Batam will develop $700 million technology park with an international data centre, an incubator for start-ups and apartments for technopreneurs and programmers.
The 100ha Nongsa Digital Park, slightly bigger than the Singapore Botanic Gardens, will be Batam's first large-scale private project.
“The development of Nongsa Digital Park is in line with our program to realize ‘Indonesia: Digital Energy of Asia’. It deserves government’s support,” Semuel Abrijani Pangarepan, Director General of Applications and Informatics, Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Informatics told Antara.
It is the latest project by Infinite Studios, a Singapore-based integrated media entertainment and creative services company which has produced movies and animated TV series at its Nongsa facility, including HBO Asia's Serangoon Road and The Garfield Show. Infinite Studios' Nongsa facility will be part of the new park. It is touted as Southeast Asia's largest studio.
Chief Executive of Infinite Studios Michael Wiluan, an Indonesian and a Singapore permanent resident, is the son of Indonesian oil and gas tycoon Kris Wiluan, chairman of conglomerate Citramas Group which owns land in Nongsa covering the digital park, a nine-hole golf course, Nongsapura ferry terminal and Turi Beach Resort there.
He told The Straits Times that the park will be a "lifestyle digital campus that basically allows people to live or play". Office spaces will be open plan, well lit and well ventilated, and involve a "mixture of semi-industrial and green". The park's residents will form the "backbone of technology maintenance", including in engineering backups, data processing, and customer service, he said.
The park's first phase, which is expected to be completed by the year's end, will see three two-storey office blocks erected, said Infinite Studios' senior adviser, Marco Bardelli.
The project comes as the Singapore and Indonesian governments explore ways to expand bilateral cooperation in new industries.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesian President Joko Widodo met last November, when they welcomed collaboration between private sector players from both countries in Batam's digital economy sector.
“Creative industry should be the new economic powerhouse in Riau Islands,” said Governor of Riau Islands Province, Nurdin Basirun, during his visit to Nongsa Digital Park. “Its atmosphere and accessibility make it possible to scale up.”
Today, there are 15 creative industry subsectors, including advertising, architecture, art, craft, design, fashion, video, film and photography, interactive games, music, performing arts, publishing and printing, computer and software services, television and radio, research and development, as well as culinary business.