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Speech By Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, Minister In The Prime Minister's Office And Second Minister For Finance & Transport, At The Launch Of Traffic Message Channel

25 Nov 2010

Distinguished guests and industry partners,

1.         Good morning. I would like to welcome you to today's LiveTraffic@SG Forum, which marks the development of the Traffic Message Channel – Location Table for Singapore.

Benefits of Traffic Message Channel

2.         The Traffic Message Channel – (or TMC), is an increasingly popular protocol for delivering real-time traffic information to drivers via their navigation devices and mobile phones.

3.         The TMC provides fast, real-time information for motorists on the move. Drivers using the TMC can get continuous and localised traffic data on their navigation devices, specific to their route and GPS location. The navigation system then provides dynamic guidance for the driver on which routes to take, and how to avoid congested roads.

Collaboration with Local Company – Quantum Inventions

4.         The TMC is an international standard. To adapt it to fit the local road networks, LTA worked closely with a local company, Quantum Inventions, to develop the TMC – Location Table. This Location Table stores the location codes for our roads and other points of interest. Using the Location Table, map suppliers can then customise the maps used in their navigation devices and mobile phones.

5.         The Location Table will also save costs for users. It enables live traffic information to be fed directly into the map supplier's data, skipping the need to obtain and convert data. This means more cost-effective dissemination of information to the industry.

6.         LTA's Location Table has been certified by the Traveller Information Services Association. This international recognition is an endorsement of LTA's traffic domain knowledge and the local industry's innovative capabilities. LTA's collaboration with Quantum Inventions also enabled the company to bring to the table its solid understanding of the TMC standard, technical specifications and coding methodology, which contributed to the success of the project.

7.         This collaboration with Quantum Inventions builds on LTA's previous collaboration with the company to co-develop the Traffic Information Platform (TRIP). This platform enables the transformation of raw traffic data into standards-compliant traffic information such as the TMC itself. I am sure that LTA will continue to work with private sector partners to develop more products that benefit road users.

Co-Innovation Partnership

8.         There is much more scope for Government and businesses to collaborate on project and product development. In today's increasingly complex environment, Government faces many challenges and needs that do not have existing solutions in the provision of public services. Most of the time, the expertise to develop workable solutions lies with our companies in the private sector. Companies have the innovative potential to meet these needs.

9.         Earlier this year, the Ministry of Finance had announced that the government will commit $450million over five years to start a Public-Private Co-Innovation Partnership (or CI-Partnership). Under this initiative, the Government would work with the private sector to co-develop and co-innovate unique solutions for our medium to long-term needs.

10.         The central idea behind the Co-Innovation Partnership is that Government can better serve the public by collaborating with and tapping on private businesses to create innovative solutions. Companies will also benefit, both through the strengthening of their innovation capabilities upstream, as well as their improved track record for downstream procurement opportunities. This is a win-win situation.

11.         The Co-Innovation Partnership is meant to catalyse more of such collaboration in a structured way. To do so, government agencies will first define their problem areas where there are no identified off-the-shelf solutions. Next, interested companies can submit their proposals and ideas for projects to the agencies. Depending on the actual problem area, promising proposals could be funded to test on the feasibility of the concept, to develop prototypes or to test-bed the solution.

12.         To kick-start our innovation journey and lead us in this new collaborative process, we will have four pilot projects from four different agencies to start with – LTA, Traffic Police, MOH and JTC. These projects all identify longer-term needs where Government feels it can partner the private sector to co-develop solutions.

13.         Take for instance, LTA and the Traffic Police's joint call for new License Plate Recognition (LPR) technology to identify bus lane and illegal u-turn offences. While existing enforcement measures have served us well, LTA and the Traffic Police are constantly reviewing the enforcement process and exploring how technology can aid this process. The use of new recognition technology will improve compliance by motorists. This leads in turn to greater safety and smoother traffic flows for all. In this technical trial, companies will develop License Plate Recognition Solutions customised for Singapore's needs. If they are successful, they can lead to wider scale deployment.

14.         JTC is also working on two new projects to reuse waste materials in resource scarce Singapore. The first project aims to create more material for reclamation landfill. Today, many soft materials such as mud and marine clay are excavated from tunnelling and dredging works. If we can strengthen these materials, they could be very useful for land reclamation purposes. The second project will solicit new ways to use rocks generated from the Jurong Rock Cavern project to construct roads. The sedimentary rocks would have to be treated to increase their strength, and overcome some limitations in their chemical properties. If successful, this could lead to significant cost savings in the construction of our roads.

15.         For the fourth project, MOH will invite proposals to create a "remote" healthcare monitoring solution for diabetic patients. In particular, we hope to utilise new technologies for the testing of blood glucose levels without the use of needles, and allow test results to be sent remotely to a healthcare institution. We hope this will lead to better quality of care for diabetics.

16.         For each of these projects, companies interested in co-developing solutions with the Government can apply for funding to do so. For the development of promising innovation ideas – from conceptualisation to implementation, the Government could provide more than $1.75m in funding for each company at three critical stages. For projects involving demonstrating Proof of Concept, companies can apply for up to $250,000 of funding. For projects demonstrating Proof of Value, they can apply for up to $500,000. And for projects involving test bedding of prototypes, companies can apply for $1million in government funding. For each of these projects, we will require that companies co-share a small part of the cost to ensure that they ha ve a stake in the project, with SMEs getting greater support compared to non-SMEs.

17.         We hope these four pilot projects will kick-start and lead the way in this co-innovation partnership. More projects will be launched in due time. We also hope that other companies with other exciting, innovative ideas to improve public services will step forward with their ideas, as these can be considered under the Co-Innovation Partnership.


18.         I am confident that the Co-Innovation Partnership will be the start of many more fruitful collaborations between the public and private sector. It is in this spirit of serving the public better that we are launching the TMC Location Table today. I am pleased that the upcoming TMC Agreement Signing will include three leading local organisations – Asia GIS (AGIS), Quantum Inventions (QI) and ST Electronics. They will play pivotal roles in facilitating the use of Singapore's Location Table in navigation solutions.

19.         Today's LTA LiveTraffic@SG industry forum also highlights LTA's commitment to pursue innovations and industry collaboration in land transport development. With participants and guests from the transport, navigation and location-based services industry here with us this morning, the forum offers new and exciting opportunities to meet industry players, as well as to share ideas for future collaborations

Thank you.