Interview: SGTech Member Silver Wings – After the Trip to 3D Printing Expo in Korea

Singapore Delegation at the Expo

On 6-8 April, SGTech members travelled to Jeonju, Korea, to attend the 2018 International 3D Printing Expo. SGTech members' travel, accommodation and participation in this conference was fully sponsored by Korea IT Cooperation Centre (KICC). 

SGTech members enjoy a myriad of opportunities for exposure to international markets, including business missions, trade shows and seminars. Building community is a vital component to SGTech initiatives. Serving members by expanding their networks and providing access to industry and government insights, plays an important role in promoting the growth and transformation of the technology industry.  SGTech spoke to Olaf Kwakman, Account Director and Project Manager of Silver Wings, to learn more about his team’s experience traveling to the International 3D Printing Expo, including the potential collaborations that emerged. 

While abroad, Singapore stands out as a regional leader in digital transformation.  During the expo, Mr. Kwakman found that Korean government officials showed keen interest in 3D virtualisation, particularly in the area of urbanisation.  “This links directly to a project called ‘Virtual Singapore*’: the entire country of Singapore is mapped in 3D and enables better planning of all kinds of large projects,” said Mr. Kwakman.  Following the trip, Silver Wings is now in contact with corresponding government agencies in Korea, and hopes to bring their technology abroad to implement similar solutions as those already underway in Singapore.


Speech by Olaf Kwakman at Opening Ceremony

Opening Ceremony of International 3D Printing Expo

The Future is Now

As Singapore builds talent and capabilities in various sectors of the technology industry, the next generation of industry leaders are just beginning their journey.  Mr. Kwakman had this advice for the young talent entering the AR/VR sector in Singapore: 

“Open your mind! Developments, both in hardware technologies as well as in software applications move very fast in this area.. ..You need to be extremely flexible and open minded to constantly see new opportunities and step into new adventures. If you want to be at the forefront of new developments, this is a great opportunity. And it’s all about partnering with other related companies. Make sure you develop a strong network of people around you. 

Mr. Chung, Dong-Young, Member of the Korean National Assembly

When reflecting on areas of commerce that will be most impacted by AR/VR in the future, Mr. Kwakman stated, “I wouldn’t believe anyone who tells you what the world, with regard to VR and AR, will look like in 5 to 10 years. Disruptive changes simply follow each other too quickly. I personally believe that the AR / MR and VR will be more integrated and that we go towards solutions that allow you to move from completely in the virtual space to a mixed or completely real space.”

While the future of AR/VR may be difficult to predict, there are industries where the technology is gaining momentum. Mr. Kwakman elaborates, “We do see some clear advantages of the use of VR and AR in different industries at the moment already. In the coming years VR will definitely gain a stronger foothold in operational staff training, especially in industries where it is difficult to train on the real assets, like aircraft maintenance, shipping and surgery. For AR, we already see a lot of progress in operational support in maintenance, engineering and designing.. ..To name a few [potential impacted industry] examples: Real Estate, Construction, Urban Planning, Medical, Tourism, Logistics & Advertising.” 

AR and VR Technologies at the Expo 

Returning from Korea, Silver Wings built many new relationships and business contacts. When describing Singapore as a hub from which companies can operate and expand, the Silver Wings team had this to say:

“Singapore is a highly advanced country. This is beneficial for Silver Wings because all companies and people have good quality smartphones, and IT solutions, have easy access to 4G and are exposed to new technological developments. Because of this, the entry barrier to start using VR and AR is lower than in other countries in SEA. In addition, Singapore hosts a lot of HQ’s of multinational companies and typically the decision to start using new technologies is taken at head offices, so we have relatively easy access to the decision making units in large companies.. ..Singapore provides a very good home base.”

SGTech thanks the Silver Wings team for their insights and feedback from their trip to Korea.
If you are interested in joining SGTech as a member, please contact us: [email protected]

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*Virtual Singapore is a project championed by the National Research Foundation (NRF), Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech). 

Source: NRF: (

Published April 2018