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Lauding digital transformation efforts

The SG:D TechBlazer Awards seeks to inspire, drive and recognise Singapore's best technology innovators.

Minister for Communications and Information, S Iswaran, together with the eight SG:D Techblazer winners and representatives from IMDA and SGTech.

FROM the operator of a smart airport to the developer of insurance solutions, Singapore's most innovative infocomm media companies were recognised at the inaugural Singapore Digital (SG:D) Techblazer Awards on Wednesday.

Jointly organised by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and SGTech, the awards aim to honour Singapore-based organisations and companies that have leveraged innovation to develop new digital products and services, or have adopted digital technology to achieve superior performance.

The awards, which emerged from the merger of the National Infocomm Awards and the SiTF Awards, will be held annually to strengthen and accelerate digital transformation efforts. In particular, Techblazer Awards focuses on technologies that can transform or disrupt, including disciplines such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IOT), and cybersecurity, among others.

The scope of the initiative covers hardware, software applications and platform services. The awards also seek to inspire greater innovation from the winning companies and spur them to achieve more on the global stage; blazing a trail for others in the process.

Market voices on:

"The SG:D Techblazer Awards is aimed at encouraging innovation and participation from companies which are using technology to drive business excellence. For the winners, recognition also goes beyond Singapore; many of them will move on to join regional awards, such as the Asia-Pacific ICT Alliance Awards, where 16 Asia-Pacific countries compete annually to showcase their ICT innovation," said Saw Ken Wye, SGTech chairman. He added: "The quality of submissions this year was very impressive and reflects the growing maturity and sophistication of our start-up and innovation ecosystems. It was also heartening to see many of our Singapore companies going digital in an extraordinary fashion, disrupting the status quo and resolving tough business problems at their core."

William Liu, chairman and managing partner of Stream Global, and SG:D Techblazer judge, agreed, saying that the quality of participants has gone up this year.

"We are seeing companies with good value propositions and ideas that are scalable. Today, if you are unable to scale, you will not be able to compete. We also saw a good spread across various sectors, from medtech to education to media and security, as well as adoption of new technologies from AI to machine learning. I see a lot of passion from the entrepreneurs who are committed to their beliefs and willing to do the R&D. This is an encouraging sign that our entrepreneurs and industry are maturing," he said. This year's awards saw an impressive 331 applications. From this crop, eight companies were selected as winners in three categories - Most Impactful, Most Promising and Best Adoption. They received their awards from Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran at a gala dinner.

"In an expanding digital landscape, the winners have demonstrated that Singapore organisations are on the right track towards digital transformation. They have proven they have the capabilities and innovation that can transform current solutions and create new business models, resulting in enhanced customer experiences and greater value creation in the industries they serve," said Shirley Wong, SGTech's co-chair of the SG:D Techblazer Awards organising committee.

To further support the growth of promising startups, Mr Iswaran also announced the launch of IMDA's new programme SG:D Spark at the ceremony. As part of this initiative, IMDA will support companies to hire talent and build capabilities.

Winners of the SG:D TechBlazer Awards

Most Impactful Award

Gold: M-DAQ Pte Ltd for its Aladdin solution
Silver: CXA Group for the CXA Insurance and Health Digital Solutions
Bronze: AIDA Technologies for AIDA
Smart Claims Straight Through Processing

Most Promising Award

Gold: Biofourmis for its Biovitals™ Analytics Engine
Silver: BeMyGuest for Xplore
Bronze: KroniKare for its KroniKare Mobile Wound Scanner

Best Adoption Award

Private Sector: Changi Airport Group for its Smart Airport Program
Public Sector: Housing & Development Board for its HDB Smart Hub

Coming together to celebrate tech trailblazers

THE Singapore Digital (SG:D) Techblazer Awards is a merger of two previous recognition initiatives: the bi-annual National Infocomm Awards by then Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (now part of IMDA) and the annual SiTF Awards by then-Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation (since rebranded as SGTech).

The awards is timely as it signals the need for companies to leverage digital technologies to transform themselves into innovative and agile businesses that can respond to the changing demands of the global market, the award organisers said in a statement.

"The digital transformation of industries is accelerating worldwide. Likewise, Singapore is working to be a leading digital economy that continually reinvents itself. Our collaboration on the awards exemplifies how IMDA works closely with the industry to advocate, support and celebrate innovation and the pursuit of excellence, as Singapore's companies and sectors transform in a changing business landscape," said IMDA chief executive Tan Kiat How.

Shirley Wong, SGTech's co-chair of the Techblazer Awards organising committee, noted that the new awards bring together two of the most prestigious recognitions for innovators.

"It epitomises the joint effort between government and industry to propel Singapore to the forefront of the digital frontier. Together we celebrate and ignite those with the courage to lead the way and blaze a trial in the tech industry."