Dr Lam Pin Min
Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Health
Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng CEO, Science Centre Singapore
Partners from the industry
Colleagues from the ITE, Polytechnics and Universities Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen
Welcome to the inaugural Drone Technology for Urban Solutions Conference. We are honoured to have Senior Minister of State, Dr Lam Pin Min to grace today’s event.
Three years ago, the World Economic Forum’s Meta-Council on Emerging Technologies predicted Drone Technology to be one of the ten emerging technologies that would provide innovative solutions to improve lives, transform industries and safeguard our planet.
Across the world, we see a proliferation of the varied use of drones. Drones are particularly good for doing the 4-D type of work – dull (routine and repetitive), dirty, dangerous and data-rich.
- Instead of a human conducting aerial surveillance for many hours a day, drones can be deployed to continuously scan a particular area. The human may get tired and become careless, the drones do not ever get tired and their data- gathering performance are more consistent.
- We can fly a drone through a field of volcanic ash to monitor and collect data. We can send a drone underground to inspect a power-line. We can use the drone to deliver blood, vaccination supplies more efficiently to less accessible locations.
However, mischievous and rogue use of drones can also cause havoc. Between 19 and 21 Dec last year, more than 92 drone sightings at Gatwick airport caused 1,000 flights to be cancelled and 140,000 passengers were affected by the travel disruption.
With every technology innovation, while we see the clear potential and benefits, we need to guard against misuse and abuse. It is thus apt that at today’s conference, we have brought together people from industry and education sectors as well as regulatory agencies to share perspectives and engage in generative discussion.
ITE’s Drone Development Journey
In view that there will be a strong and increasing demand for skilled manpower to operate, maintain and repair unmanned aircraft systems, ITE has been active in 2 ways: i) Incorporate drone technology skills into relevant courses; ii) Conduct drone- related CET courses for the public.
ITE signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ST Engineering Aerospace last August to include the training and learning of drone technologies in ITE’s aerospace technology courses. We also collaborate on drone- related project trials such as the use of drones to inspect aircrafts.
In March last year, ITE launched our first Certificate of Competency (CoC) course in Vertical Takeoff and Landing Drone Repair, Operation and Maintenance. This course was very well subscribed (69 participants altogether in 2018) and we received good feedback from participants. The adult learners learnt how to handle, assemble and repair their own drones using off-the-shelf parts. Many of the participants were from the security and construction industry. They could see the potential of drone technology in their respective areas of work and were keen to explore and innovate different drone applications at work.
Generating Interest, Promoting Innovative Applications
ITE has been working with various agencies with the objective of promoting interest and skills in drone technology across different age groups as well as promoting the innovative use of drone applications across different industry sectors.
ITE and Science Centre Singapore have been working together to organise many drone events such as Drone Odyssey Challenge, Daedalus Drone Challenge, today’s Conference and the upcoming Singapore Amazing Flying Machine Competition in March this year.
I thank our partners for your support to organise today’s conference and I wish all participants a fruitful and enriching afternoon. I would also like to thank our Guest of Honour, Dr Lam Pin Min for gracing this inaugural drone technology conference.