IDA launches the Smart Nation Fellowship Programme

To foster a network of data science and tech talents who will contribute to the republic’s Smart Nation initiative.

By Nurdianah Md Nur
March 8, 2016

SNF screenshot
Screenshot of the Smart Nation Fellowship Programme website.

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) yesterday (7 March 2016) launched the Smart Nation Fellowship Programme to support the government's efforts to deliver meaningful digital and data solutions to its citizens.

The programme aims to encourage those passionate about the intersection of technology and the public good to contribute to Singapore's Smart Nation initiative. These could include Singaporeans working overseas for technology companies, or others working in the private sector or academia in Singapore. 

Successful Fellowship applicants, or Fellows, will be appointed for short stints of three to six months, and work alongside software engineers, data scientists and product developers from the IDA's Government Digital Services (GDS) team, as well as users and developers from different government agencies.

They will leverage data-driven insights to design, build and deploy data science or technology solutions to real world problems in the areas of transport, housing, security, healthcare and the environment.

Examples of such solutions include the Beeline, a mobile app that meets commuter demand for express private bus routes through crowdsourcing, and OneService, a one-stop platform that enables citizens to send their immediate feedback on municipal issues they encounter.

IDA targets to appoint four to eight Fellows by this year. IDA will also establish a global resource network of Fellowship alumni that the government can continually tap on for their expertise on data science and technology projects over the longer term.

Existing aspiring technology leaders in various government agencies will also benefit from the opportunity to interact with the Fellows, accelerating their learning and personal development, and contributing to the overall development of technology leadership for Singapore, said IDA.

"Building a Smart Nation requires all hands on deck," said Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director, IDA. "There are many citizen-centric challenges that are best tackled through the use of technology and open data; but we need a core group of software engineers, designers and product developers who can deliver data-driven insights for the public good and develop tech solutions for citizens."

"The government must continually engage with and learn from these technology experts globally to actively create technology applications that have the potential to change lives in Singapore. We especially hope that Singaporeans abroad who have established themselves in the tech sector will be excited at the prospect of contributing some of their time to make a difference to our Smart Nation vision and to inspire the next generation of technologists in Singapore," she added.