Singapore urged to build up new media


SINGAPORE -- Singapore's media authorities should leverage the country's strategic role as a gateway between East and West "to become a center for globally integrated enterprises," a government-appointed advisory panel said Wednesday.

This was one of eight recommendations announced at a briefing following the Media Development Authority's two-day International Advisory Panel held here Monday and Tuesday.

A five-member sub-panel also approved about S$30 million ($19.7 million) in funding for 15 research proposals from academic institutions, according to panelist Paul Saffo, a technology forecaster and consulting associate professor at Stanford University's School of Engineering.

Research areas include games, computer graphics and image processing, virtual augmentation and mixed reality.

The 10-person panel, which included film director Shekhar Kapur ("Elizabeth"), said that the MDA needs to "create an integrated strategy for the new-media age that includes the repurposing of media content for different formats, platforms and versions."

Singapore should be positioned "as a conducive place for the co-creation of intellectual property by putting in place an ecosystem that brings creative talent from all over the world to develop their ideas here," the panel concluded.

The recommendations identified the music and publishing sectors as potential growth areas.

"For the music sector, Singapore needs to explore ways to extract revenue through new platforms and applications to offer niche content for today's increasingly sophisticated market," panel members said.

The recommendations will be considered during the ongoing update of the MDA's Media 21 blueprint, released about four years ago, MDA chairman Tan Chin Nam said.

"The insights offered by the IAP will (be) useful as we hone Media Fusion 2015, of which a key strategic thrust is to catalyze the Interactive and Digital Media (IDM) sector," Tan said.

The new Media Fusion 2015 aims to create 10,000 new jobs and a value-added contribution of S$10 billion by the year 2015.

Media Fusion 2015 is "geared to propel Singapore's media industry forward in the digital age, as part of the creative economy and aligned with the growth formula of World Singapore," the MDA said.

Other members of the international panel included Dr. Jose Encarnacao, professor of computer science at the Technische Universitaet Darmstadt and head of the Interactive Graphics Research Group (TUD-GRIS) and Dr. Kees Schouhamer Immink, president and CEO of Turing Machines Inc.