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Irene Tham
Fri, Oct 19, 2007
The Straits Times
33 digital media projects win $14m funding

AT LEAST 33 research projects in interactive digital media (IDM) have been given $14million in funding in the past year.

The sum is part of a $500million kitty which the Government set up last year to power Singapore's growth into an IDM hub.

Mr Michael Yap, deputy chief executive of the Media Development Authority (MDA), which manages the five-year fund supplied by the National Research Foundation, said: 'The culture of R&D is shaping up and Singapore is on track to becoming the premier location for idea innovation in IDM.'

Mr Yap is also the executive director of the IDM R&D programme office.

Digital media is expected to contribute $10billion to the economy and be the source of 10,000 new jobs by 2015.

The latest research project to have received funding is a multimedia spinoff from the National University of Singapore called Personal e-Motion. It is working on an online publishing system for multimedia content, which could open up a new market for e-books, said MrLow Chin Chau, the programme director, at the IDM R&D programme office.

Its product KooBits, which comes in a CD-ROM, is already being used by 14 primary schools here for creating simple multimedia e-books.

Other recent grant recipients include ecPresence Technology, Sparky Animation and Wholetree Technologies. The first two are developing animation software that mimics real-life actions. Wholetree Technologies, on the other hand, is developing a digital concierge system that can schedule multi-party meetings with voice commands.

The Straits Times understands that, in selecting projects for research funding, the MDA pays more attention to the technical soundness of the idea than its commercial viability, which will be assessed by venture capitalists at a later stage.

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