Published On: Wed, May 7th, 2014

Singapore Government drives community-powered innovation through open source

Community-powered innovation is an underlying characteristic of the open source model, with different stakeholders coming together to solve common problems they’re facing. As government agencies are pressured to do more with less, leveraging the community’s ideas and creativity, can help lower the cost of driving innovation, says Damien Wong, Senior Director and General Manager, ASEAN at .


In a step towards achieving this in the public sector, Red Hat is partnering with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) for its IDA Labs initiative which was recently launched. IDA Labs provide spaces for the community, enterprises and government to collaboratively come up with new ideas and technologies. More about IDA Labs and its related programmes can be found here.

“We’re heartened that IDA has come forward with the Labs initiative and committed S$10 million to support it. It is very encouraging for other public agencies to see IDA leading the way to support open innovation. We hope this will encourage other agencies to look more closely at open source and open innovation to adopt for public sector use,” Wong highlighted.

“Red Hat’s overall objective for this partnership is to help drive greater awareness on how the open innovation model and open source technology can help drive innovation,” he told FutureGov. Red Hat plans to run workshops designed to spread greater awareness among the Labs’ users on open source technologies and demonstrate how they can help individuals or organisations take advantage of them.

Through this partnership, IDA and Red Hat have also agreed to jointly drive the Red Hat Challenge, a regional technology challenge that provides a platform for students to pit their ideas around and use cases for open source.

This year Red Hat hopes to bring even more excitement to this annual challenge with more countries and a larger number of students participating. It will also be more focused on generating great ideas and innovation rather than just technology, while aiming to inspire more excitement around open source and open source-based innovation. Last year’s challenge was won by a Singapore student.

IDA’s work with Red Hat through the Labs will arm more local enterprises with the knowledge of what open source can help them with. Qualified through the Accreditation@IDA programme, these enterprises can then bring this innovation to the public sector agencies, as government is one of the key industry verticals that these enterprises will target to service, Wong noted.

“Community-powered innovation is about bringing together ideas from various sources to help resolve problems that public agencies may also face. And open source and its development model is really how we see community-powered innovation taking place,” concluded Wong.

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