Singapore

DPM Heng praises DSTA’s contributions as it marks its 20th anniversary

A strong science and technology core will be even more critical to Singapore and its armed forces as the country navigates an increasingly complex world with fast-evolving threats, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday.

Technology such as automation, robotics and artificial intelligence will change not only the way people live and work, but also how the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) fights and operates, he said at a ceremony to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA).

"The next 20 years will likely be even more exciting than the last. We are in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the pace of change has quickened since Covid-19," he told senior defence officials at the event, as well as more than 3,000 DSTA employees and guests who tuned in virtually.

Mr Heng, who is also Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Finance Minister, also launched a commemorative book titled Ordinary People, Extraordinary Passion.

It chronicles DSTA's transformation, innovations and contributions in the last two decades.

Established in 2000, DSTA is a statutory board under the Defence Ministry.

It provides technological and engineering support for Singapore's defence and security.

In his speech, Mr Heng said DSTA has grown by leaps and bounds since its birth.

"You have built a range of deep expertise - from our air, naval and land systems, to C3 (command, control and communications) and cyber security."

Mr Heng lauded DSTA's contributions, including to national efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.

It helped to develop temperature self-check systems and mobile swabbing stations.

It also tapped its networks to procure emergency healthcare supplies amid global supply chain uncertainties, Mr Heng said.

"Time and again, the men and women of DSTA have gone beyond the call of duty in times of crisis," he added noting it had developed thermal scanners during Sars in 2003.

DSTA chief executive Tan Peng Yam said that to achieve its mission, it has adopted the strategy of investing in and harnessing its people to their fullest potential. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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