N.E.mation is organised by Nexus, the Ministry of Defence department responsible for Total Defence and National Education, and animation company Animagine.
It encourages students to express their thoughts on Total Defence through short animations. The name is a play on "national education" and "animation".
In 2005, a pilot programme for N.E.mation began. This saw Animagine training five teams from CHIJ St Joseph's Convent for two weeks to produce five short animations. The first season of N.E.mation was launched in 2006, after two of these clips were mentioned by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his 2006 National Day Rally speech.
Since 2006, the competition has drawn more than 16,700 participants. There has been an increase in the number of students taking part, up by about 15 per cent every year.
Previous N.E.mation clips have received recognition at events such as the Hiroshima International Animation Festival and Annecy International Animated Film Festival.
The contest is open to Singapore citizens and permanent residents studying at secondary schools, junior colleges and centralised institutes.
Nexus' director, Colonel Joseph Tan Boon Kiat, 43, said he hopes the contest will in future be expanded to accept entries from people from all walks of life.
Toh Wen Li