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Singapore sets up inter-agency office to grow space industry
[February 21, 2013]

Singapore sets up inter-agency office to grow space industry

SINGAPORE, Feb 21, 2013 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Singapore has set up an inter- agency office to develop the local space industry, a government minister said Thursday.

A local firm also announced at the Global Space Technology Convention that it plans to launch the first Singapore-made commercial satellite in 2015.

The Office for Space Technology and Industry is a program office established under the Economic Development Board, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran.

It will coordinate resources and efforts by government agencies such as the Agency for Science Technology and Research, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the National Research Foundation.

Iswaran said the inter-agency office will plan and execute economic strategies to drive the growth of the local space industry. It will work with various industry stakeholders to help them realize their satellite business and innovation initiatives.

"We believe Singapore will become a compelling location for satellite-related companies to grow their businesses, develop their technologies and export new solutions to the world," said the minister.

The Economic Development Board, citing a report, said the global space economy grew by 12.2 percent year on year to 290 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, driven largely by the satellite industry, which grew by an annual rate of 10.9 percent since 2006 to hit 177 billion U.S. dollars.

"The Asian satellite industry is poised for growth. The rising affluence of the Asian consumer and increased usage of sophisticated satellite technologies by businesses are fueling the demand for satellite services in the region," said Gian Yi-Hsen, director of the inter-agency office.

Meanwhile, ST Electronics said it is looking to put the first Singapore-made commercial satellite in orbit in 2015. The 400-kg TeLEOS-1 will be an earth observation satellite that can take images for various purposes such as disaster monitoring and management, mineral exploration, precision farming, environmental monitoring and climate change studies.

It is designed to orbit around the equator at an orbital height of about 550 km.

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