The Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) and National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) last 30 November 2019 to formalise collaborations to equip workers with knowledge and skills for the digital economy and to engage Singaporeans in the co-creation of Smart Nation initiatives and digital government services.

The MOU was announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat at the inaugural Smart Nation & U event held at Downtown East. DPM Heng witnessed the signing of the MOU by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister-in-Charge of the Smart Nation Initiative, and Mr Heng Chee How, Deputy Secretary-General, NTUC.

Engaging and Empowering Workers and Citizens for Smart Nation

Through the MOU, SNDGO and NTUC will:

  1. Jointly organise outreach events and activities to engage and educate workers in NTUC’s networks, as well as the wider community, on the benefits of digital technologies in their everyday lives. The inaugural Smart Nation & U event is one such example, and will be a signature collaboration between SNDGO and NTUC that will be held annually over the next three years.
  2. Co-develop a suite of programmes to train and engage workers. This involves equipping them with digital skills and know-how in emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Data Science. This will build on NTUC’s existing efforts to upskill workers, in support of Industry 4.0 and Worker 4.0, and enable them to remain resilient in the future workplace.
  3. Drive the co-creation of digital government services and digital advocacy. Through SCOPE (Smart Nation Co-creating with Our People Everywhere), the public can touch, feel and play with prototypes and wireframes of digital government services and provide feedback on how such services could be enhanced. SNDGO will partner NTUC on SCOPE, to get more citizens involved in the co-creation of digital services, and to drive greater awareness and adoption of digital government services. SNDGO will also work with NTUC to engage community leaders and digital advocates e.g. NTUC U Live Cyber Guides, to widen the pool of Smart Nation Ambassadors.
  4. Establish “Technology Test Villages” to pilot new Smart Nation initiatives and digital government services in a real-life environment. Visitors to these premises will get to see first-hand how technology is being ideated, piloted and tested, and can take part in the development process and provide feedback. The live data collected from users’ interactions with the prototypes will help to validate the design of the applications and solutions before they are deployed.

Inaugural Smart Nation & U Event

The two-day Smart Nation & U event organised by NTUC Club, NTUC’s U Live Community and SNDGO will take place from 30 November to 1 December 2019, and is expected to attract about 20,000 visitors. It will feature over 70 interactive and experiential booths and bring together more than 80 technology solutions with touch-feel-play elements from over 60 partners, including Government agencies, technology companies, SMEs, community groups and education institutions. More than 700 Smart Nation Ambassadors will help run the event, making it the largest technology event of its kind, organised by the community for the community.

On 1 December 2019, Sunday, participants can look forward to a full day U Live Symposium – an annual signature event by NTUC’s U Live active-agers community, to encourage lifelong learning among seniors. For this year’s U Live Symposium, which is in its 10th edition, SNDGO and NTUC are partnering to promote digital knowledge and skills to seniors.

Since last year’s U Live Symposium, more than 12,000 U Live members have adopted the myNTUC mobile app and are using the digital platform to access their e-card for membership rewards and benefits. This year, with funding from Our Singapore Fund for Digital Readiness (OSF-DR), U Live Symposium 2019 will feature new initiatives to grow a smart community, such as launching the first senior-centric channel via social messaging app, Telegram, in Singapore. The channel will share news, activities, events and promotions curated for active-agers.

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