Transformation maps for agriculture, real-estate, construction sectors

Key thrusts under each ITMs announced.

07 Mar 2017

Senior Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee and Minister of State for National Development Koh Poh Koon announced today (7 March 2017) Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) for the agriculture, real estate and construction sectors.

Farm Transformation Map

Minister of State Koh Poh Koon announced four key points to guide the transformation of Singapore’s farming sector:

Overcoming space constraints: Singapore’s agriculture sector will use novel approaches and technology to overcome space constraints, such as vertical farming towers and climate-controlled, multi-tiered indoor spaces.

More innovation: To optimise limited space and increase production yields, the local agriculture sector will need to push technological boundaries to pursue water and energy efficiency, automate and integrate systems through robotics and sensors, and adapt solutions to protect against climate change affecting yields.

People development: Singapore will need a generation of “agri-specialists” with multi-disciplinary expertise to transform the sector. Farming will no longer just be about horticulture, aquaculture, or pure manual labour, but also about engineering, ICT, entrepreneurship, and research.

Growing the ecosystem: The Government will encourage ancillary players, promote consumer demand for local produce, and help farms seek financing. From April 2017, the Agriculture Productivity Fund (APF) will disburse up to 30 per cent of approved funding quantum upfront, to facilitate technology adoption.

Dedicated account manager: AVA will adopt a new “account management” approach, where each local farm will have a dedicated account manager to advise them on business development, technology adoption, and financial assistance. Account managers will facilitate farmers’ interactions with agencies that they need to work with.

Real Estate Transformation Map

Minister of State Koh Poh Koon further revealed three broad thrusts that comprise the real estate transformation map:

Raising productivity: Government agencies will consider how they can streamline processes to make the sector more productive, while providing consumers with added convenience and more positive experiences.

Scaling up: The Government will work with the industry to identify new growth areas, support their efforts to deepen their expertise, develop competitive niches and enter overseas markets. With scale, companies can leverage on greater economies of scale, increase their value proposition, and better respond to market disruptions.

Equipping workers with right skills: The Government will work with companies, industry associations and unions to ensure that there are training opportunities to help workers upskill and continuously refresh these skills throughout their careers.

Construction Transformation Map

Senior Minister of State Desmond Lee highlighted three preliminary points that make up the construction transformation map:

Adopting prefabrication Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) technology: Piloted Government Land Sales (GLS) sites will specify construction productivity outcomes without mandating specific technologies. This will give firms the flexibility to propose suitable technologies to meet productivity outcomes. Incentives will also be provided to help more firms set up Design for Manufacturing & Assembly manufacturing facilities locally. The Government will extend the Land Intensification Allowance (LIA) scheme to cover the construction of Integrated Construction and Pre-fabrication Hubs (ICPHs).

More digital engineering: The Government will seek to increase the adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) by firms. A Code of Practice (COP) for BIM models will be piloted by BCA to set out what architects and engineers need to include in the model to make it more useful.

Encouraging firms to internationalise to have access to new markets: An internationalisation taskforce with public and private sector representatives will be formed to identify synergies across the Construction, Real Estate, Security, Environmental Services and Landscape sectors to see if local companies can band together and provide integrated services.

The Government will also push out a strong pipeline of major infrastructure projects in the next few years, including the Tengah HDB town, LTA’s Circle Line 6 and Changi Airport Terminal 5. Public sector demand is expected to make up 70 per cent of overall construction demand in 2017.

In addition, the Government will bring forward $700mil in public infrastructure projects, to start construction in 2017 and 2018. These will be smaller projects, which local small and medium-sized firms can bid for.

Public agencies will also be encouraged to parcel out larger projects into smaller ones to help diversify risk and enable more local firm participation.