Why Smart Nation

Advances in digital technology have opened up new possibilities to enhance the way we live, work, play, and interact.

Singapore strives to become a Smart Nation to support better living, stronger communities, and create more opportunities, for all.

And “smartness” is not a measure of how advanced or complex the technology being adopted is, but how well a society uses technology to solve its problems and address existential challenges. Citizens are ultimately at the heart of our Smart Nation vision, not technology!

The Smart Nation initiative is coordinated by the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office in the Prime Minister's Office, supported by other government agencies.

5 Key Domains

For a start, we have identified five key domains that will have significant impact on the citizen and society, and in which digital technology can have a needle moving impact:

  1. Transport;
  2. Home & environment;
  3. Business productivity;
  4. Health and enabled ageing; and
  5. Public sector services.

In these areas, we look to citizens and businesses to co-create impactful solutions to address our challenges. On the Government's part, we will put in place the infrastructure, policies, and enablers to encourage innovation. We will strive to create the space for experimentation and risk taking.

So if you have a good idea, work with us to take the idea to flight, from prototype to deployment, and from Singapore to beyond our shores. Check out the opportunities available!



The government strives to facilitate innovations by the public and the private sector. It puts in place appropriate policies and legislations to nurture a culture for experimentation, encourage innovation and the eventual adoption of new ideas.


Facilitating smart solutions

  • Smart Home technologies are being testbedded in HDB estates as part of the “Smart HDB Town Framework”. Residents in Yuhua estate are the first to experience ‘Smart Living’ in an existing HDB estate; feedback from residents who signed up will help determine their viability and suitability, and how some of these smart solutions can better integrate with their day-to-day living, before selected smart initiatives may be introduced and rolled out more extensively in other HDB estates, such as Punggol Northshore.
  • Committee on Autonomous Road Transport for Singapore (CARTS) was set up to chart the strategic direction for Autonomous Vehicle-enabled land mobility concepts in Singapore.
  • The Centre for Healthcare Assistive and Robotics Technology (CHART) at Changi General Hospital facilitates collaboration between academia, industry and research institutions, to develop healthcare solutions leveraging on robotics and assistive technology.


Nurturing a culture of experimentation and sustaining innovation

Open Data & Connectivity

  • We have enhanced the government open data portal, and will continue to release more government data in machine readable format so that the public and third party developers can glean useful insights and put them to good use.

Smart Nation Open Government Data


  • The Smart Nation Sensor Platform (SNSP) is an infrastructure being built to enable greater pervasive connectivity, better situational awareness through gathering and sharing of useful data between agencies. The data which is anonymised and analysed, provide insights that will contribute towards forming solutions that can help improve the lives of citizens.
  • We have brought some of the fastest connectivity to every home and business. In the Mckinsey Globalisation Institute - Digital Globalisation Full Report (March 2016), Singapore tops the Mckinsey Connectedness Index based on inflows and outflows of goods, services, finance, talent and data.

Investment in Research & Development

  • Government continues to sustain its R&D spending at about 1 per cent of GDP. The National Research Foundation (NRF) recently announced the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 (RIE2020) master plan, and a next tranche of $19 billion in funds set aside to support and translate research into solutions that address national challenges, build up innovation and technology adoption in companies, and drive economic growth through value creation.

Living laboratory

  • We have set aside spaces for companies and researchers to develop, prototype and pilot their technological solutions. This includes one-north district as Singapore’s first test site for self-driving vehicle technologies and mobility concepts, where the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) and the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) have been carrying out trials along the twelve-kilometre test route.
  • There are avenues for big ideas to be experimented on, refined and brought to life in Singapore and beyond our shores. With a single layer of governance in a small but globally connected city-state, we can test, develop and deploy solutions quickly and efficiently.

Smart Nation Singapore Test Beds

Industry and Start-up ecosystem

  • Start-up accelerators in JTC’s Launchpad, BASH, Cleantech Park; a strong presence of venture capitalists and MNCs; and the new Jurong Innovation District (JID), help to nurture creative innovations and bridge innovation and enterprise.
  • Singapore ranks #12 in the list of world's top start-up ecosystem, #1 globally in the Talent factor, and has the 3rd highest level of Global Connectedness of all top 20 ecosystems (according to the 2017 Global Start-up Ecosystem report by the Startup Genome project). 60% of start-ups in Singapore get follow-up funding, and 40 per cent of start-up acquisitions in Asia happens here.
  • According to the 2016 Global Innovation Index (GII), Singapore is the sixth most innovative economy in the world and first in Asia for innovation.
  • We have also been ranked #1 for ease of doing business (by the World Bank).

Cybersecurity and Data Privacy

  • Cybersecurity is a key enabler of our Smart Nation. The Government recognise the possible risks and has prioritised safeguarding relevant systems and networks that relates to security of citizens and privacy of data. The government, industry and public must all play their part and take measures to safeguard data, and ensure that critical control systems are protected even as we make them smart.

Smart Nation Ecosystem


Building computational capabilities

  • IMDA Playmaker Programme exposes young children to technology through tactile and more kinaesthetic educational experiences.
  • Code@SG movement will introduce coding and computational thinking to more students in schools.
  • At least 19 schools are offering programming as an ‘O’ Level subject next year.
  • Upgrading programmes like SkillsFuture and partnerships with educators such as General Assembly help equip people with workplace-ready ICT skills at both pre and post education levels.
  • Smart Nation Fellowship Programme invites experienced data scientists and engineers here or overseas to work with the government on short stints to help build solutions to solve national challenges.

Smart Nation Fellowship Programme



Useful Readings

Singapore: A Smart Nation

Singapore: A Smart Living Laboratory

Implementing the smart city

Singapore Named 'Global Smart City - 2016'
Last updated on 23 Jun 2017