The two most important ingredients for the success of any country’s innovative and creative industry are availability and procurement of talents, and a sup- portive environment.
The innovative and creative industry is one of the sectors identified by Brunei Darussalam to have the potential to support the nation’s economic diversifi- cation efforts and national job creations.
The country’s SPN 21 Education System places Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and creativity as one of the core elements in the education curriculum, underlining the government’s intentions to nurture practical ICT skills and creativ- ity in fostering the nation’s progress and economic growth.
With an increase in the mobile phone penetration rate in the country to 125.5 per cent and a broad- band penetration rate of mobile phones of 121.2 per cent, the government is beginning to champion the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) as an opportu- nity for local digital media startups to explore.
IoT connects devices, systems, software and peo- ple so that they can share information about their state and external environment. BI Intelligence, a research service, has estimated there will be more than 24 billion IoT devices across the globe by 2020 – about four devices for every person.
As that milestone draws closer, over USD6 billion will flow into IoT solutions and into industries such as application development, connectivity, data storage, device hardware, security and system integra- tion. That investment will generate USD13 trillion by 2025.
Three groups – consumers, governments and eco- systems – will benefit from these IoT spinoffs. These will include agriculture, banks, connected homes, defence, food services, hospitality, health- care, infrastructure, insurance, logistics, manufac- turing, mining, oil and gas, retail, smart buildings and transportation.
Schneider Electric are exploring the potential of this concept to the benefit of their customers.
“It can enable new capabilities and allow opportuni- ties of improved efficiency, sustainability and safety. For example, Schneider Electric is connecting oil pumps to the Internet, with the intention of gath- ering data that can be used for advanced services, such as predictive maintenance,” said Mr. Rehan Fatmi, Country General Manager of Schneider Electric Brunei.
Schneider Electric sees the ICT industry as an impor- tant pillar of Brunei’s socio-economic development and expect it to be one of the drivers of diversifica- tion away from its dependence on the oil and gas industry.
The company’s portfolio locally consists of physical infrastructure solutions which include integrated UPS power, cooling, rack, security plus software and services for complete IT room and data centre management. “While the government intensifies its efforts to improve e-government services, it is also expected to invest in infrastructure that promotes the ICT industry,” Mr. Fatmi said.
Frost Sullivan estimates the data centre services market in Asia-Pacific to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.7 per cent from 2015 to 2022, reaching USD31.95 billion by the end of 2022. A study published by the Authority for Info- communications Technology Industry (AITI) indicated that the growth rates for the consumption of data service over the last few years have gone up by 72 per cent.
“With its high adult literacy and young population that is comfortable with the use of modern technol- ogy, it is expected that greater adoption of smart- phones and pervasive computing will drive up data consumption and the use of cloud services,” they said.
“We expect the demand for data centres in Brunei will increase in tandem with the growth in the local ICT industry and government spending on e-govern- ment initiatives.”
The E-Government National Centre (EGNC) cur- rently offers server hosting services to both the government and private sector. The data centre features state-of-the-art facilities which include an Environment Management system, automatic fire extinguishing equipment, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) and redundant Internet connection to all local major Internet service providers (ISPs).
“Energy consumption being one of the largest oper- ating expenses for a data centre makes Brunei, with its low cost utilities, an attractive destination for third-party services such as managed hosting and colocation data centres.”
At the governmental level, the innovative and creative industry is supported through the ‘Innovative, Technology and Creative Industry Division’ (ITCID) at the Energy and Industry Department of the Prime Minister’s Office (EIDPMO) that advocates the development of high tech- nology and knowledge-based industries in Brunei, either through foreign direct investment (FDI) or an innovation from local businesses.
The establishment of ITCID in December 2015 aimed to strengthen and ensure the effectiveness of the government’s initiatives related to the innovative and creative industry.
The government has also set up an incubation centre to assist and nurture budding technopreneurs and product innovators, and get their business operation moving.
The incubation centre, called the iCentre, provides the participants with a working space or office at which to work on their projects, and offers them with capacity building programmes and startup assistants.
The iCentre also collaborates with local and regional agencies to provide the participants with workshops related to starting a business such as ideas creation and market validation as well as fund raising.
The iCentre provides more than just an office space; it also organises various programmes and activities for the participants, among which is the Industry Business Academy. This is a programme that helps to incubate capacity building and skills such as how to start a business and how to expand their operations.
Another government infrastructural initiative that supports the creative industry is the Knowledge Hub (popularly called K-Hub), where the multimedia and creative industry are supported through programmes and activities that run in partnership with companies such as Microsoft and Sesame World Technology.
The nation’s highest competition award for creativity and innovation is the Crown Prince CIPTA Awards. Fittingly, CIPTA is a Malay word which means “cre- ate” or “invent” and CIPTA stands for ‘Creative and Innovative Product and Technological Advancement Awards’.
Capable of generating top quality creative and innovative talents, especially among youths, the biennial CIPTA competition is coordinated by the Universiti Technology Brunei – as the premier tech- nology-based tertiary education institution in the country, and sponsored by Brunei LNG Sdn Bhd.
Divided across several demographic and institu- tional divisions, the CIPTA competition has been making a powerful push towards producing creative and innovative designers in science and technology. It reflects the nation’s desire for economic diversi- fication and sustainable continuation through pro- gressive development of knowledge and innovation. The CIPTA competition is also open to participants from other Asean countries. In 2017, the competition received 47 entries, 10 of which were from other Asean countries.
Their participation is hoped to inspire local competi- tors as well as to set a new benchmark of quality for future CIPTA Awards.
Siemens is a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalisa- tion. One of the world’s largest producers of ener- gy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of systems for power genera- tion and transmission as well as medical diagnosis. In infrastructure and industry solutions, the company plays a pioneering role.
Siemens first set up its office in Brunei in 1998 as a telecommunication company known as Siemens Advance Engineering Pte Ltd, Brunei Branch. This office is now called Siemens Pte Ltd (Brunei Branch), with a fully operational local team. The office is sup- ported by business partners representing Siemens in various sectors and industries.
The company has contributed to the growth and development of Brunei for over 20 years. They installed the country’s first digital telecommuni- cation switching system, supplied state-of-the-art healthcare equipment to its hospitals, and provided product systems and solutions across many indus- tries in Brunei.
Around the globe, Siemens’ intelligent infrastruc- ture technologies are helping people and the envi- ronment thrive. Eco-friendly power plants are gen- erating clean, efficient and reliable energy, while intelligent building technologies are reducing costs and carbon emission; and trains are moving people more economically and efficiently than ever.
Their vision is to create sustainable infrastructure that will last for years to come and play a part in ensuring the sustainable development of Brunei through technology. From power generation to power transmission, power distribution and smart grid to the efficient application of electrical energy – in every one of these interrelated fields, electrifi- cation, automation and digitalisation are Siemens’ key business drivers.
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