HetNet trials at the Jurong Lake District, with the aim of validating advance telecommunication technologies and the capabilities of HetNet in providing pervasive, seamless high-speed Internet access. This initiative has received strong support from the industry. M1, MyRepublic, Singtel and StarHub are some of the companies partnering IDA in the first phase of the HetNet trials.



The trials will be carried out in locations such as lifts, pedestrian walkways, bus interchange, and the MRT station. The trial networks are expected to be rolled out from Q3 2015, with the completion targeted for the end of 2015. Through the trials, industry players will evaluate optimal solutions to ease network congestion in areas with heavy human traffic.  The feasibility of seamless handover between cellular and wireless networks is also tested. An example would be when a consumer experiences seamless connectivity throughout his journey from the MRT station (via cellular network), to the lift (via public wireless network) and back home (via private wireless network).



HetNet is expected to bring about immediate and long term benefits for citizens. Users will benefit from better mobile and wireless connectivity at congested areas because of the enhanced infrastructure. Smart Nation applications such as autonomous vehicles, remote health monitoring and remote learning can be made available in the future, with the help of HetNet technological innovation and a good foundation of critical telecommunication infrastructure from the industry. For the companies in the tech, engineering and R&D space, the trials will facilitate the development of solutions to meet challenges faced by the industry such as increasing data demands of consumers and devices.



Standards such as IoT standards will form the basis upon which innovation can occur. To this end, IDA has completed two sets of Technical Reference for Sensor Network for Smart Nation – one for public areas, and one for homes. Available for purchase via the Singapore Standards e-shop, these technical references will provide guidance in supporting more companies and developers in their innovation development for sensor networks for Smart Nation.



Business Innovation

In the area of business innovation, IDA is collaborating with Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC). The collaboration will enable tech companies to co-innovate and prototype innovative technologies on Sentosa island to create market validated products for commercialisation. Sentosa will provide real-business challenges to address, and local tech companies can prototype innovative tech or solutions to solve the challenges.   The projects will cover areas such as the island resort’s transportation, landscaping, safety and security services, as well as other operational areas to improve efficiency and guest experience.



Mr Leonard said, “Our Prime Minister launched the Smart Nation vision in 2014. This year, we have started to build the foundation to realise this vision. For the Smart Nation vision to succeed, we need to close cooperation between Government, start-ups, universities, research institutes, and big companies. We need to experiment and create innovative solutions across important sectors such as healthcare, transportation, finance and logistics. We are confident we can do great things for Singapore and for others around the world as a result of the Smart Nation vision.”



Smart Nation Innovations is part of a series of key events happening over a week, such as the Founders Forum Smart Nation Singapore (21 April 2015), and Tech Saturday (25 April 2015). The eventfeatures a line-up of international and local speakers who would be sharing their perspectives on how technologies such as IoT and data analytics can make the world move fast and smart. Participants also have the chance to visit the Tech Alley, where some of the most talked about technologies such as a solar powered 3D printed car, virtual taste and people analytics were showcased.

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