GovTech partners NUS to develop skills of public servants

The Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) signed a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) with the National University of Singapore (NUS) on March 29, 2017.

The two institutions will collaborate in the areas of technological innovation, specifically manpower and capability development for the benefit of public sector agencies, according to a joint press statement by GovTech and NUS.

Minister in Charge of Smart Nation Initiative, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan also noted this collaboration during his opening keynote at the Internet of Things (IoT) Asia 2017. The aim of this partnership contributes to one of the priorities of the Smart Nation and Digital Government (SNDG) Group.

Photo courtesy: Singapore Tourism Board
Photo courtesy: Singapore Tourism Board

Enhancing technological capabilities of public officers and students

Under this MOI, knowledge will be share to co-create solutions. GovTech will share its experience and insight on technological innovation gained from public sector projects. NUS will also share insight from their own projects.

NUS will provide data science training to at least 2,000 public officers annually. This looks to improve public officers’ knowledge and understanding of data science to address challenges faced by the public sector. The school will also provide technology expertise and access to professional services required for such training sessions. In addition, GovTech and NUS will identify a data science project to collaborate on.

Photo courtesy: National University of Singapore
Photo courtesy: National University of Singapore

GovTech and NUS will also explore various collaboration modes – e.g. internships, final year projects, challenges and hackathons – to develop NUS students and equip them with the right skills to succeed in the future workforce.

These initiatives aim to complement the recent Committee on the Future Economy recommendations for public officers to pick up skills and innovative thinking methods. This is in order to achieve a well-coordinated, technology-enabled and future-ready public service.

“Increased adoption of data science in the public sector will transform the way that the Government delivers services to the public,” said Ms Jacqueline Poh, Chief Executive, GovTech. “We are glad to partner NUS, which will help us put this tool into the hands of 10,000 public officers over the next five years, and educate them to use it effectively. This will help us improve and quicken our efforts in building Singapore into a Smart Nation.”

Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Professor Tan Eng Chye, Deputy President (Academic Affairs) and Provost, National University of Singapore, added that this new “exciting collaboration with GovTech will train the country’s public officers in the meaningful interpretation and use of big data, and enable a broad and deep exchange of ideas and talent. This new partnership will also deepen the technological capabilities of public sector agencies, and be the springboard for co-created innovative solutions to pressing issues of national concern.”

Kareyst Lin
Kareyst Lin – Senior Correspondent

Kareyst has experience in writing about B2B technology for Computerworld Singapore, MIS Asia and CIO Asia; and on government technology for GCIO Asia. Her pet areas are artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and smart cities - these are fueled by her obsession with sci-fi movies and philosophy of mind. An active Yoga practitioner and cat lover, with a background in Indian philosophy, subaltern and diaspora studies.


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