DSTA to set up new engineering centre

The Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) will set up a new National Engineering Programme Centre to develop solutions for national initiatives.

Announced yesterday by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, the centre will be housed within DSTA and ready by the end of this year.

A DSTA spokesman said the centre will tap technical expertise and ideas from the defence technology community for its work.

Dr Ng said the centre will complement agencies such as the Smart Nation Programme Office and Ministry of Transport, and the defence technology community will continue to lend its efforts to the Government.

Speaking at a scholarship awards ceremony at Swissotel the Stamford, he highlighted the need for a "strong core of defence engineers and scientists to understand the cutting-edge technologies, and how these technologies can be used against us, or as a tool for us".

The DSTA and DSO National Laboratories gave out scholarships to 88 recipients yesterday.

DSTA and DSO scientists are also contributing to other government efforts, such as strengthening homeland security, said Dr Ng.

They built a command and control centre for checkpoints in Woodlands and at the Causeway, compiling information to increase efficiency.

Permanent Secretary (Defence Development) Ng Chee Khern, who also spoke at the ceremony, said: "Given our limited population, to outfight our potential adversaries... we would need to count on superior technology."

He added that his ministry and the Singapore Armed Forces are the biggest employers of engineers in Singapore.

They employ almost as many engineers and scientists as the rest of the government agencies combined - 5,000 compared to 5,400.

Seow Bei Yi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 30, 2016, with the headline 'DSTA to set up new engineering centre'. Print Edition | Subscribe