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OPENING ADDRESS BY MR EDWIN TONG, SENIOR MINISTER OF STATE FOR LAW AND FOR HEALTH AT GEOWORKS LAUNCH ON 16 JULY 2018
Home > Articles > Highlights > 2018 > OPENING ADDRESS BY MR EDWIN TONG, SENIOR MINISTER OF STATE FOR LAW AND FOR HEALTH AT GEOWORKS LAUNCH ON 16 JULY 2018
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to congratulate SLA on the launch of GeoWorks.
Today marks a milestone in our journey towards a Smart Nation. It signifies a new era of collaboration - between the Government and industry, in driving Singapore’s geospatial development.
Growing Importance of Geospatial Information and Technology
Geospatial – or location-based information and technology – is becoming increasingly important to leverage and drive businesses for the Government, economy and society.
It has wide applications, from everyday activities to government services.
Geospatial underpins policy planning, operations and public service delivery
- SCDF’s MyResponder app saves lives by notifying nearby volunteers of the location of victims of cardiac arrest.
- MSO’s OneService app enables efficient resolution of municipal issues using geo-tagged reports of incidents from citizens who spot something that is not right.
Geospatial generates value and accelerates the growth of markets and the economy.
Using geospatial, businesses optimise processes, create innovation, through food delivery and taxi-booking apps, for example, Grab and Foodpanda. In the logistics and transport sectors, geospatial optimises scheduling and delivery routes.
Geospatial also attracts strong global institutional attention. In 2017, the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding to co-develop a geospatial framework for countries to reference when developing their spatial data infrastructures.
Driving Geospatial Development in SG
The team here has come a long way, since it first started its spatial data infrastructure in 2008.
Previously known as the SG-SPACE programme, it drove the development of geospatial policies, technologies and human resources to manage and harness the use of geospatial information and technology.
Its outcomes included:
- Adoption of ISO international data standards;
- Development of data-sharing platforms, GeoSpace and OneMap;
- Implementation of capacity building initiatives, such as the Singapore Geopatial Challenge and the Singapore Geospatial Scholarship.
In 2018, SLA broadened SG-SPACE to Geospatial Singapore. This change signifies a whole-of-nation approach towards geospatial development.
Under this new framework, SLA released the Singapore Geospatial Master Plan earlier this month. It aims to galvanize the industry, different sectors of the economy, government and citizens to maximize the value of geospatial information and technology.
GeoWorks: A New Integrated Direction for SLA
Under the Master Plan’s industry track, SLA aims to develop a thriving geospatial industry.
Using its geospatial expertise, government datasets and networks built up over the years, SLA will:
- Help Singaporeans benefit from geospatial information and technology;
- Foster a vibrant geospatial ecosystem - driving innovation, promoting business opportunities and a well-connected community.
GeoWorks is a geospatial industry centre, with programmes to bring together geospatial companies, sectoral users of geospatial technology, and government agencies.
Today, I am glad to learn that:
- 17 geospatial partner companies (“GeoPartners”) have contributed to the success of GeoWorks.
- 22 scale-ups (“GeoTechs”) have also made their home here.
They comprise both global and local scale-ups, looking to grow their business in Singapore and the region. Many are here today to showcase their noteworthy solutions.
GeoWorks will support these companies by providing expertise, resources and business opportunities.
For example, SLA, together with the Singapore Logistics Association and the SUSS, co-organized the Supply Chain Challenge++ in May. Over 3 months, students and industry players developed solutions to address challenges faced by 5 locals SMEs in the logistic sector. GeoWorks will organise more such challenges to further support industry innovation and SMEs’ digitalization efforts, marrying industry players with solutions.
Another example – GeoWorks supports the scale-up SpaceTravel to promote social inclusiveness, by pioneering barrier-free routing services for the disabled.
GeoWorks will grow by engaging regionally, building up new networks, new partnerships and new capacity.
The MOUs we sign today with StarHub and the Action Community for Entrepreneurship represent this broad step.
Our young are also a source of talent and inspiration. We are awarding the Singapore Geospatial Scholarship to a bright individual today. We are confident that he will contribute to the geospatial sector.
I am confident that SLA will continue its efforts in developing our talent pool and take GeoWorks to greater heights.
I wish GeoWorks and its members all the best in its future endeavours.