SINGAPORE CITY: Singapore's Media Development Authority will spend S$250 million ($163m; €127m; £118m) in 2009 to support the country's media industry in face of the economic downturn, with funding particularly being focused on encouraging further innovation in the digital media sector.

Singapore is regarded as having one of the most digitally advanced media sectors in South East Asia, and also recently topped a list of 40 countries in terms of its pro-active approach to innovation.

The country's Department of Statistics reports that the media industry is worth S$19.5 billion in annual revenues to Singapore's economy, and the industry has enjoyed an annual average growth rate of 8% from 1996 to 2006.

It is hoped that the new scheme will be successful in developing "high-value and exportable content", and among a range of other initiatives, the MDA is hoping to encourage an increased in the output of domestic TV production.

The organisation's Future of Media programme is also aiming to generate increased collaboration between companies operating in the television, mobile, games and publishing sectors.

Alongside funding from the Singapore Media Fusion plan, resources will be drawn from the National Research Foundation, which is investing S$500m over the next five years to try and foster research and development in digital media.

Data sourced from Asia Media Journal; additional content by WARC staff