Singapore: Singapore is planning to foray into the $300 billion-a-year space industry. The push into space technology, announced earlier this year, will initially focus on small satellites to meet growing demand for top-speed Internet connections as well as high-resolution images commonly used in surveillance, forestry and energy exploration.
Singapore Technologies Electronics, a unit of defence conglomerate Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd, has already set up a unit to build and operate observation satellites with help from two local state-funded universities. The government has also agreed to bear part of the cost to hire more researchers at smaller firms such as Addvalue Technologies Ltd. “In the immediate term, our efforts are focused on developing our satellite industry, particularly in areas of small satellite design and manufacturing and satellite-based services,” said Gian Yi-Hsen, director of Singapore”s Office for Space Technology and Industry (OSTIn). “In its satellites venture, Singapore will take advantage of the city-state”s capabilities in areas like precision engineering, electronics and info-communications,” he added. The venture may also help rekindle Singapore”s electronics sector by creating high-paying jobs in the satellites and components segment to replace jobs lost with the decline of disc media and computer parts manufacturing. Adrian Ballintine, founder and chief executive of Australian satellite firm NewSat Ltd, which has an office in Singapore said satellite-based surveillance systems are also in high demand to monitor everything from forest fires to illegal migrants trying to get to Australia by boat.