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Back and NUS partner to enhance local search results

Singapore, 30 July 2008 – Local search and directory engine and National University of Singapore (NUS) School of Computing will jointly research new and better ways to retrieve information from various sources, including the Internet.

This is the goal behind an agreement signed today between SPH Search Pte Ltd (SPH Search), the company behind, and NUS.

This major R&D project will be conducted from August 2008 to August 2011. SPH Search´s investment is supported by the multi-agency IDM R&D Programme Office (IDMPO), which is hosted by the Media Development Authority.

SPH Search CEO Paul Jansen said: “SPH Search´s investment in this project, both financial and otherwise, reflects how rooted we are in this community. We not only want to serve the most relevant results regarding Singapore when people use, we also want to help students here enhance their knowledge and skills and our tertiary institutions to commercialise their findings. In turn, the fruits of the partnership will help SPH Search incorporate leading edge technologies to our Rednano search platform, especially in the area of rich media content.” launched its online and mobile services in March and July respectively. Users can access its web portal at, WAP portal at, and through SMS short code “33333”.

Partnership with NUS
SPH Search, as part of its ongoing efforts to improve, chose NUS as its strategic partner for the R&D project in view of its dedicated R&D efforts focusing on search engine technologies. NUS has demonstrated its excellence by winning multiple international awards and accolades over the past years.

Prof Chua Tat Seng, from NUS School of Computing, who will be leading the R&D project said “We have been working on advanced multimedia information processing research for many years, especially in the areas of precise retrieval, question-answering, text and image categorization, and video retrieval. Our work aims to provide users with precise answers rather than a long list of Web pages like other search engines are providing. This collaboration will lead to more precise location-oriented contextual search, not only for textual search but video and image searches too."

Dr Lily Chan, CEO NUS Enterprise said "We are very pleased that the NUS School of Computing´s expertise in the media search and retrieval domain is being tapped by SPH Search. It is through facilitating such partnerships that NUS Enterprise aims to encourage the translation of NUS knowledge and research into real-life commercial applications, with tangible benefits for Singaporean Web users.”

NUS Enterprise was established in 2001 as a University-level cluster to provide an enterprise dimension to NUS teaching and research involving the University’s students, staff and alumni.

Mr Michael Yap, Executive Director, IDMPO andMDA’s Deputy CEOsaid: “The commitment by local flagship media companies to engage in IDM R&D is gaining momentum. More significantly, it showcases the key stakeholders in the IDM sector interlocking their resources and efforts to uncover more innovative applications and services. This is also in line with the nation´s goal to develop Singapore as a leader in new media services."

The overall R&D project will focus on the following 3 main areas:

(I) Deepening the relevancy of search results through better identifying and indexing local content and support location oriented context through search.

(II) Improving user experience through providing better aggregated search and summary of results.

(III) Enriching users´ media experience through integrating image and video seamlessly into text based results, for example, users could search for video clips.

The R&D components in the NRF project will be carried out simultaneously in phases with key milestones and deliverables established. With this long term partnership in mind, SPH Search is committed to setting a trend for local enterprise to invest in R&D efforts, to think local and act global.

End of release.

Issued by SPH Search Pte Ltd and National University of Singapore (NUS)

For more information, please contact:

Pauline Leong (Ms)
MarCom Manager
SPH Search Pte Ltd
Tel : 6319 2728
HP: 9848 1308
Email :

Adrian Cheong
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications
Singapore Press Holdings
Tel : 6319 2261
HP: 9798 6097
Email :

Finna Wong
MarCom Manager
NUS Enterprise
Te l: 6516 7684
HP : 9438 8473
Email :

About SPH Search Pte Ltd

SPH Search was born of a collaboration between two media powerhouses: Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) and Schibsted ASA. The two companies, listed and headquartered in Singapore and Norway respectively, have long been in the business of giving people information, and significantly, in the context which makes the information more useful.

Both companies have also established reputations as trusted sources, each over more than a century, with their continuous delivery of accurate information speedily. The platforms on which they do this have changed over the years and have, since the 90s, included the World Wide Web.

Their joint venture, SPH Search, aims though, to provide the premier online tool for anyone seeking information about Singapore; its people and its businesses. It intends to respond to queries speedily. Most importantly, it plans to make relevance the hallmark of its answers. launched its online and mobile services in March and July respectively. Users can access its web portal at, WAP portal at and through SMS short code “33333”.

About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

Main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is the leading media company in Singapore, delivering news and information through print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. In Singapore, it publishes 14 newspapers in four languages and its two flagship newspapers – The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao - have a history of over 160 and over 80 years respectively.Every day, 2.9 million individuals or 81 percent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH’s news publications. SPH also publishes and produces more than 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology.

Beyond print, SPH has an extensive presence through its news portals and new media initiatives, covering mobile and outdoor advertising and information services; online marketplace for products, services and employment; online classifieds and search directories. SPH´s websites has a strong global following in 60 countries, with over 160 million page views and over 8 million unique visitors.

SPH has a 20 percent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40 percent stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has a 80 percent stake in SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd, which operates entertainment stations Radio 100.3 FM in Mandarin and Radio 91.3 FM in English.

Beyond the media business, SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping belt. SPH’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, is also developing a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.

As an industry leader, SPH is an active corporate citizen, supporting and contributing to a wide range of community and charitable causes, ranging from education, arts and culture to conservation and sports.

Visit for more information.

About NUS School of Computing

Established in 1998, NUS School of Computing provides a stimulating environment that amalgamates the best of educational traditions, drawing its faculty staff of 200 from leading universities ranging from the Ivy League to Oxbridge. The School has about 2,000 students, a quarter of them pursuing graduate studies. Since its early days as the only university department in Singapore that produced computing talent for the workforce, NUS School of Computing has produced a trail of distinguished alumni, including the chief executives and technology architects of multinationals and government agencies. The School encourages excellence in diversity among its students. Some are winners of prestigious awards such as the National Infocomm Scholarship. Others are creative thinkers capable of besting their peers in international competitions in areas such as Games Artificial Intelligence. At the School, research initiatives are supported by a number of research laboratories and centres. Fitted with equipment that is funded mainly by research grants, the laboratories and centres provide a common space for people with similar interest to exchange ideas and work together.

About NUS Enterprise

NUS Enterprise was established in 2001 as a University-level cluster to provide an enterprise dimension to NUS teaching and research involving the University´s students, staff and alumni. The functions of the Enterprise Cluster complement the academic cluster of the University to nurture talents with an entrepreneurial and global mindset. NUS Enterprise promotes the spirit of innovation and enterprise through Experiential Education, Industry Engagement and Partnerships and Entrepreneurship Support.