SPEECH BY MR SAM TAN SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR TRADE AND INDUSTRY & INFORMATION, COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, AT THE GSTC 2011 ON TUESDAY, 25 JANUARY 2011, 0900 HRS AT MARINA MANDARIN HOTEL, SINGAPORE
Mr Jonathan Hung, President, Singapore Space and Technology Association
Ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning. It is my pleasure to join you at the third Global Space and Technology Convention, or GSTC.
Bright Outlook for Global Space Industry
In its 2010 report, the Space Foundation estimates that the global space economy has grown almost 40 percent in the last five years. The outlook for the global space industry certainly looks promising. Growth continued even during the global financial crisis. In 2009, the global space industry was worth about $262 billion compared to $257 billion in the previous year. The space industry’s edge over other sectors lies in the vast commercial potential of its products and services.
Increasingly, space products and services are becoming integrated into consumer electronics and daily necessities. Currently, the types of space applications that dominate the space business are telecommunications, earth observation and positioning and navigation systems. The media industries for example, are using satellite technology to deliver high-definition TV to households, provide Internet access in remote areas and give people access to location-based applications on mobile phones.GPS navigation systems and geo-location applications are now found in cars, phones, homes and businesses.This has provided endless possibilities for social networking and information-sharing, land imaging and navigation.As nations start to recognise the strategic and economic value of space, there will be even greater commercial utilisation of space technology and its applications.
Development of the Asian Space Industry
Here in Asia, the space industry has great potential for growth. There is increasing demand for space-related services and a strong push towards technology advancement and new applications. Whilst many developed economies are still in the midst of recovering from the recent global downturn, a number of Asian economies have not only rebounded but are looking at increasing their investments in space programmes and technology. China plans to have a manned space station by 2020 while its India plans to launch its first astronauts into space by 2015.
Singapore – Catalyst in the Growth of the Asian space industry
There is great potential for Singapore to carve a key role for itself as Asia emerges as a significant hub for space related activities. We already have the necessary ecosystems in place such as thriving aerospace, precision engineering, and electronics industries.Our pro-business environment, as well as our market and technologically-savvy workforce has helped to draw corporations dealing in space related service to Singapore.This includes satellite service providers such as Arianespace, SpotImage and GeoEye. We are also making investments to build a highly skilled workforce for the fledging space industry in Singapore. The Nanyang Technological University has started an undergraduate satellite programme. Other institutions in Singapore are also exploring the possibility of including in their curricula elements of nano-satellite design, fabrication and other space related topics. The Singapore Space and Technology Association also organises an annual Singapore Space Challenge for students. Now into its fourth year, it has been attracting top students from our polytechnics, junior colleges and universities.
We have also sought to build up our research capabilities in space related technologies. This year, we can look forward to the launch of X-Sat, the first experimental satellite built entirely in Singapore. It will mark an important milestone in the development of Singapore’s space-related capabilities.The X-Sat will make Singapore one of the first Southeast Asian countries to have a locally built satellite in space.
We are also progressing in our aim to become a leading satellite data research centre in the region. Our Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing (CRISP) was first in the world to receive 0.5 meter resolution data from the GeoEye-1 and Worldview 1 & 2 satellites. This is currently the highest resolution civilian remote sensing satellite images. CRISP is also the only centre in South East Asia that can receive sub-meter resolution data from civilian satellites.
few decades are likely to be a time of rapid growth for space
industry in Asia. For companies and research
organisations keen to tap on the rising demand for space related
products and designs in Asia, platforms such as the GSTC will
provide ideal opportunities to do so. Participants can interact and collaborate on the latest concepts
and developments in the global space arena.In this regard, let me congratulate the Singapore
Space and Technology Association for organising this convention.
And to all participants, I wish you a successful and