Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen launched the PRIDE (PRoductivity and Innovation in Daily Efforts) Symposium 2018 at the Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) this morning. A total of 67 awards were presented to individuals, groups and units from the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in recognition of their innovations and work improvement efforts that achieved savings exceeding $158 million in the last financial year.
Speaking at the awards presentation ceremony, Dr Ng highlighted that the revolution in the state of military affairs and investments in technology and innovation are integral to mission success. He cited the two Ds – digitisation and datafication – as the new normal and emphasised the need to capitalise them. He said, “For the SAF to stay ahead, we must learn to use and exploit data more intelligently for our own purposes…This impact is all pervasive, from the front end of the teeth to the tip of the tail of militaries.” Dr Ng urged MINDEF and the SAF to ride the new wave of technological breakthroughs to transform and achieve greater capabilities to secure Singapore’s future for another generation.
Dr Ng also stressed the importance of developing and embracing ideas as they are key enablers for transformation and innovation. He said, “These ideas do not all have to be big, because ideas big and small, can make a huge difference to the daily functioning of the SAF.” One such initiative is the application of PayNow for the disbursement of Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) incentive awards to Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) who take their IPPT at Fitness Conditioning Centres (FCCs), with the pilot starting at Maju FCC early next year. With PayNow, NSmen will be able to receive their IPPT incentive awards immediately, as compared to the current period of around 14 days, after completion of their IPPT.
The PRIDE Movement, established in 1981, promotes a culture of organisational excellence, innovation and productivity across MINDEF and the SAF. The PRIDE Symposium is organised to recognise the achievements and contributions of units and personnel to this movement. The theme of this year’s event “Leading Transformation and Innovation” underscores MINDEF’s and the SAF’s aspiration and commitment to stay at the forefront of transformation and innovation, and is achieved through two ways. The first is the introduction of new approaches to innovation, such as crowdsourcing and make-a-thons that enable idea generation and co-creation beyond the traditional team and unit set-up. The second is the embracing of technology to improve work processes that optimise the use of resources, generate cost savings and enhance the National Service experience and efficiency.
Also present at the awards presentation ceremony were Senior Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Permanent Secretary for Defence Mr Chan Yeng Kit, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong, Chief Executive of Government Technology Agency of Singapore Mr Kok Ping Soon who was the Guest Speaker, as well as and senior officials from MINDEF and the SAF.
The public is invited to visit the PRIDE Symposium 2018 Exhibition at the NYP Atrium on 4 and 5 October 2018. The Exhibition showcases a range of innovative projects and Smart Defence initiatives, and will be open from 12.30pm to 5pm on 4 October 2018, and from 9am to 5pm on 5 October 2018.