Two Decades of Turning Imagination to Innovation
28 Oct 2020


To mark DSTA’s 20th anniversary, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM), Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat joined over 3,000 staff and guests at a special commemorative event on 28 October 2020.

Besides DPM Heng, the event was also graced by Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, Senior Ministers of State for Defence Heng Chee How and Zaqy Mohamad, Permanent Secretary (Defence Development) Joseph Leong, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong and other senior officials from MINDEF and the SAF.


In his welcome address, Chief Executive Tan Peng Yam underscored DSTA’s raison d'être: to harness science and technology to meet the defence and security needs of Singapore. To achieve this, DSTA has placed strong emphasis on its shared purpose, as well as creating meaningful work and a vibrant environment for everyone to collaborate, innovate and grow together.

He said: “I believe that DSTA has made good progress in our first 20 years. More importantly, we have collectively built a strong foundation which gives us the confidence that we can contribute even more in the years ahead.”

Addressing over 3,000 DSTA staff, MINDEF and SAF officials, as well as guests from all over the world – some from as far as the US, Brazil and Europe – who tuned in virtually for the event, DPM Heng congratulated DSTA on 20 years of progress and achievements. He noted how science and technology have been instrumental to Singapore’s survival and success, and how a strong core in these areas will be even more critical to the Singapore story and the SAF, as Singapore navigates an increasingly complex world with fast-evolving threats.


In addition, he drew attention to how the men and women of DSTA have gone beyond the call of duty in times of crisis. These included adapting military technology to develop the Infrared Fever Screening System in 2003 during the SARS outbreak, and contributing various solutions in the fight against COVID-19, from co-developing the Mobile Swab Stations to procuring emergency healthcare supplies amidst global supply chain uncertainties.

He added: “As Singapore navigates a more contested and uncertain world, I challenge all of you to break new frontiers in the effective use of science and technology to safeguard our sovereignty.”

DPM Heng also launched DSTA’s 20th anniversary commemorative book, Ordinary People Extraordinary Passion, which chronicles the organisation’s transformation, innovations and contributions over two decades.

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During the visit, some of our engineers and procurement specialists had the opportunity to share more about their work with DPM Heng as well as other invited guests.


As DSTA enters a new chapter in its story, the possibilities are endless in a future that is ours to create!