Singapore, AWS push space sector expansion

The government of Singapore is ramping up efforts to develop the country’s space sector, fleshing out a three-pronged strategy to encourage further growth in the local space industry.

Speaking at the 14th Global Space and Technology Convention held earlier this month, Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong said Singapore was looking beyond borders to collaborate with international partners to accelerate local space innovation.

Yong said that in Singapore, the space sector continues to stay vibrant, with more than 50 companies employing more than 1,800 professionals.

“Central to this ecosystem are Singapore’s strong capabilities in research and technology, as well as our position as a trusted business hub for capital, talent, and intellectual property,” the minister said.

In November 2021, the Office for Space Technology and Industry (OSTIn) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced that they are collaborating to foster the development of space technologies and support the creation of a vibrant, sustainable, and innovative space hub in Singapore.

This partnership allows Singapore-based businesses, research institutions, and space startups to leverage AWS programs and tools that will support the long-term development of the Singapore space sector.

OSTIn and AWS will work closely together on three key initiatives. First is on encouraging the growth of existing Singaporean commercial space companies, and develop an environment conducive to developing startups and new entrants. 

By the first semester of 2022, Singapore space startups will be offered AWS Promotional Credits, virtual and in-person technical and business office hours and workshops with AWS experts, and access to the AWS Activate Program and AWS Startup Ramp.

Second is on developing future space industry talent and leadership by providing young professionals access to a catalogue of more than 500 free, on-demand online training courses including the AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials. This builds on the existing workforce talent development initiatives AWS has in Singapore.  

Third is on working with space data professionals and research institutions to identify space-related datasets to enable access, collaboration, and analysis of open data through the AWS Open Data Sponsorship Program. This will cover the cost of storage for publicly available, high-value, cloud-optimised datasets.

David Tan, executive director at OSTIn, saidSingapore’s space ecosystem is nascent but flourishing, and the collaboration with AWS will enable the country to build and further strengthen capabilities within the industry, as well as in research institutions.

“Space data and cloud technology have the potential to address complex issues and transform lives,” said Mani Thiru, AWS head of aerospace and satellite in Asia Pacific and Japan.

“Training and development are the core focus of the collaboration, and we will work closely with OSTIn to develop talent for Singapore’s space industry, providing startups and organisations with access to educational resources and on-demand cloud skills training,” she said.