CRAFT aims to train 100 multimedia developers in 4yrs
| Danial Norjidi |
THE Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) officially launched the Creative Arts Facilities (CRAFT) initiative and inked a partnership with Autodesk for media and entertainment solutions yesterday.
CRAFT is located on the first floor of the Knowledge Hub in Anggerek Desa, and will see to the provision of shared infrastructure such as physical labs, workstations and rendering facilities for multimedia developers.
It will also provide capacity development programmes in the form of workshops, technology talks and mentorship programmes to train and help developers keep up to date with the latest trends and technologies, as well as providing linkages and opportunities with key industry players.
According to BEDB, “Since its foundation in March 2012, CRAFT has been involved in several capacity development programmes such as seminars and training workshops for students from Institutes of Higher Learning such as ITB and UBD, as well as iCentre incubatees and local industry players.”
They said that CRAFT aims to train at least 100 animators and multimedia developers in the next four years.
On hand to officially launch CRAFT yesterday was Dato Paduka Awg Hj Ali bin Hj Apong, Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Chairman of the BEDB, who also delivered a speech at the event.
“The creative industries are key economic drivers. They help to increase the innovation capacity of the economy and can be a power house for future economic growth.”
He cited the two prime examples of innovative economies; first highlighting Hong Kong’s leading edge in key areas of creative industries like film, television, music, design architecture, comics and animation, games and digital entertainment.
He then noted that Canada has grown into the world’s third largest developer of video games, thanks to a strong base of highly independent firms, generous tax credits, as well as sophisticated and flexible education and training infrastructure.
What these two countries have in common, he added, was their deliberate approach towards growing their creative industries by harnessing the efforts by both the public and private sectors through various initiatives that support the creative ecosystem within their country.
“This is what we hope to achieve – to create an ecosystem to grow and nurture the creative talents in Brunei by providing our full support through different initiatives,” he said, extending his appreciation to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, UBD, the Authority for Info-communications and Technology Industry (AITI) and the iCentre for their significant role towards the growth of the country’s creative industries.
Touching on the new initiative, Dato Paduka Awg Hj Ali said that CRAFT will be a fully-equipped modern multimedia lab with the latest software and high performance rendering facilities capable of supporting real-time high-end graphics animation.
He took the opportunity to thank the BEDB’s technology partners, Side Effects Asia Pacific and Autodesk for their partnership in this initiative, and expressed his confidence that it will help Brunei’s multimedia industry.
“CRAFT will become an avenue for our local talents to harness their creativity. Through the partnerships we have in place, the capacity development programmes and facilities available, I believe we are one step closer to paving our way for the growth of the creative industry in Brunei.
“With the establishment of CRAFT, I wish to see our pool of talents grow to at least 100 local animators and multimedia developers that are trained and equipped with industry standard skills,” he continued.
He expressed his hope to see the creation of more new multimedia companies in Brunei involving local creative talents in regionally and even internationally acclaimed multimedia projects, adding that reputable foreign multimedia companies would also be attracted to setting up in Brunei to collaborate on cross-border international productions.
“I strongly encourage Brunei’s creative talents who are passionate to learn and upgrade your skills in multimedia to actively participate in CRAFT programmes,” he said, before adding, “BEDB also strongly welcomes both the public and private sectors to leverage on CRAFT to embark on the production of diverse multimedia projects for education, information and entertainment.”
After the official launch of the initiative yesterday, BEDB signed a collaboration agreement with Autodesk, a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, which will see Autodesk providing training and certification for their media and entertainment solutions at CRAFT.
Signing on behalf of BEDB was its Deputy CEO, Dr Abdul Manaf Metussin, witnessed by Daniel Leong, Senior Manager of Innovation and New Initiatives, while signing for Autodesk was V R Srivatsan, Managing Director for the Asean region, witnessed by Regional Sales Manager, Chris Lee.
Under this collaboration, BEDB explained that Autodesk will provide capacity development programmes in three phases for a period of 18 months, and this includes programmes on animation studio processes, as well as training and certification in Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate software.
CRAFT participants will also have access to Autodesk’s technical support for their Autodesk-based production pipeline, and will be introduced to Autodesk’s network of industry players for potential learning and project opportunities.
“It is a matter of great pride for us to collaborate with BEDB for development of the media and entertainment industry in Brunei,” said Srivatsan.
“With the development of CRAFT, the multimedia landscape in Brunei is poised for strong growth and we are happy to support this movement with our latest technology software for design engineering, media and entertainment.”