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A "Smart Nation" – a Vision for the Future of Singapore

Breanne Wilson
Oracle University SEO & Content Strategist

Written by Etka Sivasriamphai 

As
a small, densely populated country, Singapore faces many challenges to remain competitive in the global marketplace, while empowering citizens to lead fruitful lives.

Singapore faces two main challenges:

  • Land scarcity
  • An aging population
These limitations have propelled the government to announce its intention to build a “Smart
Nation” – a vision that will embed technology into the daily lives and activities
of each resident.

So
what does this mean exactly?

The Smart Nation initiative is a broad strategy that strives to use innovation
as a multiplier, rather than individually target each challenge by using
valuable resources and building infrastructure.

An example would be the My
Responder app launched in 2015 in the healthcare industry.

A country can only
build so many hospitals, hire and train so many doctors and nurses.

Using
technology to broaden the reach of healthcare support, the My Responder app is
a mobile application
collaboration between Civil Defense Force
(SCDF) and Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) to save lives and
increase the survival rate for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac arrest.

This is just one
example of the new innovations being launched or tested.

At
its foundation, the concept of a "Smart Nation" means people and businesses are
empowered through increased access to data.

Rather than a top down approach,
technology levels the playing field, encouraging citizens to participate in the
contribution of innovative ideas and solutions.

At the same time, it allows the
government to look forward and better service residents with solutions that can
be quickly implemented.

In
a country where nearly 90% of households have internet access, the tech savvy
population has created a strong foundation on which to build a technology-driven economy.

In addition, government agencies have continued to launch
initiatives to support individuals and companies in their efforts to integrate
technology, be it through learning grants or project subsidies. This holistic
approach to drive the use of innovation at every level is unique.

Through
collaboration, the private and public sectors are working together to roll out
programs like:

  • Driverless public transport services
  • On demand
    transportation
  • Smart homes
  • Recycling

.....all through technology innovation.

The vision is bold and limitless.

As the years roll by, Singapore is going to
look very different. 
How the people go about their days is going to change.

The
Smart Nation initiative is likely going to bring about a change in culture,
lifestyle, and encourage a greater sense of community. At the business level, a
change in productivity, competitiveness, and a superior level of product and
service.

While
the vision is bright, there is an underlying deficiency which can slow
progress: the shortage of IT skills in Singapore.

In 2014, the IDA
stated 
there were 150,000 technology professionals working in
Singapore, and about 15,000 vacancies could not be filled.

The issue here is
twofold. First, the pool of IT professionals in Singapore is just not large
enough. Second, within that pool, the skill sets available aren't what employers are
seeking.

Source: https://www.ida.gov.sg/Tech-Scene-News/Facts-and-Figures/Infocomm-Manpower

Recognizing this, the IDA has put  many training schemes and grants into place to help locals learn relevant technologies. These
include the
SkillsFuture initiative, CITREP, Skills Development Fund (SDF), among others.

These programs
have allowed private organizations to partner with the government to help
students develop the skills of the future. Such skills include expertise in
software development, security, and database management.

Oracle University supports locals
looking to align themselves with the government vision by empowering themselves with
in demand skills.

Today, Oracle University offers a series of courses endorsed
under
the governments’ NICF
and CITREP
programs. This move is designed to help individuals get access to training from
Oracle experts at the forefront of technology. With the help of government subsidies,
individuals have the opportunity to invest in themselves and expand their skill sets.

Learn
more
about available courses at Oracle University, as well as the support the IDA can offer you!

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