Singapore is making a major push to develop its satellite and space technology industry.
Minister in the prime minister’s office and second minister for trade and industry, S Iswaran, announced setting up of an inter-agency office to oversee the development of Singapore’s local space industry.
The Economic Development Board (EDB), together with participating ministries and agencies, have formed the Office for Space Technology and Industry or OSTIn.
They include the Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR), Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), Ministry of Education (MOE), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the National Research Foundation (NRF).
Speaking at the Global Space Technology Convention, Iswaran said the inter-agency office will plan and execute economic strategies to drive the growth of the local space industry. The office will also work with industry stakeholders to help them realise their satellite business from Singapore.
Those who are keen to either expand their businesses into the space industry or strengthen their existing satellite capabilities could also tap on funds from the new office.
In addition, the office will champion the build-up of local public research capabilities and talent pool in the industry.
It is supporting two R&D projects from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the National University of Singapore to jump-start Singapore’s public satellite capabilities.
Iswaran said, “We believe Singapore will become a compelling location for satellite-related companies to grow their businesses, develop their technologies and export new solutions to the world.
“In view of the growing competition, many satellite companies are now looking to develop expertise that will enable them to maintain their competitive edge while finding new growth and market opportunities.
“In this context, these companies will be able to tap on Singapore’s strengths in adjacent industries, as well as our market connectivity, geo-political neutrality, pro-business environment, and R&D infrastructure to bring their business and innovation initiatives to fruition.”
Iswaran added the public research entities have also established their own space-related R&D programmes. Companies looking to commercialise or conduct R&D in satellite technologies can partner these research institutions.
Separately, Singapore Technologies Electronics (ST Electronics) said its subsidiary ST Electronics (Satellite Systems) is developing the first made-in-Singapore commercial remote sensing satellite.
Named TeLEOS-1, this earth observation satellite is targeted to be launched in 2015.
Set up in 2011, ST Electronics (Satellite Systems) is a joint venture of ST Electronics, NTU and DSO National Laboratories.