New smart nation e-services development centre for government to launch by mid-July

SINGAPORE - A team of coders and engineers is being assembled to lead the creation of the next-generation e-government services using data captured by Singapore's smart nation infrastructure.

These people, including project managers, will form part of Singapore's first Software Design and Development Centre of Excellence to be launched by mid-July.

Leading the charge is the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), which will house this new team in a 13,000 sq ft research and testing lab at the Sandcrawler, Lucasfilm's Singapore campus at Fusionopolis.

It will provide facilities for user research and experience testing and consultancy services to government agencies to deliver citizen-centric digital services.

"We must ensure that our e-services can offer citizens the most user-friendly and optimally-designed experience in a high-tech and seamless smart nation," said Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister of Communications and Information.

He was speaking at his ministry's work plan seminar this afternoon at Vista Exchange Green.

"To achieve this, we need to create a one-stop centre where expertise in developing e-services of such calibre is concentrated, and supported by research and analytics of data that is captured by our smart nation infrastructure."

"Government agencies will then be able to tap on the centre's expertise in research and data analytics to design and develop their digital services to better meet citizens' diverse needs and expectations."

During the seminar, Dr Yaacob also unveiled the logo of the government's new Cyber Security Agency.

Launched last Wednesday, CSA is a high-level central agency to coordinate public- and private-sector efforts to protect national systems, such as those in the energy and banking sectors, from cyber threats. It oversees the cyber security of 10 critical sectors, including power, transport and telecommunications.

Some 2,400 low-income households have already been identified for the IDA's $10 million Digital Inclusion Fund made up of telco fines, first announced in April last year.

Under a programme called Home Access, these households can soon receive a tablet and four years of fibre broadband connectivity for $6 a month.

IDA will be rolling out its first free training workshops next month targeted at these low-income households to ensure that those new to tablets and the Internet learn how to use them, said Dr Yaacob.

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