Singapore invests in digital content and major data center park

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Singapore's ambition to be the regional hub for the development of digital media projects and technology is escalating with the launch of series of government-backed initiatives. A driving force in the Asia-Pacific, the Media Development Authority (MDA) is helping Singapore's media and technology companies to develop and launch cross- platform content and applications for the local and export market targeting consumer and enterprise markets. Singapore has steadily developed a reputation for being a hub for digital content development, from R&D to production.

Last year the MDA announced that it was investing S$500 million over the next five years to foster the development of digital media applications and content for innovative cross platform experiences.
The MDA already has a wide remit tasked with the development and distribution of the content industry across film, broadcast, publishing, interactive media, games, animation and music. With the impending NBN the development of multi-platform content initiatives has amplified Singapore's drive to attract international digital talent and back it with funding and co-production opportunities.

"Every bit and byte that we are producing in those seven sectors lend themselves to becoming digital, if they are not already born digital. That means that when the network is ready we will be flooded with content and content providers," MDA CEO, Dr Christopher Chia said. In a bid to ramp up its efforts the MDA has recently announced several project calls across television, film, animation, games, interactive media, publishing and music, with the focus on projects that can be marketed internationally and can scale across media platforms. The MDA has called for applications for nine different projects, investing US$14.5 million that will be invested over three years to implement the GAME+ Programme, which aims to provide support for concept development and also go-to-market strategies.

Additionally MDA has launched a Cross-Sector (X-sector) initiative to stimulate the commercialization of new interactive digital media (IDM) content, applications and services for deployment in education, learning and training, advertising, wellness and healthcare, tourism and hospitality and sports sectors. "We begin the initiative with five economic sectors that possess rich possibilities for the overlay of digital media and will explore extending the programme to other key sectors. The vision is to bring about 'IDM everywhere' across the economy beyond just the media sector," said Chia.

While the commitment to digital content creation certainly shames many of the efforts of governments in the region, particularly those that are also heavily investing in national infrastructure, what is impressive is the holistic government approach to the initiative. Separately the Info-communications Development Authority (IDA) is establishing a data center to strengthen Singapore's position as an economic and information technology hub. Not only will the DCP support the proposed digital content initiatives but also aims to attract multinational banks, media companies and large carriers. The proposed DCP will occupy up to 12 hectares, making it one of the biggest data centers in the world. Additionally interested investors can select land plots to rapidly build their own DC facility within the DCP if they wish. The IDA is currently seeking submissions from the industry on the DCP. 

This blog post was contributed by Natalie Apostolou, a journalist based in Sydney, Australia.

Anthony Plewes

After a Masters in Computer Science, I decided that I preferred writing about IT rather than programming. My 20-year writing career has taken me to Hong Kong and London where I've edited and written for IT, business and electronics publications. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Stewart Baines where I continue to write about a range of topics such as unified communications, cloud computing and enterprise applications.