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A*STAR Collaborates for AI and Converging Tech


Singapore wants to go beyond just adopting technology. Its aim is to fundamentally rethink business models so that it can make impactful changes to reap productivity gains and create new growth areas. By 2030, Singapore wants to be a leader in developing and deploying scalable, impactful artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, in key sectors of high value and relevance to its citizens and businesses.

Singapore’s National AI Strategy outlines its plans to deepen the use of AI to transform its economy:

  1. Identify areas to focus attention and resources on at a national level
  2. Set out how the Government, companies and researchers can work together to realise the positive impact from AI
  3. Address areas where attention is needed to manage change and/or manage new forms of risks that emerge when AI becomes more pervasive

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) has signed a master research collaboration agreement with a global tech company. The agreement leverage the respective strengths of the agency and the company across various research areas. The MoU aims to set the foundation to accelerate the R&D of AI, converging technology solutions and joint projects.

Image credits: A*STAR

The goal is to convert innovative ideas into benefits for users and will address manufacturing, trust technologies and healthcare and medical applications. It will also explore last-mile logistics together with A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech). The company is also looking to develop commercial solutions for its customers in the APAC region. Their early focus will look at addressing issues in the areas of manufacturing and retail.

The new agreement allows the company to enter R&D collaborations with A*STAR research entities for three years. Moreover, the agreement will cultivate domestic talent in strategic tech spaces of significance such as AI.

The initiative will engage various institutes of higher learning, universities and polytechnics through internship placement and participation in the projects launched through the Master Research Collaboration.

This is not the first time that A*STAR has collaborated with the company. The agency has worked with the company on computational social science and engineering and quantum-inspired computing and deep learning technology.

The company president said that the agreement represents the start of an encouraging collaboration that could lead to exciting and innovative projects. The relationship with A*STAR would strengthen their research capabilities in Singapore. It also demonstrates the company’s ongoing commitment to partnering with innovation leaders globally to deliver solutions to the problems confronting humanity.

Professor Lim Keng Hui, Assistant Chief Executive, Science & Engineering Research Council, A*STAR, said, “We are pleased to build on the relationship…to continue addressing R&D priorities important to Singapore. Collaboration is key and we look forward to co-innovating …under this new partnership to accelerate the development of solutions that can benefit society and the economy. Both parties will also be able to leverage this collaboration to deepen our talent development and foster new capabilities.”

A*STAR and institutes under its umbrella are keen to leverage AI and cutting-edge tech to achieve Singapore’s Smart Nation goals. Recently, the Agency and a consortium of businesses unveiled BINgo, a smart bin whose prototypes will be initially deployed in three places, including AMK Hub, NEX, and FairPrice Hub and will be there until 20 October 2023. BINgo uses artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and smart sensors to help fix the wrong way Singaporeans recycle and the low number of people who recycle.

“The use of innovative manufacturing and artificial intelligence technologies in the development of BINgo will make it easier to identify recyclables and improve the efficiency of waste collection and sorting using automation,” says David Low, Executive Director of A*STAR’s SIMTech.


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