THE SMART NATION CONCEPT
Smart nation is an initiative by the government of Singapore to couple information and communication technologies (ICT), networks and big data to create tech-enabled solutions for its people. The objective is to use technology to empower people to lead meaningful and fulfilled lives. The initiative seeks to improve living, create economic opportunities and build a closer community for all – through exploiting the power of networks, data and ICT. Unlike the more ad-hoc smart initiatives in cities, smart nation represents a careful defined government plan.
The smart nation initiative was officially launched by the government of Singapore in 2014 and aims to develop people-centric solutions to attend urban challenges. This is being done through strategic organization of technology across the nation, making use of investments in digital infrastructure, a tech savvy population and a government that can work quickly to coordinate policies and combine efforts. Various platforms empower citizens, enable them to make use of the information available and come up with their own solutions, instead of relying on the government for problem-solving.
One of the downsides of the smart nation initiative is that it requires significant investments. It typically supports technology startups by doing business with them instead of offering grants to incite innovation.
To encourage innovation and collaboration between citizens and companies, open data is made available at government portals. Some areas of focus include enhancing public transport networks, enabling successful ageing and ensuring a secure, but open data marketplace