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Keynote Speech by Minister Gan Kim Yong at Infineon's OktoberTech Asia 2021

Keynote Speech by Minister Gan Kim Yong at Infineon's OktoberTech Asia 2021

His Excellency, Dr. Norbert Riedel, German Ambassador to Singapore,

Dr. Helmut Gassel, Chief Marketing Officer of Infineon Technologies AG,

Mr Chua Chee Seong, President of Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Opening

1. Good morning. It is a great pleasure for me to join you all at Infineon’s OktoberTech Asia 2021.

Infineon is a key player in Singapore’s semiconductor industry

2. Let me first congratulate Infineon Technologies for celebrating its 50th anniversary in Singapore last year.

3. We are very fortunate to have long-term and committed industry partners like Infineon, which have been key players in Singapore’s semiconductor industry.

a. The industry has grown significantly. Today, it is Singapore’s largest manufacturing sub-sector accounting for 7% of our GDP.

b. In the last 10 years, Infineon has invested close to S$740 million in Singapore.

c. It is also one of the largest employers in the industry, with more than 2,200 workers, of which about two-thirds are Singapore Citizens and PR. 75% of its workforce are in Professional, Managerial, Executive and Technical occupations.

4. Singapore is a key node in Infineon’s global operations. We are host to Infineon’s Asia Pacific headquarters and its first smart factory for backend operations globally, and we play an important role in its global supply chain.

a. For example, the design and testing of all of Infineon’s TriCore automotive microcontrollers take place here. These chips are used widely around the world. They control how much power a car needs, help the car avoid collisions, and connect the car to online platforms.

5. We want to continue to anchor and support R&D and manufacturing activities here, and capture growth opportunities from mega trends such as the adoption of electric vehicles, digitalisation, Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and 5G.

6. But as we pursue the next bound of economic growth for the semiconductor industry and for Singapore, it is vital that we do so in a sustainable manner. Let me elaborate.

Sustainability is essential in ensuring the long-term growth of the semiconductor industry

7. Climate change is a global priority. Countries and companies alike need to recognise its increasing significance, and learn to integrate sustainability into our plans. This is core to our long-term competitiveness.

8. I am heartened that many semiconductor companies, including Infineon, share Singapore’s commitment to address the impact of climate change.

a. Singapore is small and alternative energy disadvantaged, but we are committed to global climate action. In 2020, we announced our targets to peak our carbon emissions by around 2030, halve our peak emissions by 2050 and achieve net zero emissions as soon as viable in the second half of this century.

b. Similarly, many semiconductor companies have announced plans to be carbon neutral. Infineon has announced plans to reduce carbon emissions globally by 70% from 2019 levels by 2025, and achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

c. Infineon has a similar goal for its Singapore operations. We are very happy that Singapore will serve as the first carbon neutral site amongst your global assembly and test sites.

9. I hope Infineon will set an example for the whole industry.  With concerted effort and resolve to reduce emissions, the semiconductor industry can make a significant impact on climate change.

a. Information and computing technology are expected to account for as much as 20% of global energy demand by 2030, while chip manufacturing accounts for most of its carbon footprint.

b. If all semiconductor companies are able to reduce carbon emissions, we can contribute significantly as an industry.

10. There are promising opportunities from embracing sustainability too. Those who move quickly and reinvent themselves can harness sustainability as a competitive advantage by enabling their clients to also become more sustainable.

a. A good example is Infineon’s power management integrated circuits which reduce energy consumption while improving the performance of a wide range of applications, from electric vehicles and induction cookers, to wind turbines and photovoltaic powerplants.

b. Last year, products enabled by Infineon’s chips achieved 56 million tons of carbon emission savings, equivalent to 50,000 fully occupied flights of an Airbus A380 from Munich to Singapore.

Innovation and R&D play a key role in transforming businesses to ensure sustainable growth

11. But to truly transform our businesses and harness the opportunities of the green economy, we need to invest in innovation and R&D. This will enable countries and companies to develop new technologies and grow our capabilities.

12. We will support our businesses on this front.

a. In February, we launched the Singapore Green Plan 2030 to incorporate sustainability into our lives, and tap on it as a new avenue of growth.

b. Under the Green Economy pillar, one of our key priorities is to further strengthen global and regional partners to conduct R&D in green technologies.

c. Under the Urban Solutions and Sustainability domain of the S$25 billion Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 (RIE2025) plan, we will support the development and commercialisation of innovative solutions pertaining to sustainability, such as in renewable energy and low-carbon solutions.

d. We also seek to catalyse partnerships between large and small businesses to spur innovation.

i. For instance, we run annual open innovation platforms, such as the Enterprise Singapore’s Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge, to encourage industry to address challenge statements in the different areas of sustainability.

ii. ESG also recently launched the Enterprise Sustainability Programme, which will set aside up to S$180 million to support local enterprises in developing sustainability capabilities, adopting sustainability standards, and creating new sustainable products and solutions.

13. Infineon has been a valued contributor in these efforts through its Co-Innovation Start-up Space, or COINS, which was launched three years ago.

a. The platform enables Infineon to partner local startups to co-develop products and solutions that not only target new growth markets, but also contribute towards sustainability.

b. A good example is its partnership with local start-up, Ampotech. Ampotech worked with Infineon to embed cybersecurity features in their energy monitoring solutions for commercial and residential applications based on Infineon’s hardware security technologies.

c. Infineon has also partnered two other Singapore start-ups, V-Flow Tech[1]and Spectronik[2], which are part of today’s showcase.

14. I encourage our semiconductor companies and industry partners to actively partner us, as well as with each other, to develop and test-bed new solutions, and leverage innovation to achieve our sustainability goals. 

Closing

15. As the global economy continues to grapple with the impact from COVID-19, we must continue our efforts to ensure long term sustainable growth, while maintaining our relevance and unlocking new opportunities in the green economy. Continued innovation will be key in this process, and we must work together to ensure that the semiconductor industry continues to thrive while embracing sustainability as part of their business strategy.

16. This is a journey that requires commitment and cooperation from all of us. Today’s event is a reflection of how we can come together to ideate and foster greater collaboration across the entire ecosystem.

17. I thank Infineon for your efforts in developing innovative solutions and sustainability initiatives, and I look forward to our long-term partnership and growth. I wish you a successful event.

18. Thank you.

 

 



[1] Flow Tech develops cheap and efficient modular vanadium redox flow batteries. They provide industry focused research to deliver long lasting and reliable complete energy and storage solutions based on user feedback and industry trends.

 

[2] Spectronik develops advanced Hydrogen PEM fuel cells and provides integrated fuel cell solutions and full life cycle services for tomorrow’s unmanned vehicles such as drones, making them run cleaner, travel further, and last longer.

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