Singapore cash to help in hard times

Singapore will pump S$250 million (US$164 million) into the country’s media sector this year to “sustain the growth momentum” amidst the economic downturn.

Government agency the Media Development Authority (MDA) said the spending would include funding from the Natioanl rsearch Foundation (NRF) to boost research and development in interactive digital media, as well as support for public service programmes. Around 2,000 jobs will be supported over the coming year.

Christopher Chia, MDA’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “For the coming year and beyond, MDA will focus on funding and developing high-value and exportable content and applications, with an emphasis on helping Singapore companies to leverage digital media and adopt a 360° approach to exploit original intellectual properties across multiple platforms and formats. To this end, we will issue major calls for proposals throughout the year across TV, film, publishing, music, interactive media and games, aimed at stimulating a strong pipeline of projects for local media companies.

At yesterday’s Media Business Forum, the MDA requested “innovative public service programmes that can travel across platforms and borders” as well as “original TV concepts that leverage various digital media distribution avenues and partnerships.” MDA aims to support 2,380 hours of broadcast content this year, 200 hours more than the previous year.

“Our slate of initiatives is aimed at saving and creating jobs, and also maintaining a strong pipeline of projects through an increased investment in the media sector. By enhancing the media sector’s digital value proposition and increasing efforts in capability development, we hope to strengthen the foundation for growth,“ said Dr Chia.