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MDA revamps funding schemes

Wednesday 28 Sep 2011
Singapore’s Media Development Authority (MDA) has streamlined its funding programmes for the media industry, ChannelNewsAsia reports.

It has whittled down the number of assistance schemes from the current 46 to just five.

They cover development assistance, production, marketing, talent support and enterprise development, and will apply to all seven media sectors: broadcast, film, animation, publishing, interactive media, games and music.

The move should sharpen the funding process and address industry feedback that MDA’s myriad array of schemes sometimes proved confusing.

Leon Tong, a producer with Boku Films, called it a “radical” change, noting that the new scheme gives more flexibility to producers to pitch projects.

MDA said the changes are in response to industry consultation.

MDA CEO Aubeck Kam said: “They’re telling us they need more content development, they need to start moving away from mere production, to actually creating their own intellectual property.”

New applications for grants will be assessed under the new model from Wednesday, while existing projects funded by old schemes will be serviced under the original agreements.

The new five-scheme structure shifts from the current model of co-investment to one of awarding grants. The aim is to allow companies to fully own their intellectual property, which gives them more freedom to create spin-offs, without seeking approval from co-owner, MDA.

The schemes will be funded under the Singapore Media Fusion Plan, which charts industry development from 2009 to 2013. Out of the original S$230 million (US$177 million) set aside, about S$88 million (US$68 million) is still available.