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‘PDD Living Lab Programme’ Established in Singapore

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At the PDD Connecting Smartness 2023 event, which was recently held and attended by Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Trade and Industry, JTC, a Singapore government agency that promotes sustainable industrial development, and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) announced the launch of the “Punggol Digital District (PDD) Living Lab Programme.”

This programme provides a framework for like-minded partners to communicate with one another and access SIT’s research and talent pool. With the objective of accelerating the growth of the PDD ecosystem, the programme consists of three essential pillars: the development of a pipeline of future-ready tech talent, the provision of opportunities for co-innovation and test-bedding, and the promotion of entrepreneurship.

As part of the programme, SIT signed several Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with its collaborators. To cultivate talent in the financial technology industry, SIT will establish a Fintech Innovation Lab for innovation and applied research on its upcoming Punggol Campus.

Together with its partner employees, SIT’s academic staff and students will be able to work on real-world problems and develop skills for the future economy at the joint lab.

The most recent MOU bolsters support for SIT’s Work-Study Degree programmes, through which SIT students in three-degree programmes have access to applied learning opportunities through work attachments. In addition, there will be employment opportunities for SIT graduates.

SIT will also facilitate work placements for students with its other collaborator, as well as organise competitions and outreach campaigns to increase interest in digitalisation and STEM in the greater Punggol community.

The competitions will include business case challenges to foster entrepreneurship among Punggol students as they seek to innovate and enhance existing business models. SIT and a partner have launched a hackathon that utilises Punggol Town as an extended test bed for PDD. Participants are invited to propose innovative solutions consisting of engaging and immersive community communication plans for the enhancement of digital display screens.

Further, PDD fosters the development of test beds and co-innovation. Thus, SIT has partnered with a blockchain company to create and strengthen the local blockchain ecosystem and to co-develop Web 3.0 technologies for SIT’s virtual campus, a digital twin that will complement the physical SIT campus.

With immersive and interactive experiences, the university seeks to pioneer new methods of applied learning and applied research through this digital realm.

Both organisations will collaborate to create a decentralised identity system that utilises blockchain technology to enable faculty and students’ seamless access to various campus sites. Depending on the nature of collaborations and utilisation objectives, additional tiers of access will be created for industry partners and the public. Such a system will allow SIT and its collaborators to innovate and test new ideas in a safe and secure immersive environment.

Local robotics company is also strengthening its collaboration with SIT by launching applied research and teaching initiatives to co-develop autonomous robots of the next generation. This is an expansion of their current collaboration, in which autonomous robots were deployed on SIT campuses to generate digital maps for solutions including digital twin applications and sustainability management.

PDD, which was master-planned and developed by JTC, is the first smart and sustainable commercial district in Singapore. The district encompasses fifty hectares and features a collaborative ecosystem with partnership opportunities for industry, academic researchers, and government agencies. Also, the district will house the prospective SIT Punggol Campus.


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