A new facility has been set up at the net-zero energy building at NUS Design and Environment (SDE). The OpenBlue Innovation Centre is a $50 million facility by Johnson Controls to create a future-ready built environment for Singapore and the region.
Supported by the Economic Development Board, the Centre is the latest to be housed at SDE4, which serves as a living laboratory to demonstrate and explore human-centric and integrated sustainable developments with public agencies and industry partners.
Other facilities at SDE4 include the 3D Scanning Laboratory, Green Building Technologies Lab, NUS-CDL Smart Green Home, and Urban Greenery Lab.
Smart, Safe and Sustainable Campus Strategy
Professor Yong Kwet Yew, NUS Senior Vice President (Campus Infrastructure), said, “NUS and Johnson Controls had collaborated on several campus projects and we are therefore very excited to extend our partnership through these new initiatives which are part of our Smart, Safe and Sustainable Campus strategies.”
“The opportunity to test Johnson Controls’ novel solutions on our campus and conduct joint research will help advance our ongoing efforts to build smarter, healthier and sustainable work, teaching and learning spaces for our staff, faculty and students.”
The NUS Kent Ridge Campus will serve as a testbed for a new breed of customisable, contact-free applications built on Johnson Controls’ OpenBlue platform.
Together with its ecosystem of partners, which includes NUS and Microsoft, the Centre is pioneering the use of a common configuration language that bridges core building technology, as well as behavioural, wellness and spatial data to develop solutions that meet new demands for safety and sustainability in connected spaces.
People-centric Integrated Design
Mr Visal Leng, President, Building Solutions, Asia Pacific, Johnson Controls, said, “The Johnson Controls OpenBlue Innovation Centre embodies our approach towards building dynamic and resilient spaces, injecting new lease of life into the built environment sector. Taking an unprecedented holistic and human-centric methodology, we are incorporating people and design perspectives, thus sparking greater innovation within industries and outside traditional boundaries.”
The Centre is expected to have more than 100 employees within four years, with strong focus on talent development with NUS at both the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. There will also be opportunities for collaboration on teaching and internship programmes.
A key area of partnership with Johnson Controls also includes joint research and innovation in the areas of built and urban environment, particularly in data analytics, sustainability and operations, as well as people and wellness.
Professor Lam Khee Poh, Dean of NUS Design and Environment, said, “We are thrilled to host the Johnson Controls OpenBlue Innovation Centre in SDE4 and to facilitate cross-disciplinary research and development initiatives across the entire NUS community. This partnership strengthens the School’s ‘Well & Green’ vision that emphasises a people-centric integrated design approach that generates sustainable and resilient value propositions in its endeavours.”
The Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) announced the launch of “HKSTP InnoAcademy” on 7 October 2020. The Academy is dedicated to the continuous nurturing of young technology talent to inspire and drive success in Hong Kong’s innovation and technology (I&T) industry.
The HKSTP InnoAcademy aims to boost Hong Kong’s I&T competitiveness with a sustained series of programmes, including training and value-added support to upskill technology talent from various sectors into future leaders. The day also marked the inauguration of eight high-potential talents from the first cohort of HKSTP InnoAcademy’s signature “Technology Leaders of Tomorrow” (TLT) programme, as they embark on an extensive 26-month journey within the Hong Kong Science Park ecosystem.
Since enrolment began in July 2020, the TLT programme received an overwhelming response with over 600 applications from graduates in Hong Kong and across the globe, which are the world’s top 50 universities in 2020. Among the many applicants, 60% of them were holders of a Master’s degree or PhD, majoring in Computer Science, Engineering, Biology, Information Technology or Data Science.
The CEO of HKSTP stated that talent development, attraction and retention are crucial factors in sustaining the growth momentum of Hong Kong’s I&T sector. HKSTP recognises that grooming quality talent into inspiring and standout leaders is a critical ingredient to maintaining the city’s global competitive edge.
The mission at HKSTP InnoAcademy is to build the ideal I&T breeding ground to nurture future technology leaders and pioneers. With HKSTP’s extensive ecosystem, the Park and its partners will work together to develop forward-looking learning and training programmes tailored to young graduates and mid-level professionals.
HKSTP InnoAcademy will focus on developing young talent across HKSTP’s strategic technology areas, including Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, Biomedical Technology, Data and Smart City and FinTech, as well as establishing partnerships and connections with key industry leaders, training providers and tertiary education institutions. The continuous learning approach provides talent with multiple career pathways to join the I&T industry while supporting future skills acquisition.
TLT Programme Offers Diverse Opportunities
The eight selected talents from the first cohort of the TLT programme will first enter a two-month HKSTP internship and enjoy valuable exposure to Hong Kong’s leading I&T ecosystem. From there, each talent will take a 24-month full-time R&D role at one of HKSTP’s partner companies for continued career mentoring and development.
Beyond the current TLT programme, InnoAcademy will continue to roll out an extensive range of talent development and training initiatives, in collaboration with major academic and industry partners to unleash the potential of young graduates and equip them to become a driving force in the future of Hong Kong’s I&T sector.
In July 2020, HKSTP launched the Technology Leaders of Tomorrow Programme (TLT Programme) which aims to nurture future technology leaders in Hong Kong and has been designed in collaboration with 11 leading HKSTP’s partner companies at the pilot stage. The programme is now calling for ambitious graduates across the city who are committed to an I&T career to submit applications.
The HKSTP CEO had stated that The Park is committed to accelerating the growth of Hong Kong’s innovation and technology through supporting the development of local start-ups and introducing young people to the promising career prospects and rich opportunities in the industry.
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) and HTX have developed, and are currently testing out, a training system known as the Enhanced Live Firing Range System – ELFRAS, that is aimed at enhancing firearm training delivery.
The system uses multiple sensors and analytics to improve the shooting performance of officers undergoing firearm training. This is also in line with the Home Team’s (HT) drive to better leverage technology to enhance learning outcomes for HT officers.
The sensors capture human factors such as weapon handling, breathing, shooting posture, gaze fixation and visual alignment. An embedded Advance Performance Enhancement & Analysis Range System (APEARS) software analyses data collected through these sensors and provides real-time recommendations to help improve the officer’s subsequent shots.
The features of the sensors are as follow:
Weapon Handling. A sensor attached to the weapon tracks the movement of the weapon before, during and after the trigger is pulled. It also identifies trigger pulling techniques applied by the officer.
Breathing. A sensor, fixed at the shooting lane, tracks and shows whether the officer’s breathing technique affects the movement of his weapon while firing.
Gaze Fixation. A sensor in the form of a pair of spectacles tracks the officer’s eyes during firing, including whether the officer focuses on his aiming or blinks his eyes while firing.
Shooting Posture.A body posture camera, fixed at the shooting lane, captures the officer’s body movement and compares it against the recommended shooting postures.
The Human Factors and Simulation Centre of Expertise (HFS CoE) of HTX worked with SPF to identify the full spectrum of performance-related human factors indices and to define the engineering design to instrument the shooting lane with these sensors.
Ying Meng Fai, Acting Director of the HFS CoE said, “The system provides information on the shots and real-time analysis of human factor indices such as weapon handling, breathing, shooting posture, and visual alignment. This way, timely and targeted feedback can be provided to the officers to improve their proficiency.”
The ELFRAS system also features a target sensor system that performs automated scoring, captures and displays the location where each shot lands on the target board in real-time.
This information, together with recommendations generated by the APEARS software, is presented on display panels placed beside and above the officer, to provide both officer and trainer immediate insights on the shooting performance.
This allows the trainer to provide comprehensive and timely guidance to the officer. The team has also designed an intuitive ‘one glance’ user interface for ELFRAS which enables the trainer and trainee to rapidly visualise and mitigate critical performance gaps.
Superintendent Joseph Yoong, Head of the Instructional Technology Division of the SPF Training and Capability Development Department, and member of the ELFRAS project team, said, “As part of our efforts to be a learning force with world class training, the Singapore Police Force leverages technology, such as ELFRAS during firearms training, to enhance our training delivery and effectiveness, so as to better prepare our officers for their work at the frontline.”
Currently, the project is undergoing a trial at the Home Team Academy live firing range. The trial which started in June 2020 is expected to end in February 2021. The trial is conducted with selected officers undergoing pistol and revolver training.
PHOTO CREDIT: HTX
The SG Women in Tech movement (SGWIT), an initiative by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), industry, government and community partners to attract and develop girls and women in tech, celebrated its 1st year of advancing diversity in the tech sector in Singapore this week.
Some of the key milestones include:
- Connecting girls in schools with female tech leaders through a series of StudentsAsk videos that have since reached out to over 115,000 people in the community
- Bringing together over 600 women in the tech workforce for networking and mentoring activities
- Launching the inaugural SG 100 Women in Tech List to honour women who have achieved outstanding accomplishments and made significant contributions in tech.
Study finds women in tech in SE Asia is higher than global averages
To provide more insights on the strategies that companies, governments, schools and individuals can take to advance gender diversity, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has partnered with SGWIT and IMDA on a new study which surveyed 1,650 women in tech in Southeast Asia.
The study found that the participation of women in tech in Southeast Asia is slightly higher than global averages, and about 65% of respondents agreed that the tech sector does better than other industries in offering programmes specifically tailored to recruit, retain and promote women.
“More talent will drive the fast growth of our burgeoning tech sector and spearhead digital transformation for the Singapore economy. It is heartening to see the strong interest and support for the Singapore Women in Tech movement from schools, industry and community. We are glad to see tech companies and leaders taking action to attract, retain and develop girls and women in tech, and look forward to bringing on board even more stakeholders to develop an exciting and enabling environment for women in tech,” said Mr Lew Chuen Hong, Chief Executive, Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).
Report identifies areas to boost the number of women in tech
With demand for digital talent growing faster than supply, the report identified three critical junctures for intervention to boost the number of women in tech. These “moments of truth” are the choice to pursue higher education in tech, the selection of their first job, and the decision to remain in tech over the long term.
Based on these, the report has also identified areas where companies, policymakers and academic institutions, and even women themselves, can work on, to further attract, retain and develop more women in tech.
BCG’s global leader for the Technology, Media & Telecommunications practice, Vaishali Rastogi, said, “Technology is radically disrupting businesses and industries, driving an urgent need for more digital talent across the region as demand for such profiles rises faster than supply. Women need to be part of the long-term solution.” Vaishali, who is one of the authors of the BCG report, further explained, “Our research shows that gender diversity can make companies more innovative and agile. For example, companies where women account for more than 20% of the management team have approximate 10% higher innovation revenues than companies with male-dominated leadership”.
Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information, Ms Sim Ann, also announced the extension of the MentorConnect programme for a second year at a webinar organised by SGWIT to commemorate its first anniversary.
The cross-company mentorship programme was started last year by Dell Technologies as a platform to guide and empower the development of women professionals in tech and promote best practices among participating companies from all industries. The programme will see four new companies, DBS Bank, VMWare, Aon, and BHP, joining the current ones – Dell Technologies, IMDA, Salesforce and ST Engineering.
JTC and the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding yesterday to support manufacturers, especially SMEs, to kick-start their Industry 4.0 journey or to scale their current efforts through the adoption of technologies and solutioning for business operations through the new JTC-SBF Industry Transformation Initiative.
This initiative will provide companies that are keen in furthering their Industry 4.0 ambitions access to relevant Industry 4.0 related resources.
These include curated workshops, capability building initiatives tailored to companies’ digital readiness, and link-ups to a larger pool of technology partners and its consortiums, for solution matching to help companies develop the expertise to implement and scale Industry 4.0 solutions in their operations.
Over 300 companies are expected to be supported under this initiative and undergo Industry 4.0 transformation in the next two years. This will help them to develop new capabilities for their workforce, enhance its productivity and ensure long-term competitiveness.
Mr Tan Boon Khai, CEO of JTC, said, “SBF is an instrumental partner to drive the next phase of Industry 4.0 transformation by companies. With our large base of customers, strong network of partners, and robust advanced manufacturing ecosystem in Jurong Innovation District, more companies can become the forerunner in Industry 4.0. With this new partnership, we hope to see more businesses in Singapore transform and capture new growth opportunities in the region.”
Mr Ho Meng Kit, Chief Executive Officer of SBF, said, “The COVID-19 situation has brought disruptions to economies, making businesses rethink strategies, relook operating models and recalibrate resources. This has led to an accelerated need for a better understanding and adoption of Industry 4.0 to help local enterprises emerge stronger from the pandemic.
With the present downturn expected to be protracted, we hope that through this JTC-SBF partnership, we can further encourage more companies to take a holistic view at how Industry 4.0 solutions can help their businesses transform and thrive in the future economy.”
New initiatives to support and accelerate the next phase of Industry 4.0 transformation
This new collaboration will allow JTC and SBF’s combined network of companies to more easily access relevant Industry 4.0 resources across JTC and SBF’s networks and platforms.
Together with partners, joint engagement sessions will be carried out to further strengthen the various initiatives and encourage higher adoption of solutions for businesses to scale up their Industry 4.0 capabilities.
Companies can participate in curated training workshops and capability building programmes tailored to their level of Industry 4.0 readiness, and develop roadmaps to guide their implementation.
They will gain access to successful case studies and embark on learning journeys at Factories of the Future, giving them greater exposure to Industry 4.0 solutions in real production facilities. This will further encourage companies to transform and remain competitive amidst the pandemic.
Building a collaborative community through Industry Connect to help businesses capture new Industry 4.0 opportunities
This partnership with SBF is part of JTC’s ongoing efforts to build a collaborative community that can help companies to stay ahead of the curve. In January this year, JTC launched the Industry Connect Initiative to help businesses across its estates grow through technology adoption while enhancing talent development and environmental sustainability.
With over 14,000 customers, JTC can effectively promote business transformation to these companies by connecting them to solutions providers, trade associations, and government agencies.
To date, over 1,000 businesses in JTC’s estates have been engaged through various Industry 4.0 outreach initiatives, with around 200 companies embarking on their Industry 4.0 journey.
Leading players in the business community are sharing relevant technologies and experience to address problems faced by various industries. This has created new opportunities for businesses and their workers.
The Singapore Government has announced that they will combine the power of TraceTogether and SafeEntry, two technologies dveloped by the government to help prevent or slow the transmission of COVID-19 in Singapore
In order to resume larger-scale activities and further reopen the economy in a safer manner, TraceTogether-only SafeEntry, known as TT-only SE, will be progressively expanded to more venues.
The use of TT-only SE will provide added assurance that everyone present at these largerscale activities is better protected by effective contact tracing through participation in the TraceTogether Programme.
“TT-only SE ensures that if a COVID-19 case is identified, we can quickly inform close contacts in those locations through the TT Programme. The close contacts can immediately take the necessary precautions to keep their loved ones safe.”
By end of this year, we plan for all popular venues that currently require SE to transit to TT-only SE. The current scanning on-site QR codes with a phone camera, using SingPass Mobile for SE check-in, and scanning of personal IDs, will be disabled at venues where TT-only SE is implemented.
Instead, SE is allowed only if one uses their TT App to scan the on-site QR code, or if they let the on-site entry staff scan the QR code on their TT Token.
Staged Rollout of TT-only-SE
Since August 2020, TT-only SE has been trialled at selected venues where people are likely to be in close contact for prolonged periods, or where human traffic is high, to ensure that individuals at these venues are covered by the TT Programme.
From now till mid-November, TT-only SE will be implemented in venues with activities that involve larger groups of people. These include live performances, business events, places of worship conducting congregational and other worship services with more than 100 people and cinemas. Members of the public who intend to attend these activities are encouraged to download the TT App or collect their TT Token as soon as possible.
By December, TT Tokens would already have been widely available for a substantial period of time. TT-only SE will be implemented at all popular venues where SE is currently mandatory. This would include workplaces, schools, shopping malls and F&B outlets. The latest list of venues which will transit to TT-only SE will be updated on an ongoing basis at www.safeentry.gov.sg/deployment.
TraceTogether Programme Crucial for Effective Contact Tracing
TT and SE are critical digital tools that allow us to quickly contain the spread of COVID19 the moment it is detected, so that we can safely ease our measures and continue to resume economic and social activities.
These tools help to stem multiple generations of spread and prevent large clusters from forming. We seek everyone’s cooperation in using SE and participating in the TT Programme, to make Singapore safer from COVID-19.
In collaboration with
The TraceTogether App was launched in March by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and GovTech, as part of the world’s first national digital contact tracing effort.
Since then, it has been used extensively by the MOH and the product team has been busy improving its effectiveness and building enhancements, without compromising on security. We took a look behind the scenes to learn more about the testing process:
The first thing we realised? They use a lot of phones. Like a lot.
How many smartphone models can you name? Our guess is not a lot, especially beyond the flagship models of Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Google, am i right?
In reality though, the phone population in Singapore isn’t just made up of more prominent models (the iPhones, the Galaxies, the Pixels), but also less glamorous models – say, like the humble Oppo A5.
Why does this matter? Because for TraceTogether to work effectively, the team has to make sure that ALL devices can be detected by each other – not just the popular ones. To help with this, the team maintains a ‘device farm’ – a collection of over 100 different devices representing the majority of the devices used in Singapore by market share.
The new TraceTogether tokens also go through the same stringent testing
In case you’re wondering whether or not there will be compatibility issues between smartphones and the newly introduced Tokens, the team has also been working hard to ensure that this communication is smooth.
TraceTogether Tokens, also based on BlueTooth proximity tracing, are tested alongside the App to ensure interoperability. This is done by calibrating distances to account for close contact range.
As the team conducts more trials and in turn collects more data, they are able to make more refined estimates that help improve the accuracy of digital contact tracing when used by MOH.
Indeed, in the eyes of Team TraceTogether, there’s no Apple vs Android, Token vs App – all devices are the same.
The GovTech office doubles as a makeshift testing ground
When the team needs a conducive environment to simulate real-world conditions, it’s fortunate that they have the GovTech office at Sandcrawler! This space has a wide variety of different office layouts and is divided into different zones, each simulating different types of areas that TraceTogether needs to operate in.
The GovTech office as a testing ground
For example, one zone with wide-open spaces can simulate, say, a void deck or a mall’s atrium, while a more intimate space can simulate tight spaces, such as public transport.
Both phones and tokens are then placed randomly in each zone. The goal here is simple:
1) Devices in the same zone must be able to detect and classify other devices in close proximity via TraceTogether
2) TraceTogether should not deem other devices in different zones as being in close proximity.
This process is repeated again and again, with varying combinations of phones and tokens in each zone, until the team is satisfied. Intense!
The testing never stops:
“One of the mistaken impressions that people have is that TraceTogether is a static programme. It’s not. It was developed in a very compressed period of time. And we’ve been working hard with MOH contact tracers to support their workflow and processes, while also constantly making the app more convenient for citizens,” explained Jason Bay, Senior Director, Government Digital Services.
“We also urge users to continue using SafeEntry and TraceTogether, which are complementary products – and not substitutes. One focuses on the locations you have been to, and helps jog your memory if you are asked to help in contact tracing; the other looks at person-to-person interactions.”
So to keep safe, remember to update your app to the latest version, and keep it open in the background whenever you head out!
The Assurance, Care and Engagement (ACE) Group, in partnership with the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group, the Building and Construction Authority, the Economic Development Board and industry partners such as The Singapore Contractors Association, will be distributing more than 450,000 contact-tracing devices to all migrant and local workers living or working in dormitories, as well as those in the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process sectors.
The distribution of the devices will be carried out in phases from 18 October 2020 and is expected to be completed by early November 2020.
Contract Tracing Devices purpose built for worksite environments
The contact-tracing devices, BluePass tokens, are purpose-built for the dormitory and worksite environment. They are compact and water-resistant, and can be worn at all times.
They will be interoperable with and complement the use of the TraceTogether app on migrant workers’ smartphones, as some workers may not always be carrying their phones at work and at the dormitories.
The ACE Group and sector agencies will trial and evaluate how these tokens function and perform in the rugged work environments, and how the data from the tokens can help improve contact tracing and the quarantine process when new COVID-19 cases are detected.
Tokens will help minimise COVID-19 transmission and work disruptions
This will benefit employers and workers because only close contacts will be isolated, thereby minimising any work disruptions.
Data can also be extracted from the tokens, to assess the extent of intermixing amongst the workers. This can help employers and workers better understand how preventive measures can be taken to minimise intermixing and potential transmission of the virus.
The contact-tracing devices will be distributed with the support of the Forward Assurance and Support Teams to migrant workers living in purpose-built dormitories.
Workers living in other types of accommodation will be issued their devices at Regional Screening Centres for Rostered Routine Tests.
Self-collection points will be set up for workers residing in decant sites and other forms of accommodation. Employers and workers will be informed of the collection dates subsequently.
Photo Credit: www.gov.sg