Credit: Ministry of Communications and Information

Credit: Ministry of Communications and Information

MCI to introduce Digital Readiness Blueprint to support Singapore’s smart nation vision

According to Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI)’s Addendum to the President’s Address,  the mission of MCI is to connect people to community, Government, and opportunity. In support of Singapore’s Smart Nation vision, MCI will grow the digital economy, strengthen Singaporeans’ digital readiness, and secure the cyberspace.

Growing the InfoComm, Media, and Design sectors

As the future will be increasingly shaped by digital technologies, MCI targets to strengthen the InfoComm, Media, and Design (ICMD) sectors as growth multipliers for Singapore and to create more opportunities for Singaporeans.

According to Minister for Communications and Information Mr S Iswaran, a stronger ICMD sector will enable Singapore to accelerate digital transformation across the economy. As such, MCI will implement the InfoComm Media Industry Transformation Map to deepen capabilities in digital technologies, grow the sector and create new jobs. It will also implement the Design 2025 Masterplan to leverage design as an enabler of innovation and value creation for businesses and the economy.

To support such efforts, the SMEs Go Digital programme will be expanded to further assist SMEs ride the new wave of growth, and develop more targeted Industry Digital Plans. MCI will also launch the Open Innovation Platform (OIP) to promote innovation and enterprise.

The OIP is a crowd-sourcing platform that is supported by a curated innovation process, to enable the ICM companies to collaboratively build new solutions that address real business problems. It aims to: (1) facilitate the collaboration to accelerate the development of innovative and scalable solutions, (2) operate a curated innovation process that brings together different expertise from across the innovation ecosystem, (3) support the co-creation of solutions that are currently not commercially available and address business or sector requirements, (4) support the digitalisation efforts of sectors and companies, and (5) enhance the capabilities of Singapore’s ICM companies and grow new digital champions.

For skills development to nurture talents for an innovation-driven digital economy the Ministry will ramp up the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) efforts to equip more Singaporeans with relevant skills. More Digital Leadership programmes will be launched with the objective of grooming the next generation of leaders in digital transformation.

Building a digitally ready community

According to MCI, Singapore’s digital economy will be supported by world-class infrastructure and regulations by improving connectivity with 5G and increasing international data flows. The Ministry will ensure that the regulations remain “fit for purpose”, including the Broadcasting Act and the Personal Data Protection Act.

Minister Mr S. Iswaran announced that the Ministry will introduce a Digital Readiness Blueprint to enable all Singaporeans to fully participate in and benefit from digital opportunities in their everyday lives. The MCI will look into developing a basic digital access package and setting up touchpoints in the community to provide basic one-on-one assistance on using digital devices and accessing digital services.

“We will help Singaporeans build information and media literacy skills so that they are able to discern, evaluate, and manage information in an increasingly complex digital environment. This will also allow Singaporeans to guard against the proliferation of falsehoods. We will also partner schools to equip students with coding, computational thinking, and digital making skills to develop the next generation of future-ready Singaporeans,” Minister said.

Keeping Singapore’s cyberspace safe and secure

The National Cybersecurity Strategy sets out that keeping the cyberspace secure is the foundation of a Smart Nation. The Ministry will implement the Strategy to strengthen Singapore’s critical information infrastructure and develop cybersecurity ecosystem. It will also grow international partnerships, as “cyber threats do not respect geographical boundaries”.

According to Minister S. Iswaran, the Ministry will continue to contribute to multilateral efforts to develop cyber norms and work with international partners to drive the development of cybersecurity standards for emerging technologies.

Even as we encourage Singaporeans to embrace digital technologies to improve their lives, we must be on guard against threats and risks that propagate through such technologies. One such threat is from deliberate online falsehoods that threaten our multi-racial society by sowing discord, exploiting fault lines, and undermining public institutions,” he said.

Apart from building Singaporeans’ info-literacy skills, the Ministry will also leverage technology to swiftly respond to such threats, including building up the Government’s Factually platform.

Strengthening government communications

In light of an increasingly complex communications landscape, the Singapore Government will develop a Whole-of-Government Communications Roadmap to transform government communications capabilities and leverage technology to improve the way the government engages different age groups and communities. Public Service Broadcasting will focus on local content reflective of Singapore’s rich cultural heritage, and delivering it through traditional and digital platforms.

At the same time, MCI will also enhance government communications and develop libraries of the future. It will continue to build Singapore’s Libraries of the Future and conduct more programmes to make every Singaporean an active library user. This includes the digitalisation of more library services to make the currently National Library Board mobile app even more user-friendly.

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