Outsourcing can spur innovation

National 1 minute, 58 seconds


OUTSOURCING data to the private sector would encourage innovation in developing countries, said an expert from Singapore.

Dr Calvin Chan, a senior lecturer at the Singapore Institute of Management, said most governments store plenty of data but may be slowed down by bureaucracy.

However, he reminded that bureaucracy was not a negative obstruction as it acts as checks and balances.

The lecturer was speaking on “Building Smart Cities through Open Data and Open Innovation” at the ASEAN-Korea Strategic Cooperation Seminar on Government Innovation and Knowledge-based National Development Plan at Universiti Brunei Darussalam yesterday.

“Most governments are not normally the most innovative (organisation). So might it not be better to open up our data, work with external parties and let them do more of the thinking?” he said.

While he said governments cannot easily share these statistics due to privacy and security, not all of them are sensitive, such as weather reports.

These valuable statistics can be linked into potentially profitable streams, he said.

“For example, in industries, it (the data) can generate financial profits. For people, we can comprehend the motives of the social community. For small and medium entreprises, it can be for branding.

“Lastly, for local universities, it can inculcate a richer research and development environment,” explained the senior lecturer.

Another speaker Dr Jin-gyu Jang, senior research fellow at South Korea’s Science and Technology Policy Institute, shared his sentiments and addressed the government’s importance in his “Role of Governments in ICT Research and Development” presentation.

He said part of South Korea’s strategy was supporting the public-private partnership (PPP) system.

“We (South Korea) concentrated on increasing investment, spending on public research and development and (steadily) moved from (not only) learning but also creating.”

Beyond this, he advised forum participants to also take into account global cooperation.

“We should always raise questions such as which country will be our best partner, how to finance the projects and where to commercialise it?”

He reminded that with these strategies, South Korea moved from the second poorest country in the world in 1945 to the 11th largest economy in the world in 2010.

The one-day event featured 14 speakers from South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, ASEAN Secretariat, representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Communications, Brunei Economic Development Board, eG.Inc from Universiti Brunei Darussalam and Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry.

The Brunei Times