International Business & Economy IDA Launches Smart Nation Fellowship Programme to Foster a Network of Top...

IDA Launches Smart Nation Fellowship Programme to Foster a Network of Top Data Science and Tech Talents for Singapore




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The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) today launched the Smart Nation Fellowship Programme, calling out to top data scientists, technologists and engineers to help the Singapore government deliver meaningful digital and data solutions to improve the lives of citizens.
This initiative serves to encourage those passionate about the intersection of technology and the public good to contribute to Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative. These could include Singaporeans working overseas for technology companies, or others working in the private sector or academia in Singapore. This is part of government’s overall effort to bring a wider group of engineers and technologists to contribute to our Smart Nation efforts as shared by the Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Hsien Loong during his earlier trip to San Francisco in February 2016.
Successful Fellowship applicants, or Fellows, will be appointed for short stints of three to six months, and work alongside software engineers, data scientists and product developers from the IDA’s Government Digital Services (GDS) team, as well as users and developers from different government agencies. They will design, build and deploy data science or technology solutions to real world problems. To allow the Fellows to commence work immediately, projects will be scoped out before they begin their stint in Singapore.
Fellows will join a forward-looking GDS team to develop a suite of transformative digital and data solutions for citizens. The GDS team works closely with multiple government agencies responsible for areas such as transport, housing, security, healthcare and the environment to leverage data-driven insights to help create experimental applications such as Beeline1 , a mobile app that meets commuter demand for express private bus routes through crowdsourcing; MyResponder2 , a mobile app that mobilises the community to respond to cardiac arrest cases within their immediate vicinity, and OneService3 , a one-stop platform that enables citizens to send their immediate feedback on municipal issues they encounter.
For a start, the Government targets to appoint the inaugural batch of four to eight Fellows by this year. IDA will also establish a global resource network of Fellowship alumni that the Government can continually tap on for their expertise on data science and technology projects over the longer term. Aspiring technology leaders already in various Government agencies will also benefit from the opportunity to interact with the Fellows, accelerating their learning and personal development, and contributing to the overall development of technology leadership for Singapore.
Ms Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director, IDA, said, “Building a Smart Nation requires all hands on deck. There are many citizen-centric challenges that are best tackled through the use of technology and open data; but we need a core group of software engineers, designers and product developers who can deliver data-driven insights for the public good and develop tech solutions for citizens. To the credit of our education system, our best and brightest engineers find themselves in demand by leading technology companies all over the world.
“The Government must continually engage with and learn from these technology experts globally to actively create technology applications that have the potential to change lives in Singapore. We especially hope that Singaporeans abroad who have established themselves in the tech sector will be excited at the prospect of contributing some of their time to make a difference to our Smart Nation vision and to inspire the next generation of technologists in Singapore.”
Mr Liu Feng-Yuan, Director, Data Science Division, IDA, said, “It is not just about crunching data and playing with the latest, coolest technologies. What’s meaningful is harnessing insights that can improve public policy and operations; innovating with technology and building products and platforms that can help make a difference in people’s lives. We look forward to working with these passionate technologists to tackle challenges in areas such as healthcare, transportation, Open Data and public service delivery.”
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