Prince 'Azim launches eG.InC
By Azaraimy HH

His Royal Highness Prince Haji 'Abdul 'Azim yesterday officially launched the e-Government Innovation Centre (eG.InC), a research centre at Universiti Brunei Darussalam that would serve as a think-tank and training ground that would aid the development of e-Government and could boost innovation within the e-Government ecosystem in Brunei.

The eG.InC at UBD is being established with the support of the Prime Minister's Office and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).

It aims to inspire e-Government innovation through research and education by facilitating e-Government research through the building of a comprehensive and extensive knowledge base and network of experts.

The centre will also develop global thought leadership capability for e-Government and contribute towards implementing e-Government successfully through training and education for officers and staff in the public and private sectors; recommend directions for e-Government; and assess and evaluate e-Government policies and programmes.

In addition, the eG.InC would help to promote international and regional e-Government cooperation.

Among those present at the opening ceremony were the Minister of Education, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awg Abu Bakar bin Hj Apong; Minister of Energy and Chairman of Brunei's e-Government Leadership Forum, Pehin Datu Singamanteri Col (Rtd) Dato Seri Paduka Awg Hj Mohammad Yasmin bin Hj Umar; and the Vice-Chancellor of UBD, Dr Hj Zulkarnain bin Hj Hanafi; as well as senior government officers, officers and staff of UBD and representatives of several international agencies.

The opening ceremony also marked the beginning of a 14-week e-Government training programme attended by senior government officers comprising mainly Chief Information Officers (CIOs) from various ministries.

During the ceremony, His Royal Highness Prince Haji 'Abdul 'Azim also had the opportunity to meet the training programme participants before touring the exhibition put up by eG.InC, the e-Government National Centre (EGNC), KAIST, Samsung, and the Authority for Info-Communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI).

"The three main thrusts of eG.InC are research, training and forum," Dr Hazri bin Hj Kifle, Dean of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Policy Studies (FBEPS) at UBD, said in his welcoming speech.

He said eG.InC will 1) conduct e-Government research involving advanced e-Government case studies; 2) evaluate and monitor accomplished and current e-Government programmes; 3) recommend directions for the next e-Government blueprint and strategic plan; 4) conduct various other activities including consultation to resolve pending e-Government issues; and 5) form expert communities associated with e-Government.

The eG.InC, said Dr Hazri, will serve as a tertiary training and education centre for senior officials from the government, as well as officers and staff of the public and private sectors, enabling them to equip themselves with the appropriate knowledge and skills to be able to innovate their organisation using ICT.

"Most important, eG.InC also aims to develop global thought leadership capability for e-Government," he said.

"Finally, the forum allows experts from the government, industry, and academia to gather in the same place to share their knowledge and experiences associated with e-Government and Science and Technology innovation. This enables formulating desirable direction towards e-Government initiatives, Science and Technology innovation and the National Innovation System (NIS). Forming (an) innovation forum will facilitate close cooperation of senior public officials, industry managers, and researchers," the Dean of FBEPS concluded. - Borneo Bulletin (5th June 2011)