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Singapore Tech Center Spurs Broadband App Developments

Together with the National Computer Board(NCB) of Singapore, Kent Ridge Digital Labs (KRDL) has launched Advanced Interactive Media (AIM) Center to encourage industry partners to develop broadband applications on SingaporeONE using KRDL's technologies.

Gurminder Singh, director of learning lab at KRDL, said that few Singapore companies have the technical know-how to fully exploit the SingaporeONE infrastructure, and few products are available off the shelf.

"SingaporeONE presents a significant ground to test media-rich applications," Singh said.

To solve this problem, the AIM Center driven by KRDL will provide the technology, technical expertise, consultancy, and development assistance to local or foreign companies based in Singapore for commercial project developments on broadband infrastructure.

"The AIM Center can serve as an effective conduit to transfer state-of-the-art technology, developed indigenously in our research institutes, to the private industry," said Thomas Yeoh, assistant chief executive of NCB.

The AIM Center also offers its industry partners other incentives such as a 20 percent discount on technologies licensed from KRDL, and the waiver of royalties due to KRDL for the first two years of collaboration with the AIM Center.

Industry partners will also be eligible for grants from NCB which could be a few hundred thousand Singapore dollars depending on the cost of the projects, said Yeoh.

Three local industry partners have already signed up with AIM Center. They are Times Learning Systems Pte Ltd, iCost Systems Pte Ltd., and e.Com Services Pte Ltd.

Times Learning Systems, a subsidiary of the Times Publishing Group, will use KRDL's Shared Mind Tools technology in its Times Education Online Service to be available on SingaporeONE by the end of this year. This service is targeted at primary school children.

iCost Systems, a software developing company, will use KRDL's NetEffect technology to build a virtual community on SingaporeONE that provides "beyond text and graphics," said Chen Bin, managing director of iCost.

The software company hopes to make available the virtual community product by the end of this year.

The third AIM CCenterpartner, e.Com which provides consultancy and project management services as well as secure e-commerce transaction applications, will be commercializing KRDL's Video-to-Slide-Show Link Advertising technology.

This video-indexing system is able to automatically process any video stream into motion pictures or slide shows according to the bandwidth available to the end user.

S Mohan, senior vice president of business development at e.Com, said he hope to deploy the system on SingaporeONE by September and market it to the US broadband market, such as the @Home market, by the end of this year.

"If you go buy the technology, you [usually don't get a chance to] work with those guys who develop [it]. In the situation here, you get the opportunity to work with the [KRDL] team who develop the technology," Mohan said.

"We are looking at how KRDL technologies can be commercially deployed," said Yeoh.

At the end of the day, there will be a revenue split between the respective industry partners and KRDL.