SINGAPORE: Singapore Technologies (ST) Engineering announced on Thursday (Feb 14) that it will set up a joint venture company with DSO National Laboratories to provide data analytics based on satellite imagery.
Named ST Engineering Geo-Insights, the company will offer immediate information, including that related to security and safety, which can be used in industries such as maritime, construction and even agriculture.
DSO National Laboratories is the largest defence research and development (R&D) organisation in Singapore.
The companies signed the agreement during the 11th annual Global Space and Technology Convention organised by the Singapore Space and Technology Association.
Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, who witnessed the agreement signing for the joint venture, said this development benefits Singapore in many ways.
“There are a lot of positive things from these technologies, (such as) the kind of business opportunities that we can create and the kind of jobs that we can create," he said.
More than 1,000 people work in Singapore's space industry within 40 companies, according to the Singapore Space and Technology Association.
“For us, it goes back to very basic, very fundamental issues facing our country," said Mr Chan.
"Singapore is always a land-constrained country. So for us, our challenge has always how we transcend our geographical limitations. Space technology allows us to do exactly that.
"It gives us an entirely new frontier on how we can exploit our technological capabilities to create new industries."
Mr Chan noted that the space industry in Singapore has made steady progress over the years.
The technology will be offered immediately through ST Engineering’s TeLEOS-1, which was launched in 2015, and later, via the TeLEOS-2 which is expected to be launched in 2022.
ST Engineering president for satellite systems Mr Tang Kun Chuen said the partnership with DSO melded both companies’ capabilities to deliver higher value-added services to their customers.
“DSO, they have the technology, they have the know-how. They have built up a suite of algorithms to do all these data fusions, to do all these data analytics.
“Whereas, we have the market, we know the customers, we know the applications. At the same time, we also have been working on our own algorithms," Mr Tang added.
Mr Chan also urged other Singaporean companies to adopt a business model similar to the joint venture, instead of competing on price.
ST Engineering invested US$3 million for a 51 per cent stake of the company, with the remaining stake going to DSO.
The space geo-imaging and big data market is expected to grow to US$1.2 billion (S$1.6 billion) by 2026.