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Singapore continues its drive to build a pool of smart city innovators

The number of applications to the Smart Nation Scholarship scheme increased again this year with awardees undergoing rigorous training and taking on key roles in national projects.

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Smart Nation Scholarship is a long-term investment to build a pool of passionate innovators
Smart Nation Scholarship is a long-term investment to build a pool of passionate innovators

Singapore has chosen its latest cohort of future smart city and digital innovators via its annual Smart Nation Scholarship.

 

More than 700 (723) applications were received this year, an increase from 614 applications in 2019. The field was narrowed down to 15 recipients after a rounded assessment of their potential for technical leadership, and how they imbue the public service ethos to serve people and country.

 

The minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, addressed the awardees at a virtual engagement session.

 

Co-creating the digital future

 

The rising number of applications each year signals increasing interest from the younger generation to co-create Singapore’s digital future, and develop technology for the public good.

 

Launched in 2018, the Smart Nation Scholarship is a long-term talent investment to nurture a pool of passionate innovators within the public service who will drive Singapore’s digital transformation. Recipients will join one of the three Smart Nation agencies after they complete their studies: Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), Government Technology Agency (GovTech) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

 

They will undergo rigorous technical training under the agencies’ respective talent programmes and take on key roles in national projects that will shape Singapore’s Smart Nation journey. The scholarship selection panel is led by the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office and Ministry of Communications and Information.

 

The scholarship recipients will pursue undergraduate studies in various disciplines, including smart city management and technology, computer science, information systems and law. Of the 15 recipients this year, six will join CSA, five will enter GovTech and four will join IMDA after completion of studies.

“Smart cities are the future. While there have been debates on unintended societal impacts of a smart city, I believe effective leadership will help guide and mitigate such issues

Nicholas Singham is among the four recipients joining IMDA and will be pursuing his university studies, majoring in smart city management and technology.

 

“Smart cities are the future – the way we work, play and even rest is all about to change. While there have been debates on unintended societal impacts of a smart city, I believe effective leadership will help guide and mitigate such issues,” he said.

 

He continued: “The Smart Nation Scholarship will offer me the exposure and experience to mould my development in this field. Joining IMDA allows me to be at the forefront of the national digitalisation movement, where I will leverage technology to serve different needs of Singaporeans.”

 

Zhang Yufeng, one of five GovTech’s Smart Nation Scholars this year, said: “GovTech has been at the forefront of the country’s Smart Nation initiative in developing impactful and meaningful digital services for citizens and businesses. It has been described as a ‘start-up for the people’, embodying the twin values of collaboration and innovation. I can’t wait to complete my studies and join GovTech.”

 

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