Mr Andrew Chong, Chairman, Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association (SSIA),
Mr Ang Wee Seng, Executive Director, SSIA,
1. A very good morning.
2. Thank you for inviting me for this year’s SSIA Summit.
3. When I last spoke at the SSIA Summit in 2020, we were living in rather unusual times.
a. I recall having to deliver my address virtually via Zoom.
b. Today, I am excited to meet everyone in-person.
Strong Growth of the Semiconductor Industry in the Next Decade
4. The last few months have been a busy period for the semiconductor sector.
a. Riding on megatrends, many companies have announced new investments that will power every aspect of the digital economy.
b. They include the increased demand for computing power, cloud infrastructure, 5G connectivity, and artificial intelligence.
c. Leading global companies such as United Microelectronics and Siltronic have also invested in Singapore.
5. While the long-term future of the sector is bright, there will be many challenges along the way. Allow me to share three of them:
Building a robust pipeline of talent in the semiconductor sector
6. The shortage of semiconductor talent is a global phenomenon that Singapore has not been immune to.
a. To mitigate this, we will foster close linkages between the Government, industry, and educational institutions to develop a robust pipeline of talent.
Encouraging the inflow of young talent into the sector
7. We launched the M2030 Careers Initiative this year to 1) help companies attract talent in manufacturing, and 2) make these opportunities more accessible for locals.
a. Companies will do well to better reach out to students to share about and recruit them into the sector.
b. EDB and SSIA are also partnering educational institutions to conduct student outreach and training programmes, to encourage more students to join the sector upon graduation.
c. We want to work closely with companies on these student outreach efforts. This includes participation in career fairs, semiconductor industry awareness week and visits to plants to see and experience the exciting work first hand. We welcome new ideas on how we can better coordinate outreach efforts collectively as an industry.
Promote re-skilling and re-deployment of mid-career workers into meaningful careers in the Semiconductor sector
8. We are also exploring ways to equip our workers with the right skills that they can use to build their careers in the semiconductor sector.
a. Between 2016 to 2021, we successfully placed more than 600 mid-career hires into the semiconductor sector, through key industry initiatives like the Career Conversion Programme (CCP).
b. EDB, Workforce Singapore (WSG) and SSIA will continue to work with industry to promote the CCP. EDB will also continue partnering companies to equip workers with future-ready skillsets.
9. Our Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) such as SSIA are actively participating in industry programmes to strengthen our pipeline of talent in the semiconductor industry.
a. The TACs have helped groom the next generation of local leaders for the industry.
b. A big thank you to SSIA for your contributions to the development of the industry. Let’s continue to work closely together in the years ahead.
Encouraging continued investment in R&D
10. The semiconductor sector is a beacon of innovation, with electronics companies, including semiconductor ones, amongst the most R&D-intensive in the world.
a. In 2021, the global semiconductor industry channelled a record high of US$71.4 billion, or approximately 13% of its total revenue, into R&D investments.
11. To support the industry’s R&D efforts, the Government launched the Future of Microelectronics (FME) initiative, which aims to create a globally competitive public-private research ecosystem for Singapore.
a. This initiative will focus on five technology verticals:
· Heterogenous Integration
· Compound Semiconductors
· mmWave and Beyond technologies
· Sensors & Actuators
· Edge AI
12. These are verticals which Singapore has public research capabilities in, and where companies are interested to collaborate in.
a. At our recent Manufacturing, Trade and Connectivity (MTC) International Advisory Panel (IAP) meeting under the FME initiative, we discussed our “lighthouse” approach to help us identify emerging areas in semiconductor technology developments that we should look out for.
b. Government is also working with system and product companies to pursue product innovation through cutting edge Semiconductor know-how.
Transforming Semiconductor manufacturing into a low-carbon footprint sector
13. I find this year’s SSIA Summit theme apt.
a. It’s great that semiconductor companies have publicly announced commitments to reduce their emissions. This is aligned with Singapore’s ambitions to move towards a net-zero carbon future.
b. So please continue to think about the practical steps that you can take towards reducing your carbon footprint in Singapore. We will partner you as you strive to reach these sustainability goals.
14. We will pilot novel emission abatement solutions with companies.
a. For instance, STMicroelectronics recently announced the largest industrial district cooling system to date.
b. Its chilling processes at a central cooling plant is designed, built, and operated by Singapore Power, and will enable ST to reduce the annual energy consumption of its Ang Mo Kio Techno Park campus by 20%.
c. This will give them the potential to reduce carbon emissions by up to 120 kilotons per year, which is equivalent to taking 109,000 cars off the road.
15. Like you, we remain committed to growing our semiconductor sector in the coming years.
a. We have concrete strategies to grow and transform the broader electronics sector.
b. You may know them as the Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs). There are ITMs for 27 sectors, including the Electronics sector, which the semiconductor sector is a part of.
16. Through the Electronics ITM, we have defined and developed strategies in the three areas that I highlighted earlier – talent, innovation and sustainability.
a. These strategies will form the key thrusts that will enable Singapore to grow new capabilities, build a strong engineering and R&D bench, and remain a critical node for semiconductor manufacturing and innovation.
17. A special mention to Kok Sing, my co-chair of the Advanced Manufacturing and Trade (AMT) sub-committee under the Future Economy Council (FEC).
a. Kok Sing has played a crucial role in guiding the development of all the Manufacturing ITMs, including the Electronics ITM, to make sure that the needs and perspectives of the industry were considered during the process. Andrew Chong is also a member of our AMT sub-committee. So thank you Andrew as well!
b. EDB will share more of these plans in the next month.
18. In closing, I hope you have a fruitful and meaningful summit ahead.
a. The spirit of resilience and innovation of our semiconductor industry will shine brightly as we bounce back from the pandemic.
b. We will also seek new opportunities to grow the industry, and strengthen Singapore’s place in the global semiconductor value chain.
19. Thank you.