Welcome Remarks by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information (Singapore), at the Gala Dinner of the 13th ASEAN Telecommunications and IT Ministers Meeting and the 2nd Asean ICT Awards
Welcome Remarks by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information (Singapore), at the Gala Dinner of the 13th Asean Telecommunications and IT Ministers Meeting and the 2nd ASEAN ICT Awards, 14 November 2013, 7.40pm, Gardens by the Bay
ASEAN Secretary General, Le Luong Minh
ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré
Ladies and Gentlemen
- It is my pleasure to welcome you to the 13th ASEAN Telecommunications and IT Ministers Meeting (“13thTELMIN”) Gala Dinner and the ASEAN ICT Awards 2013. Tonight, we celebrate the spirit of friendship and partnerships within ASEAN, and between ASEAN and our Dialogue Partners. We are also here to recognise ICT innovations in ASEAN.
ASEAN - Reinforcing Ties
Today, ASEAN Member States have had many fruitful discussions to strengthen our ICT collaboration and chart the regional ICT journey for greater growth and to enhance quality of life for our people. Tomorrow, we will have similar conversations with our Dialogue Partners, which I am confident will be equally fruitful.
Our Dialogue Partners – China, India, Republic of Korea, Japan and the International Telecommunication Union (“ITU”) contribute in many ways; through sharing of experiences, providing expertise, assisting to develop our human capital, just to name a few. ASEAN is grateful to our Dialogue Partners for your commitment, contributions and friendship in being part of ASEAN’s ICT journey.
Embracing Innovation in ASEAN**
While the governments in ASEAN have close relations with each other and with our Dialogue Partners, ASEAN’s ICT development cannot take off without the support from our industry players. Indeed, with the use of ICT almost ubiquitous, innovations from the industry have a tremendous impact on our lives more than ever.
For instance, today we are seeing companies with access to almost unlimited computing power delivered via the cloud. Through advanced data mining technology, analysts can uncover complex trends. Businesses are able to harness the possibilities offered by the Internet and reap the benefits of e-commerce and telecommuting. ICT has provided many opportunities, and societies that have the most innovative ideas are able to realise them effectively and quickly, would have a competitive advantage. The venue for tonight’s Dinner also testifies how technology has been harnessed effectively to redefine our living environment. The Gardens by the Bay uses cutting edge technology to ensure that its energy needs are not provided at the expense of environmental conservation. It is a testament that a garden within a city with limited space is entirely possible, through the clever use of technology and innovation.
ASEAN ICT Awards Encourage Innovation and Excellence
Tonight, we recognise and celebrate innovations, through the ASEAN ICT Awards (AICTA), which was first mooted by Brunei Darussalam. The awards aim to encourage innovation and creativity in the region, and provide the necessary platform to promote ASEAN ICT products and services globally. Singapore is honoured to host the second AICTA awards this year, which is also a key part of the ASEAN ICT Masterplan 2015 (“AIM 2015”).
The AICTA awards recognise innovations in six major categories: the Public Sector category, the Private Sector category, the Start Up category, the Corporate Social Responsibility category and the Digital Content category. This year, we also introduced the Research and Development category.
The AICTA R&D category is open to any research and development efforts that discover, or invent, new knowledge, processes, products or services that meet the demands of the market. Let me share this year’s nominees for this category.
From Indonesia, the Klungbot or otherwise known as the “Angklung Robot”, is a musical system from the Engineering Physics Department, ITB (Institut Teknologi Bandung – Bandung Institute of Technology), Indonesia, that fuses the traditional and the modern. It seeks to enhance traditional musical instrument with modern acoustic, robotic, and informatics technologies. The Klungbot also enables the angklung composer writing an arrangement, to try the composition without requiring actual musicians.
From Lao PDR, an Optical Character Recognition (“OCR”) device by the E-Government Center converts any image format to a text.file to be edited for other purposes. The process is easily extendable to be used for other languages, besides the Lao Language. This automated conversion process is fast, economical, and does not use much labour, enable printed content to be shared over the web or any other electronic medium.
Finally, from Singapore, the Multi-screen Cloud Social TV by Movue Media Pte Ltd is a cloud-based, smart TV solution which integrates both back-end media cloud technologies with front-end advanced human computer interaction (“HCI”) technologies. The cloud-based backend system offers a solution that is independent of the viewing platform, to deliver a seamless viewing experience.
These three companies demonstrate the importance of ICT in delivering benefits to their customers and it is this spirit that we must continue to cultivate in our ICT industries, to enhance the delivery of services and to improve the quality of life of our people.
The AICTA honours the best of ASEAN’s ICT talent. I am pleased to note that there are 18 ASEAN companies finalists, across the six categories. Let me offer my congratulations once again to all the finalists. Your innovation will go a long way to enhance the possibilities of technology.
I wish everyone a pleasant evening. Thank you.