Singapore Technologies Electronics (ST Elect) is a leading electronics system house in the region, with a track record for the design and implementation of innovative purpose built electronic system solutions for defence, commercial and industrial customers worldwide. In a fast changing, highly competitive industry, ST Elect continues to deliver new solutions that address customer challenges in a cost effective manner.

(I) Inventing the Future

ST Elect’s contributions to the electronics sector were recognised by both its customers and the industry in 2003.

The Infrared Fever Screening System (IFss) and Contact Track & Trace System – jointly developed by ST Elect, the Defence Science and Technology Agency and Chartered Electro-Optics during the SARS outbreak – won the Prestigious Engineering Achievement Award and the ASEAN Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award from the Institution of Engineers Singapore and the ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organisation respectively. The IFss was also featured in TIME magazine’s Coolest Inventions for 2003. During the Singapore National Day Parade, another related innovation, a forehead thermometer called GlowCard™ was launched to provide quick, non intrusive yet accurate temperature readings.

ST Elect’s penchant for innovation saw the filing of seven new patents in 2003 and the grant of three patents filed earlier, including a Fault Detection for Traffic Light Systems Using Electronic Lighting Elements patent filed in the US, and the Dual Mode ISDN S/U Interface Converter and Hand Held Support Assembly patents filed in Singapore.

In 2003, the Company filed a patent for the invention of Apparatus and Method for Detection and Counting of Vehicles.

In addition, the Company was conferred the Singapore Innovation Class by SPRING Singapore, which provides organisations with an integrated innovation framework comprising the four Cs - Conditions, Culture, Competencies and Connectivity.

Its subsidiary, Agilis Communication Technologies (Agilis) was conferred an award by the joint organisers of the “E-Global Singapore 2003” conference as a promising innovator and enterprise with products and services that have global market appeal.

(II) The Fruits of Innovation

ST Elect’s three key business groups – Large-Scale Systems Group (LSG), Communication and Sensor Systems Group (CSG) and Software Systems Group (SSG) – and their subsidiaries – CET Technologies (CET) and Agilis under CSG, and SES Systems (SES) and ST Training & Simulation (STTS) under SSG – unveiled a range of new products and services during the year to meet the needs of a fast changing market and their growing base of customers.

CET launched its SuperneT™ ST2800 Emergency Integrated Communication System to meet the demands for emergency service, public safety and military command and control communication systems. Based on Voice over Internet Protocol (IP) and Radio over IP technologies, this can be deployed in both fixed and mobile forward command centres for vehicle bound response teams, and as portable communication units such as handheld terminals for those on foot patrol.

DigiSAFE, a subsidiary of CET, launched KeyCryptTM the world’s first multi functional USB token for both logical and physical access. The USB mass storage portion of KeyCrypt can be used to store data files and software components to bring about a whole new experience, enabling users to remotely read emails and access their network securely at anytime, from anywhere outside their offices.

Agilis, which designs, develops and manufactures radio frequency (RF), microwave and satellite products and systems for consumer, industrial and commercial applications launched a number of new products in 2003. They included X-Band Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) transceivers for secured communication network; MMDS 3, 5GHz Microwave Digital Radio for wireless broadband communication needs; Radar Detectors for vehicles and pedestrian traffic management and second generation X and K-Band door sensors.

Moving forward, Agilis will continue to position its VSAT and Microwave Digital Radio products both as high speed gateways as well as lower cost subscriber end equipment for the IP over satellite market.

In January, SES launched the Automated Fingerprint Identification System 2 (AFIS2), a one stop solution for the Singapore Police Force. AFIS2 is a fully automated system that enables computerised matching of digital images of fingerprints, palm prints, facial images, scars, marks and tattoos at a speed of 150,000 matches per second. As this solution operates on an open format, it provides speed and accuracy for fingerprint matching to police forces around the world, and seamless integration with external agencies.

At IMDEX 2003 in November, STTS demonstrated a possible world’s first. It successfully linked together two different training systems – its Fleet Instrumented Sea Training System™ and the US Navy’s Battle Force Tactical Trainer – in a live exercise over a wide area network. The demonstration was a showcase of STTS’ capability in the field of real time distributed simulation engines, high fidelity computer generated forces and real time training datalinks.

This use of cutting edge technology was also showcased through the display of state-of-the-art simulators like the Unmanned Airborne Vehicle Simulator.

Working with Ripple Systems, a ST Elect Australian subsidiary, LSG embarked on a two year development project of OASYS, an Integrated Command, Control and Communications System designed for Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) operations. Targeted for completion by the end of 2004, the system integrates the latest technologies to provide rail operators with a command centre from which the operations and maintenance of an entire line can be fully and efficiently managed, at a lower lifecycle cost. The system also serves to provide the operators with an efficient means of handling incidents and emergency situations thereby improving commuters’ experience and the safety of train operations.

(III) Creating Value for Customers

ST Elect reaffirmed its ability to create value for customers in 2003 with a host of new wins across its many business segments.

ST Elect clinched a few contracts in China and other Asia Pacific countries. In China, it won projects such as Suzhou Public Security Bureau Traffic Management System, Hangzhou Zhaohui Modern City Extra Low Voltage Systems, Shanghai Raffles City Carpark Management System and home automation solutions for the Shanghai International Lidu Garden condominium. In addition, the Company was commissioned to implement an Access Control Alarm System for Liaoning Museum and won a project for deploying an Extra Low Voltage System for AIG Tower in Hong Kong.

In Thailand, ST Elect successfully tendered for an intelligent building management system project from Tongkah Harbour, while its Malaysian subsidiary won a contract from Guinness Anchor to deploy a security management system in Kuala Lumpur.

Elsewhere in the world, the Company shipped approximately 400,000 units of Multi-Channel Multipoint Distribution System access control downconverters to MVS, a leading cable television provider in Mexico, in fulfilment of a four year supply contract signed in 2002.

Its subsidiaries secured a series of wins in Singapore and abroad and achieved several major milestones in 2003.

CET won a S$23m contract from CityCab to design, develop and implement a new generation Integrated Transport Management System based on wireless GPRS technology. This is targeted for completion in 2005.
In Taiwan, the Taipei MRT awarded CET a contract to develop and implement a passenger information display system for the new trains on the Tucheng Line in early 2003. This will be based on CET’s cetrac® On-train Communication & Passenger Information Display Systems.

CET was also the appointed technology partner of StarHub in their January launch of Singapore’s first VoIP telephone service. The new network converges voice, video and high speed Internet access onto StarHub’s cable network, resulting in network efficiencies and lower operating costs, thus enabling StarHub to quickly offer large scale and profitable new services.

In March, CET successfully completed the implementation of a Communication Network for the Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs. This network links all the voice and data networks of the command centres at Singapore Police Force, Singapore Civil Defence Force and Central Narcotics Bureau, as well as to the police stations, police posts, hospitals and fire stations located islandwide.

Within the training and simulation segment, STTS overcame more established competitors to win several contracts in Asia and the Middle East. A Virtual Reality Lab was completed for the Defence Medical Research Institute (DMRI) in August. With this tool, DMRI is now equipped to study human factors applications, in 3D spaces.

STTS won a contract in Thailand in August, to provide a simulator system for the building and testing of aircraft designs and aerodynamics.

STTS’ subsidiary, ST Education & Training (STET), became the first local company to develop a suite of comprehensive maritime security training courses. A simulation-based training package was developed to enhance the learning of participants to assist shipping and oil companies prepare for compliance with new International Marítime Organisation regulatory requirements. In December, STET was appointed as one of the three organisations in the world to be a Recognised Security Organisation by Autoridad Marítima de Panamá to approve the Ship Security Assessment / Plans for ships registered with Panama.

LSG, which won a S$50m contract for a rail project in December 2002, was awarded another S$81m contract by Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corporation in January 2003. LSG will provide a Communication System for the Kaohsiung MRT Red and Orange Lines. In the same month, LSG also won a contract to supply the extra low voltage system for a military facility, including the delivery of its Securnet Security Management System, Close Circuit Television System, Facilities Management System and Audio Visual System.

LSG was also involved in providing many of the systems behind the Sengkang LRT system, which started revenue service in January. It was responsible for the design and supply of the communication system consisting of various systems including radio, communication backbone, CCTV, public address, Intrusion Detection System, Information Display, Building Management and other critical systems.

The world’s first driverless MRT system, the Singapore North-East Line, was completed and officially opened in August. LSG was responsible for providing Signalling, Platform Screen, Integrated Supervisory Control, Access Management System and Information Display Systems.

In the Philippines, LSG completed Phase 1 of the Manila Megatren LRT Line 2 Project. It was officially opened in April and covers a stretch of 4.3km from Santolan to Cubao. LSG provided the Communications, Supervisory Control and Automatic Fare Collection Systems.

These successes put LSG in a stronger position to compete for and win future MRT and LRT development projects in Singapore, Taiwan and China. Locally, an opportunity is likely to arise from the Singapore government’s plan to build future MRT and LRT lines such as the Bukit Timah Line, Eastern Region Line and the Jurong Region Line, as well as the expansion of the Rapid-Transit System network from 128km to 240km in 10 to 15 years’ time.

(IV) An Expanding Global Presence

ST Elect continued to expand its network of offices and invest in new companies around the world to advance its global presence. Its investments were driven by a strong focus on emerging markets like Greater China and the mobile solutions area.

In June, ST Elect, through its subsidiary SES, took a 70% interest in a new company called INFA Systems in Hong Kong. INFA Systems will allow SES to capitalise on the 29 year old INFA brand name in Hong Kong and position itself as a second tier systems integrator in Hong Kong. INFA will serve as a vehicle for SES to develop the Public Safety market in China.

CET took a NZ$1.2m stake in Cadmus Technology, a New Zealand Stock Exchange listed company and one of the leading payment solutions and data management services providers in New Zealand. This will enhance CET’s existing range of mobile payment technologies, Fleet Management Systems & Solutions and wireless connectivity solutions.

It also invested S$1.2m in iWOW, a leading mobile wireless technology company, to augment its suite of solutions in mobile applications. The 26.6% stake will enable CET to offer a combined solution using its cetrac® brand of advanced Fleet Management Solutions, and Mobile Track & Trace Solutions with iWOW’s wireless communications solutions.

Elsewhere in the world, Agilis took equity stakes in PolarSat, a Canadian company based in Quebec, and THISS Technologies, a local company originating from Australia. The result is a complete range of communication products and solutions that allows customers to continue growing and enhancing their satellite-based and broadband communication businesses.

(V) Positioned to Grow

Moving into the future, ST Elect will continue to build upon its range of technologies and capabilities through investments both locally and abroad. Each subsidiary will build on its strengths by focusing on innovation through research and development, and forming new alliances and ventures to build pipeline opportunities for the future.

CET will strengthen sales and marketing efforts in Greater China, SE Asia, and open up new markets in the US, Europe, Middle East and Australia. It is also working on establishing overseas distribution channels for its products.

To penetrate Central and Western China, Agilis has set up ST Electronics (Sichuan) in Chengdu.

Innovation has made ST Elect what it is today. It has established the Company as a serious contender in the highly competitive system solutions industry with an enviable track record in setting new benchmarks for its competitors to follow. Moving into 2004 and beyond, ST Elect’s commitment to innovation and growth through investments in complementary technologies will make it a systems company that will grow in competitiveness each year.

 
 

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