Welcome remarks by Mr Chan Tsan, CEO of HTX, at TechX Summit, 5 April 2022 at The Theatre at Mediacorp
Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Mr Teo Chee Hean,
Minister K Shanmugam,
Minister Josephine Teo,
Minister of State Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim,
Distinguished Guests and Home Team Colleagues,
- Good morning to all and welcome to HTX’s inaugural TechX Summit. I am delighted to be here this morning and grateful that we can once again gather in large numbers.
- When Prime Minister launched HTX in this same Theatre in December 2019, we did not know that COVID-19 would soon take the world by storm and totally upend life as we knew it. Being a COVID baby, HTX faced tremendous challenges, as we were thrust straight into the crisis and had many of our agency build-up plans disrupted by the pandemic.
- This unexpected storm, however, had a silver lining. COVID-19 proved to be the burning impetus for the entire world to embrace Tech and Digital Transformation at an unprecedented pace. So, as a Science & Tech agency, one could argue that HTX was born at the perfect time so we could ride the winds of change and turbocharge the Home Team’s transformation.
- Indeed, HTX grew substantially in staff strength and capability over the last two years. We started with 1,300 officers and are now 1,600 strong. Home Team Transformation efforts, which started in 2015, gathered pace and made significant progress. The video you just saw showed but some examples of the capabilities we have developed in the last two years. Beyond the Home Team, HTX also supported the Whole-of-Government’s fight against COVID-19 by stepping up to conduct swab testing at the borders and sewage wastewater testing.
- In the next few years, HTX will continue to work closely with our Home Team Departments to deliver transformative capabilities in the shape of key flagship programmes such as the Police camera network expansion; Singapore Civil Defence Force’s nationwide sensor grid for the early detection of hazardous materials; Immigration and Checkpoints Authority’s New Clearance Concept that will make immigration clearance more secure, safer and seamless; and Singapore Prison Service’s Prison without Guards programme that seeks to automate work processes to enhance operational effectiveness in our prisons.
- HTX also invested significant resources in our Technology Push efforts in order to drive innovation and better anticipate future needs. These efforts involve R&D and testing of emerging tech and trialing new concepts of operations. To further encourage interest and inspire the imagination of Home Team officers in Science and Technology, HTX introduced three new initiatives last year. They are TechXplore, TechXchange, and TechXplain.
- First, TechXplore is a tech demo event showcasing HTX’s Tech Push innovations. These are projects that are at early stages of development or undergoing trials. We organised two TechXplore events last year for Home Team officers as well as some of our Public Sector colleagues and partners.
- Second, TechXchange is a platform we organised for leading scientists and industry experts to share insights and knowledge with Home Team officers. One of the more prominent speakers we invited last year was world-renowned forensic scientist Dr Henry Lee.
- Third, TechXplain is a monthly e-magazine written by our own scientists and engineers passionate about sharing their knowledge and work in Science and Technology. We have so far produced eight issues of TechXplain.
- These three initiatives are nascent efforts and we are gratified that they were well-attended and received good feedback. More importantly they sparked healthy exchange and the cross-fertilisation of ideas between HTX scientists and engineers, and officers from across the Home Team Departments. Some of these conversations have already spawned new projects and tech trials.
- Today, TechX Summit, or TXS, brings together these three TechX initiatives into a single event – the Conference, the Tech Exhibition and a Special Edition of TechXplain. TXS goes beyond the circle of the Home Team to include partners from foreign Governments, the Science & Tech industry, as well as Institutes of Higher Learning. We are very encouraged by the strong response of close to 3,000 sign-ups for this inaugural event.
- Our vision is for TXS to become a leading Science and Technology event for Homeland Security in the region and internationally. In this increasingly complex environment, it is vital for Homeland Security agencies, industry and academia – all of us, to collaborate closer than ever before in order to harness the transformative power of Science & Technology to make the world a safer place for everyone.
- Thank you once again for being here today. I hope you will find the event useful and wish you a pleasant day ahead.