Singapore: MDA pumps $7.6m into new media

Courtesy : Marketing Interactive

Singapore – The Media Development Authority (MDA) has awarded S$7.6 million worth of funding to five New Media projects following its call for digital media applications and service projects in June last year.

The list of projects being funded includes Fresbo, BotsLIFE, Personal e-Motion, Popular e-Learning Holdings and Glocal, while the MDA expects the initiatives to create as much as 300 new jobs in the local media sector.

“The selected projects strengthen Singapore’s goal to be a leader in the New Media sector,” Michael Yap, deputy CEO of MDA, said in a statement.

“Our support will help the companies scale up their international exposure significantly. These projects will in turn support some 200 companies to help build the New Media ecosystem.

“This funding initiative complements MDA’s ongoing effort to support innovative content development and research and development in Interactive Digital Media (IDM),” he added.

The five projects were selected from 26 proposals submitted in response to the inaugural Call For New Media Applications and Services Projects which closed in September 2008.

Popular’s inclusion into the list (Popular e-Learning Holdings) will please the integrated media group giant as it has openly stated before, its intention to exploit new media platforms and technologies to expand its sales avenues and product salability.

“In light of the present economic climate, the funding from MDA will help Popular defray some of the business risks associated with these New Media initiatives and allow POPULAR to be more ambitious in our development and marketing regionally,” Eric Berthier, CEO of Popular e-Learning Holdings, said.

Courtesy of the MDA

Fresbo is a 3D virtual world where players from all over the world can come in to chat and play games. It is tucked inside social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, Friendster and Bebo.

Users can shop for clothes and other items to customise their avatar, decorate their own virtual room with different furniture, interact with friends and the rest of the Fresbo community. Users can invite their friends to hang out at their home, go to the amusement park and football pitch to play games, shopping mall to buy virtual goods, classrooms to learn, and even adopt pets. To date, Fresbo World has about 340,000 users.

MDA will be funding Fresbo to create and implement new content to keep users engaged in the Fresbo World. Currently it has about 200 virtual items and hopes to triple the number of items by next year. To be released on a weekly basis, the items for sale will include clothing, home furniture, maps, environments, mini-games and clubs.

BotsLIFE provides a web-based 3D virtual platform to allow anyone without mechanical and software engineering background to create sophisticated robotic toy movement in a virtual game environment. The first product is targeted at kids aged 6 to 12 years old to enrich the level of virtual and social interaction.

MDA plans to fund the development of five new social games and two applications based robotic toy system. For example, Dotz Chess allows users to play Chinese chess with each other in a virtual chess room or they can play directly on a physical Dotz Chess board. The physical chess pieces are DotZ robots, each of which has a Chinese character on its body to indicate its role.

The chess board is a physical robot arena. The player, who plays in a physical chess board, moves the chess piece by placing the robot to its destination point. If he wants to conquer his peer’s robot, he has to move his robot to the side of his peer’s robot. His peer’s robot will automatically move out of the game area; the winning robot will replace the defeated robot.

During the conquer quest, the player can configure his robot war cry animation.

MDA is supporting this project as this is a new emerging market. BotsLIFE have already secured partnerships with Gadget Yards and Toys R Us, with interests to corner the US, HK & China markets.

Personal e-Motion
Developed KooBits, a platform for children to create interactive stories, publish e-books, and network with other KooBits users. It aims to enhance user experience through real-time interactive publishing and networking portals to tell stories, publish e-books, share resources, build communities and realize their creative potential. KooBits already have more than 50,000 customers in Singapore and 80,000 globally and have already established a presence in China and Southeast Asia.
KooBits is a winner of the e-Learning category at the Infocomm Singapore Awards 2008 and the Asia Pacific ICT Award 2008. Its co-founder Stanley Han is a finalist of BusinessWeek – Asia’s Best Young Entrepreneurs 2008. MDA is supporting this project to develop new media content such as interactive animation e-books and ‘intelligent’ media resources e.g virtual flower growing over time or virtual car with virtual petrol. This will build the digital e-learning library and resources for regional distribution.

Popular e-Learning Holdings
Popular e-Learning Holdings has developed interactive and media rich education products and resources that are used by many parents not only in Singapore but also in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong for example, primary school students are already using our locally developed “Digital Textbooks” as important tools in everyday teaching and learning of core subjects including English, Mathematics and Science.

MDA is funding the development of three portals to promote e-Learning and position Singapore as the e-learning hub in the region. They are:

– Edu Community Web Portal – One-stop education directory for parents and teachers.

– EduPop Assessment Portal – An aggregation of educational content and applications for publishers and vendors to tap on.

– Youth Portal – A showcase platform of locally-developed media and applications to Popular customers both locally and overseas.

Popular has already developed a reputable brand name in education in Singapore, HongKong and Malaysia. The development of the three portals leverages upon their retail reach via some 117 stores in these countries and also from their existing 1,000,000 membership base. Popular intends to expand into the ASEAN market and the wider Asia region through establishing strategic partners.

Glocal acquires and produces video programming, assembles them into a “channel” for various pay TV operators on global cable, satellite, IPTV, web and mobile video platforms. Glocal plans to shift their operation from the US to Singapore.

MDA’s support will enable Glocal to develop and operate a fully integrated digital hub infrastructure with direct connection to the pay TV operators and consumers. It is an interactive online video streaming centered around community based interests with features such as:

– Combining social networks & communities with VOD.

– Integrating print, mobile and the Internet.

– Utilizing the latest online video streaming technology with zero buffering (no waiting to view).

Glocal already has existing long-term contracts with 10 pay TV operators and existing 17 channels in six countries including US, Canada & Japan.

Courtesy : Marketing Interactive


Filed under aplink, marketing, mda, media development authority, PR, Public Relations, singapore, social networking, virtual worlds

3 responses to “Singapore: MDA pumps $7.6m into new media

  1. skribeforti

    Sure you can’t find a job for me up there, mate. Sounds like fun =)

  2. First time that I visit your blog. This is very useful information I must say. Thanks for the post…

  3. This is very useful information I must say. Thanks for the post…

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