Press Release 28 Jun 2019



“I wish to commend DSTA’s efforts in organising the Singapore Defence Technology Summit (Tech Summit). In a dynamic and complex world, it is crucial that the military keeps abreast of technological developments to continuously strengthen our capabilities. Over the years, the Defence Technology Community (DTC), including DSTA, DSO National Laboratories and our strategic industry partners, have delivered innovative and forward-looking solutions to meet the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) unique operational needs. We are working very closely with the DTC to build the Next-Generation SAF, one that is more responsive to the realities of digital warfare and more capable in every domain. The Tech Summit has indeed generated many insights into how we can leverage emerging technologies to make the SAF more effective and future-ready.”

-  Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong, Chief of Defence Force, Singapore



“It’s important to ensure that technology is accessible because I think that it can be applied in many different places and doing it right often requires many different types of perspectives. So, it’s critical for the military, industry and academia to collaborate with one another. DSTA is really interested in thinking long-term around the technologies, and that requires lots of perspectives. Holding the Singapore Defence Technology Summit is a far-seeing approach to think about long-term strategy, and I admire DSTA for making the investment for this event.”

- Tim Hwang, Director, Harvard-MIT Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative



“The big value in a conference like this is to really get cutting-edge thoughts from over the world, and not only were those people present here – very impressive delegates and attendees – but the atmosphere was such that it really bred that kind of open exchange, so I was thrilled to be here. One of my biggest takeaways is that this new wave of technology is coming. Artificial intelligence, for example, is coming. There are a lot of challenging questions around cyber: How do we deal with attribution? How do we deal with issues of proportionality? These are all cutting-edge questions and this conference explored so many of them and I was really keen to see the many perspectives that the attendees brought to this. It really added to my own knowledge.”

- Mr Amir Husain, Founder and CEO, SparkCognition



“To be here for the second Singapore Defence Technology Summit is a real pleasure. DSTA has done an excellent job in bringing excellent panellists, people and practitioners from around the world. Itʼs really a top collection of delegates. Industry and academia are producing new technologies and platforms which can be adopted by non-state actors and used potentially as threats, so these cannot be ignored by defence and national security agencies. There is also a rule of opportunities to take such technologies and adapt them at a reasonable cost and get a competitive advantage for the military capability.” 

- Prof Alex Zelinsky, AO, Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Newcastle and former Chief Defence Scientist, Australia



“We are here for the first time from Estonia and it’s great to be part of the Singapore Defence Technology Summit and share some of the things that we have been doing, especially on the cybersecurity front. Now what has been surprising in a very nice way is the breadth of discussions involved. It is also future-looking, talking about the brain as the next frontier. Knowledge sharing is important and it is not happening enough because the good solutions that we have to rely on have to come from collaboration. By bringing different communities together, they can understand each otherʼs challenges and collaborate for the next stage of solutions.”

- Mr Siim Sikkut, Chief Information Officer, Government of Estonia



“I would say that it is extremely important to have the best possible knowledge in the room, coming from scientists, researchers, government officials, military and the industry. So I think the Singapore Defence Technology Summit gives the foundation for insightful discussions not just to talk about the future, but also to shape the future and make it real. I am impressed with DSTAʼs ambitions and also the success that you have proven already with last year’s summit.”

- Rear Admiral Thomas Engevall, Deputy National Armaments Director, Swedish Defence Materiel Administration



“The Singapore Defence Technology Summit is fantastic because it brings together a number of different people from very diverse fields and environments – industry, government and universities. Not only are they very bright people but they also bring forth different perspectives for enriching discussions. The discussion with the CEOs was very interesting for me because I saw that one of the major problems or challenges that they are facing is talents. Today, searching for talents and training people in robotics, AI and new technologies is the number one priority and as researchers and professors at universities, I think itʼs a duty for us to train, grow and retain those talents.”

- Prof Dario Floreano, Director of Laboratory of Intelligent Systems, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne and Director, Swiss National Centre of Competence in Robotics