Smart nation, global hub

Smart nation, global hub

Great minds from all over the world gather to discuss the latest on technology, innovation and entrepreneurship at Singapore’s Smart Nation Innovations Week.

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SNI Week aims to foster collaboration among a variety of players in the digital ecosystem, including entrepreneurs, businesses, investors and government officials. Photos: IMDA

Singapore’s digital economy is growing from strength to strength: Last year, inbound investments in the infocommunications and media sector were expected to bring in an expected value-add of S$3.2 billion. The same story also noted that Singapore continued to be the “preferred location in Asia for global companies to base key business functions that drive innovation and growth”.

To further build on the regional and global reach of Singapore’s vibrant tech ecosystem, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) have put together a week-long series of events centered around high-level thought leadership, networking and deal-making opportunities – Smart Nation Innovations Week (SNI Week).


Held between June 24 and 28, SNI Week will foster international and regional collaboration among start-ups, entrepreneurs, brands, investors, academics and governments. It will engage all parts of the digital ecosystem improving capabilities, drive competition and offer cutting-edge solutions with new infocomm media technologies.

Taking place at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, the events are expected to attract over 15,000 attendees from around the world. In total, it will feature more than 350 exhibitors and 400 speakers, representing over 100 countries.

Several global luminaries will be speaking at SNI Week’s key highlights, such as the flagship Smart Nation Summit and Innovfest Unbound. They include:

  • Ms Lesly Goh, chief technology officer, World Bank
  • Dr Ieva Martinkenaite, Telenor Group’s vice-president of artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of things (IOT) business development and member of the EU AI High-level Expert Group
  • Ms Anja Hendel, director of innovation management and digital transformation, Porsche
  • Mr Ralph Hunter, president of Microsoft Asia
  • Ms Grazia Vittadini, chief technology officer of Airbus
  • Sir Martin Sorrell, executive chairman, S4 Capita


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The Smart Nation Summit, held on June 26, is set to be the premier event of SNI Week. A half-day conference with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as guest-of-honour, the by-invitation-only event will see select business leaders and government officials discussing issues and trends surrounding Asia’s digital transformation, as well as the policies, strategies, technologies and mindsets needed for the digital economy.

This year’s theme is Towards a Digital-as-Usual Age, which revolves around the exponential transformation of countries when they embrace digitalisation and forge multi-stakeholder partnerships to spark transformation at the individual, sectoral and national levels.

SNI Week will also host several other events, such as GovTech’s Digital Government Exchange (DGX) and the Straits Digital Exchange (SDE). The fourth iteration of DGX, which takes place from June 24 to 26 at the National Library, will see attendees from countries such as Australia, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Japan and New Zealand coming together for candid discussions on AI, the use of smart technologies to deliver government services, and cloud-based opportunities for governments.

The SDE, which will be held on June 27 at Marina Bay Sands, is intended for ministers responsible for information, communications and technology. At the SDE, participants will discuss key policy issues and the role of government in accelerating the digital economy and building a nation’s digital readiness.


Open to the public, the award-winning Innovfest Unbound, South-east Asia’s largest festival, anchors SNI Week on June 27 and 28. Festival highlights include an innovation forum and a workshop stage featuring content from Singtel Innov8, Element AI, NCS and Dentons Rodyk. Attendees can expect to be stimulated by experts exploring the very latest on cutting-edge topics including 5G, AI and data, smart cities, digital story-telling and Services 4.0.

Organised by the National University of Singapore (NUS) Enterprise and Unbound, in partnership with IMDA, Innovfest Unbound has been termed a “global community” by Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran. He had highlighted its ability to “showcase the latest in innovation and technology ... share knowledge and explore business collaboration opportunities”.

To learn more about Smart Nation Innovations Week, register to attend Innovfest Unbound, or express your interest in attending the Smart Nation Summit anchor event, visit