Last year, the Singapore Government launched
a national programme, called AI
Singapore to deepen Singapore’s artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. But
what exactly does that mean and how is AI Singapore working towards achieving
OpenGov attended a presentation at the ongoing Supercomputing Asia Conference by Mr Adhiraj
Saxena, Manager, Industry Innovations, AI Singapore who provided a brief
introduction to the programme and talked in detail about one of the three
pillars of the programme. Based on the presentation and other available
information, we take a look at developments in the programme till date.
Deepening or strengthening capabilities means generating a
pipeline of AI engineers and creative AI entrepreneurs. It implies enabling
Singapore-based companies, whether they are big or small, foreign or local, to
create more value through the use of AI. Value creation could be through
revenue growth, higher bottomline through efficiency improvement or even
competing better with competitors from overseas.
AI Singapore is driven by a government-wide partnership
involving the National Research Foundation (NRF), the Smart Nation and Digital
Government Office (SNDGO), the Ministry of Health’s Integrated Health
Information Systems (IHiS), the Economic Development Board (EDB), the Infocomm Media
Development Authority (IMDA) and SGInnovate. The NRF set aside S$150 million
to be invested in the programme over five years.
It also brings together four universities, National
University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU),
Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), and Singapore Management
University (SMU), as well as the publicly funded research organisation, Agency
for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).
A range of industry and other partners are being brought on
board to further various objectives of the programme. For instance, recently AI Singapore signed
three Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) with the National Trades Union
Congress (NTUC), Intel Corporation and PwC Singapore. It also entered
into an agreement with Transwarp Technology, a Big Data and AI Software
provider from China, for joint research, resource sharing and training on
AI-related projects and signed
a letter of intent to collaborate (LIC) with the HK Smart City Consortium.
The programme has three pillars: AI research, AI technology
and AI innovation. Several initiatives have been launched under the pillar of
Fundamental AI research
This area seeks to address fundamental problems in AI. For
instance, current image recognition algorithms require thousands of images to
recognise a cat. A 3-year-old child needs maybe three of four instance to know
what a cat looks like. Can that gap be bridged?
In addition to the gaps in current AI technology, the area would look at questions like: What are the new AI advances with positive economic and societal impacts?; How can we use AI safely and securely?; How do we design AI to align with ethical, legal and societal principles?
Currently, AI Singapore is inviting applications in the
field of advanced research in machine learning, computer vision and natural
language processing, and how AI interacts and collaborates with humans. Researchers
from Singapore-based Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), Research
Institutions (RIs), and publicly-funded Medical Institutions can apply.
Researchers from AI Start-ups in Singapore, private sector and other entities
are eligible to apply as collaborators.
Topics of interest also include, but are not limited to,
techniques to enhance robustness and explainability of AI, learning from small
data, learning from multimodal data, abstraction and generalisation, and AI
with sense-making, hypothesis generation, design and creative capabilities.
Proposals should emphasise on methodology and algorithms, rather than
are important challenges that AI researchers in Singapore
and worldwide are seeking to address. For instance, explainability of AI would
be crucial when algorithms are being used to drive decisions with significant,
life-altering impact on people, such as hiring of job applicants, or policing and imprisonment. With deep learning which is responsible for much of the
current excitement over AI, it is difficult to understand why and how decisions
were made. This can hamper trust among users, whether organisations or
individuals and also pose ethical dilemmas and legal issues.)
Desired technical outcomes include AI systems that learn effectively from small datasets, with fewer training iterations, which are able to demonstrate sense-making abilities, and that exhibit creativity and design abilities.
Applications for this inaugural call are open till 9 April. The
Programme will support
each project for a duration of up to 3 years, providing funding in two tiers: up
to S$ 500,000 (Level 1) and up to S$1 million (Level 2). Inter-institutional
collaborations are encouraged and it is a mandatory requirement for Level 2
AI technology – Grand
The AI technology pillar is about co-ordinating grand
challenges that are important issues and problems faced by Singapore and
beyond, and which can be effectively addressed by AI technologies and
innovations.. The three identified priority areas here are healthcare, urban
solutions and fintech.
According to the AI Singapore website a Grand Challenge idea
- Inspiring (for the researchers, users and the
- Measurable (with respect to some well-recognised
criteria for success)
- Impactful (the solutions will benefit many
people, socially and/or economically)
Examples of Grand Challenge ideas include an intelligent
personal health assistant for both in- and out-patients, smart traffic light
control system for the whole city, or say a personal digital financial advisor
for the ageing population.
This third pillar focuses on industry innovations. In this
pillar, AI Singapore is speaking to three sets of people. The first group is young
local programmers (not necessarily computer science graduates; they could be
graduates from biology, economics or any other field but should have competency
The second is forward looking enterprises, regardless of
sector, who have realised that if they don’t adopt AI, then a competitor who
does will take away their customers and business, either today or tomorrow.
The third group is industry-savvy researchers in Singapore
who have deep expertise in AI and want to see their technology deployed in the
industry to create value.
Three suites of programmes have been created to address the
needs of these three groups.
To connect industry seeking to solve problems with deep AI
expertise, AI Singapore has launched the 100E or 100 Experiments Programme. If any
enterprise has a problem statement which they are unable to solve with commodity-off-the-shelf
solutions, but for which existing AI technologies can be quickly built with
limited research, then AI Singapore will facilitate matching the statement to
the work areas of researchers from NUS, NTU, SUTD, SMU and A*STAR.
For the matched problem statements, AI Singapore co-funds
the project with the enterprise on a 1:1 basis, up to S$250,000. The
contribution from AI Singapore goes to the principal investigator from the IHL
or the research institute. The expected end-result here is not a paper, but a
minimum viable product (MVP) within 9-18 months.
AI Apprenticeship programme
To develop a talent pipeline, AI Singapore has launched the AI Apprenticeship programme (AIAP),
in collaboration with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). It is
the first TechSkills Accelerator(TeSA) company-led
training programme in AI. The programme is intended for recent graduates
(currently defined as someone who has not graduated more than 3 years ago.
Apprentices will be awarded a
stipend of between SGD$2,000 – $3,500/month for the duration of the program.
It is a 9-month full-time
structured training programme comprising 3 months of AI coursework consisting
of classrooms, online, mini-projects, and 6 months of on-the-job training on a
real-world AI problem. The focus is on live projects and candidates are
expected to come with intermediate level programming skills. They should also
be familiar with cloud computing and existing cloud providers , as well as big
data technologies such as Hadoop and Spark.
The AIAP programme is designed
by industry practitioners with a focus on certain key aspects of an AI/machine
learning systems: 1) Data collection, cleansing and feature engineering; 2) Selection,
training and tuning of machine learning and deep learning algorithms; and 3)
Designing, implementing and managing a High Performance Computing (HPC)
infrastructure to build Reproducible AI workflows.
In his presentation, Mr Saxena
said that the ideal combination would be when a company has a 100E project and
is also seeking to develop a talent pipeline. In that case, they would not only
get a MVP, but also develop a pipeline of AI engineers who can take the MVP to
The first AIAP application closed
on 31 December, 2017, with a total of 144 applications received.
The final programme under AI innovations is a marketplace, kelaberetiv.aisingapore.org. It intends
to meet the needs of enterprises looking for collaborators, such as system
integrators or HPC service providers for an AI project it wants to deploy in
Singapore. AI companies can also search for collaborators and business
The ultimate aim is to bring together the AI community in
Singapore – companies, startups, researchers, students, professionals – to
collaborate, find research and business opportunities and talent. It consists
of an online news magazine where the community is encouraged to share their stories,
and a forum for discussion.
Applications being explored
Mr Saxena talked about some of the sectors which have
expressed interested in adopting AI. The companies range from the medical
industry (medtech, hospitals, diagnosticians and even a Traditional Chinese
Medicine company) to matchmaking services to manufacturing (for example for
predictive maintenance) and logistics (for route optimisation).
There’s also been interest in using AI for detecting fake
news and predicting if there will be fake news after a certain event so that
there is no unnecessary social unrest.
Among the many applications, AI Singapore is viewing Robotic
Process Automation (RPA) as the lowest hanging fruit. It helps automate tedious
business tasks through software robots that mimic the activities of the human
beings. Companies in sectors, such as accounting and legal, with well-structured
backend processes, can reap significant benefits from RPA. In fact, AI
Singapore is now maintaining and developing a
RPA tool – TagUI –
which can be used for automating user interactions with web browsers or other
applications. The intention is to add AI capabilities to TagUI while
keeping it open-source.
Key features of the tool include cross-platform
implementation (macOS, Linux, Windows), integration with R & Python for big
data and AI use cases, execution of automation flows in 20+ human languages or
to use and extend the tool, in particular, for the SME ecosystem, where commercial
RPA tools are often too costly for them to acquire.
The above initiatives are the first steps in AI Singapore's journey as it sets out to bring together all the different players in the ecosystem and catalyse, synergise and boost Singapore's AI capabilities.
In a stirring address at the Emerging Enterprise Awards (EEA) 2023, Senior Minister of State Tan Kiat How underscored the pivotal role of continuous learning and skills acquisition in navigating the dynamic landscape of the modern world.
Emphasising that education should be viewed as a lifelong journey, extending beyond formal academic years, he articulated the need for individuals to adapt to the evolving demands of an ever-changing workplace.
Acknowledging the government’s commitment to supporting Singaporeans in this quest for perpetual learning, Tan Kiat How also appealed to business owners and industry leaders to create an enabling environment for employees to upgrade their skills. He highlighted the Forward Singapore report, a comprehensive guide to the nation’s major developmental shifts, urging those unfamiliar with it to explore its insights.
The Senior Minister of State asserted that embracing technology as a strategic enabler is integral to overcoming traditional constraints and enhancing competitiveness. He underscored Singapore’s pioneering role in digital technology adoption, dating back to the 1980s when the nation became one of the first in the world to integrate computers into its public service and workplaces.
Singapore places a paramount emphasis on the pivotal role of digitalisation in revolutionising its educational landscape. With a focus on enhancing learning experiences, fostering global competitiveness, and preparing students for the future workforce, the nation is embracing innovative teaching methods and personalised learning through advanced digital tools.
The integration of technology not only streamlines administrative processes but also facilitates seamless transitions between in-person and online learning models. This commitment to digitalisation reflects Singapore’s dedication to staying at the forefront of educational innovation, equipping students with essential technological skills for the evolving global landscape.
This commitment to technological advancement has persisted, forming the bedrock of Singapore’s digital foundation. Senior Minister Tan shed light on the government’s SMEs Go Digital programme, an initiative integrating emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud services into Industry Digital Plans (IDPs).
These IDPs serve as roadmaps, guiding businesses across various sectors in adopting digital solutions and upskilling their workforce. In a recent example, the Tourism (Attractions) IDP incorporated AI to streamline workflows and provide data-driven insights, enhancing decision-making for attraction operators.
The government’s holistic approach extends beyond specific sectors, with a thorough examination of industry disciplines sector by sector. This involves updating strategies, incorporating emerging technologies, and ensuring that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can boost productivity and competitiveness while navigating the complexities of digital transformation.
Senior Minister Tan cited the Chief Information Security Officers-as-a-Service initiative, where cybersecurity consultants aid firms in enhancing cyber resilience through “check-ups” and tailored health plans.
Encouraging firms and networks to actively engage with these programmes, Senior Minister Tan emphasised the need for Singapore to embrace its agency in shaping its future. He urged the nation to leverage its strong foundation and the strategic roadmap outlined in Forward Singapore.
As Singapore charts its digital odyssey, the EEA 2023 serves as a platform not just for acknowledging achievements but for inspiring a collective commitment to a future where technological innovation and lifelong learning propel the nation to new heights.
The Senior Minister of State added that Singapore’s exceptionalism relies on collective ambition, hard work, and unity, ensuring that the nation continues to defy the odds and stand as a beacon on the global stage.
Union Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and Electronics & IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar shared comprehensive insights into India’s tech landscape at the 26th Edition of the Bengaluru Tech Summit.
Minister Chandrasekhar navigated through a spectrum of crucial tech domains, unravelling India’s transformative journey and the role of entrepreneurship and innovation in the digital economy. He shed light on India’s burgeoning semiconductor industry, the transformative potential of AI, and the instrumental role of startups in shaping the nation’s economic future.
Minister Chandrasekhar reflected on the dynamic shift in India’s semiconductor narrative, echoing the sentiments articulated by India’s Prime Minister at the Semicon India 2023 Summit. He underscored the evolving perspective from “why India” to “when in India” and “why not in India.”
This transformation signifies the growing confidence and capabilities within India’s tech ecosystem, a testament to the nation’s progress in diverse domains such as AI, semiconductors, electronics, Web 3, supercomputing, and high-performance computing.
“Pre-2014, India’s semiconductor story was a series of missed opportunities,” reflected Minister Chandrasekhar while tracing the trajectory of the semiconductor industry’s evolution.
Despite lacking a design legacy, Minister Chandrasekhar emphasised India’s strides in the semiconductor sector. Acknowledging the catch-up game after missed opportunities, he highlighted India’s leapfrogging approach, skipping a generation to explore novel opportunities for the next decade.
The focus on talent, design, packaging, and research has propelled India towards becoming a significant player in the global semiconductor ecosystem, marking a definitive trajectory of growth.
Minister Chandrasekhar reiterated India’s emphasis on harnessing AI’s transformative power resonates deeply with India’s commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technology for societal betterment and enhanced living standards across diverse segments of the population.
“We believe that AI when harnessed correctly, can transform healthcare, agriculture, governance and language translation”: MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar
By integrating AI technologies into these sectors, the aim is to revolutionise service delivery, streamline operations, and democratise access to advanced services for all citizens. However, he also addressed the inherent risks posed by the potential misuse of AI by bad actors, stressing the need for legislative guardrails to ensure safety and trust in AI applications. Aligning with global sentiments, Chandrasekhar highlighted the necessity for regulatory frameworks to prevent misuse and foster ethical AI deployment.
“The world is now aligning with India’s view that we need guardrails of safety and trust for the Internet,” he said.
In an increasingly tech-dependant world, Mnster Chnadrashekhar believes that innovation and entrepreneurship are vital – startups are the pillars of India’s tech evolution. Elaborating on India’s startup landscape, Minister Chandrasekhar showcased the pivotal role played by startups since 2014, citing the emergence of 102 unicorns and a substantial influx of FDI.
He emphasised how startups are not just economic entities but integral components of India’s tech vision, contributing significantly to the digital economy’s $1 trillion goal. With a focus on nurturing the futureDESIGN DLI startups, Chandrasekhar envisaged their potential to become the unicorns of tomorrow, driving innovation across AI, semiconductors, and next-gen electronic systems.
Minister Chandrasekhar’s insights underscore India’s rapid tech evolution, emphasising the nation’s strides in semiconductors, the transformative impact of AI, and the pivotal role of startups. As India charts its course towards a $1 trillion digital economy, its vision encapsulates the imperative of regulatory frameworks, innovative strides, and collaborative efforts in harnessing technology for inclusive growth and global relevance.
OpenGov Asia reported that Minister Chandrasekhar, who spoke at two influential tech events: the Indian Express Digifraud & Safety Summit 2023 and YourStory Techsparks’23, expressed similar views on India’s technological advancements, regulatory policies, and the nation’s promising future in the global tech landscape.
At these tech summits, Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar outlined India’s ambitious technological trajectory, reinforcing the government’s dedication to fostering innovation, ensuring a safe digital environment, and harnessing the transformative power of technology for the nation’s progress.
Collaboration with other entities is paramount in this digital era. Especially in the healthcare sector, having a robust digital infrastructure and leveraging technological advancements is crucial for effective cancer control. With the robust infrastructure established through collaboration, the Manatū Hauora’s Polynesian Health Corridors (PHC) programme is well-positioned to pioneer innovative approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
This initiative is a collaborative effort between PHC and critical partners, including Te Aka Mātauranga Matepukupuku (Cancer Research Centre) and Te Poutoko Ora a Kiwa (Centre for Pacific and Global Health), housed within Waipapa Taumata Rau at The University of Auckland. The programme spans six partner countries: the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu.
Recognising the need for effective cancer control measures, Polynesian health leaders have identified cancer control as a top priority and a focal point for the PHC programme. During the design phase led by Waipapa Taumata Rau (University of Auckland), collaborative efforts are being made to shape the cancer control programme in alignment with the healthcare landscapes of each partner country. This inclusive approach ensures that the programme is tailored to address specific regional needs and challenges.
As part of the broader initiative, PHC aims to support the six partner countries in the seamless implementation of planned activities, emphasising integrating these initiatives into the New Zealand Health System. The design phase is anticipated to be substantially completed by mid-next year, paving the way for the subsequent steps in the programme’s execution.
Established in 2020, the Polynesian Health Corridors (PHC) programme operates under the auspices of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). It was conceived to fortify the ties between Aotearoa, New Zealand’s robust health system and its partner countries. PHC operates within the Global Health Group at the Public Health Agency|Te Pou Hauora Tūmatanui, a division of Manatū Hauora.
The collaboration with partners such as Te Aka Mātauranga Matepukupuku and Te Poutoko Ora a Kiwa underscores the commitment of the PHC programme to leverage collective expertise and resources for the benefit of Polynesia. The emphasis on a multi-year cancer control programme reflects a forward-thinking approach to addressing the complex challenges of cancer within the region.
The multifaceted design of the cancer control initiative encompasses a spectrum of considerations, including early detection strategies, treatment modalities, and holistic support systems for affected individuals and their families. By actively involving partner countries in the design phase, PHC ensures that the programme aligns with the cultural nuances and healthcare infrastructures unique to each Polynesian nation.
In addition to its primary focus on cancer control, the PHC programme signifies a broader commitment to strengthening healthcare ties between Aotearoa, New Zealand and its Polynesian partners. The strategic collaboration with Waipapa Taumata Rau, a leading health research and education institution, adds a dimension to the initiative. Waipapa Taumata Rau’s expertise is instrumental in shaping the design phase of the cancer control programme, contributing evidence-based insights and leveraging its research capabilities.
As the design phase progresses, PHC anticipates a pivotal role in supporting the implementation of planned activities, fostering collaboration between partner countries, and facilitating seamless integration into the New Zealand Health System. The interconnected nature of this initiative underscores the importance of global cooperation and shared knowledge in tackling complex health challenges.
This initiative exemplifies the power of international cooperation in addressing pressing health concerns and sets a precedent for future collaborations in global health. The PHC programme’s collaborative efforts extend beyond regional boundaries, fostering a shared knowledge and resources model that transcends geopolitical constraints. As the design phase unfolds, the programme’s commitment to inclusivity and accessibility remains central to its vision for transforming cancer control in Polynesia.
In emphasising the importance of inclusivity, technology must cater to individuals with physical impairments who face challenges in using traditional input devices like mice and keyboards, which often leads to their exclusion from technical professions.
To foster inclusive accessibility, multiple alternative methods should be actively identified and implemented to facilitate individuals with physical impairments to engage in coding activities. The evolution of these alternative input methods signifies a positive shift towards a more inclusive and accessible technological landscape.
In an initiative to encourage digital inclusion and technological education, a KidBright Workshop has targeted students and teachers from 10 schools catering to children with disabilities. This workshop showcased the power of the KidBright AI Platform in guiding participants to construct embedded system projects.
Dr Patchralita Chatwalitpong, The National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) Vice President for Science and Technology Human Resources Development, emphasised the significance of advancing science and technology education among disabled individuals. “Disabilities children also have the right to gain knowledge in this digital realm. Physically impairment is not merely the obstacle for it,” she addressed.
KidBright, a coding learning tool developed by NECTEC-NSTDA, emerged as a beacon of innovation. As an open-source embedded programming platform, KidBright enables children to learn coding through its embedded board and KidBright Integrated Development Environment programme (KidBright IDE). The platform’s accessibility and user-friendly interface empower young learners to delve into coding seamlessly.
The genesis of this impactful project traces back to 2018, when NSTDA initiated a pioneering effort to promote coding skills specifically tailored for children with disabilities. From 2018 to 2020, KidBright boards and UtuNoi STATION packages were distributed across these schools, accompanied by a series of workshops for both students and teachers. These workshops provided comprehensive training on programming KidBright boards and equipped participants with the skills to create embedded system projects.
The inclusion of data science knowledge in 2019 and 2020 further enriched the project, empowering educators and students to devise innovative solutions catering to the needs of people with disabilities. Notably, several of these inventive creations garnered accolades in innovation contests.
The project’s trajectory leapt in 2023 with a strategic expansion into artificial intelligence (AI). This follow-up session spotlighted the development of science projects utilising the KidBright AI Platform. Led by the adept Educational Technology Research Team and spearheaded by Dr Saowaluck Kaewkamnerd, this workshop aimed to deepen participants’ understanding of AI and encourage the creation of innovative projects with real-world applications.
This multifaceted project exemplifies the commitment to advancing education in emerging technologies and ensuring inclusivity in digital literacy. Integrating coding, embedded systems, data science, and AI into the curriculum empowers students, especially those with disabilities, to become adept in the digital landscape. The KidBright AI Platform catalyses nurturing creativity, problem-solving skills, and a passion for technology among the younger generation, transcending barriers and fostering a more inclusive and technologically literate society.
Further, the recognition of inclusivity has gained global attention, exemplified by its acknowledgement in the United States. The Alliance for Access, the Computing Career Centre from Washington University, outlined several approaches that can enhance programming accessibility for students with diverse disabilities. To illustrate:
- Clear Instructions and Examples: Providing clear instructions and relevant examples universally benefits all students, promoting a better understanding of programming concepts.
- Speech Input Software: Students who face challenges with conventional keyboards can leverage speech input software.
- Macro-Writing Programmes: Utilising a macro-writing programme for individuals with mobility impairments becomes invaluable. This programme facilitates the creation of shortcuts, simplifying the typing process.
- IDE Features: Integrated development environments (IDEs) may incorporate features specifically beneficial for students with disabilities.
- Word or Syntax Auto-Completion: Predictive typing assists users by anticipating their input.
- Syntax Highlighting: Color-coded representation of typed code enhances visual distinction.
- Variable Name Highlighting: Ensures consistent spelling of variable names.
- Inline Spell-Check: This feature can benefit some students, promoting accurate coding.
By highlighting and implementing this in the programming environment among disabled children in Thailand, educators can create a more inclusive and supportive learning experience for students with disabilities, not only enhancing the knowledge of students but also fostering inclusivity and equality.
Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Defence, Heng Chee How, and Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Health, Dr Janil Puthucheary, recently visited the Critical Infrastructure Defence Exercise (CIDeX) 2023, underscoring the government’s commitment to fortifying national cybersecurity.
The exercise, held at the National University of Singapore School of Computing, witnessed over 200 participants engaging in operational technology (OT) critical infrastructure defence training.
Organised by the Digital and Intelligence Service (DIS) and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), with support from iTrust/SUTD and the National Cybersecurity R&D Laboratory (NCL), CIDeX 2023 marked a collaborative effort to enhance Whole-Of-Government (WoG) cyber capabilities. The exercise focused on detecting and countering cyber threats to both Information Technology (IT) and OT networks governing critical infrastructure sectors.
This year’s edition boasted participation from DIS, CSA, and 24 other national agencies across six Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) sectors. With an expanded digital infrastructure comprising six enterprise IT networks and three new OT testbeds, participants operated on six OT testbeds within key sectors—power, water, telecom, and aviation.
CIDeX 2023 featured Blue Teams, composed of national agency participants serving as cyber defenders, defending their digital infrastructure against simulated cyber-attacks launched by a composite Red Team comprising DIS, CSA, DSTA, and IMDA personnel. The exercises simulated attacks on both IT and OT networks, including scenarios such as overloading an airport substation, disrupting water distribution, and shutting down a gas plant.
The exercise provided a platform for participants to hone their technical competencies, enhance collaboration, and share expertise across agencies. Before CIDeX, participants underwent a five-day hands-on training programme at the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)’s Cyber Defence Test and Evaluation Centre (CyTEC) at Stagmont Camp, ensuring readiness for cyber defence challenges.
On the sidelines of CIDeX 2023, the DIS solidified cyber collaboration by signing Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with key technology sector partners, expanding its partnerships beyond the earlier agreement with Microsoft earlier in the year.
Senior Minister Heng emphasised the importance of inter-agency cooperation, stating, “CIDeX is a platform where we bring together many agencies throughout the government to come together to learn how to defend together.” He highlighted the collective effort involving 26 agencies and over 200 participants, acknowledging the significance of unity in cybersecurity.
Dr Janil echoed this sentiment, emphasising CIDeX’s role in the Whole-of-Government (WoG) cyber defence effort. He remarked, “Defending Singapore’s cyberspace is not an easy task, and it is a team effort.”
He commended the strong partnership between the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore and the Digital and Intelligence Service, recognising the exercise as a crucial element in strengthening the nation’s digital resilience and national cybersecurity posture.
By leveraging collaboration, innovation, and a robust defence strategy, Singapore aims not just to protect its critical infrastructure but to set a global standard in cybersecurity practices.
CIDeX 2023 serves as a compelling embodiment of Singapore’s unwavering dedication to maintaining a leadership position in cybersecurity practices. This strategic exercise underscores the nation’s commitment to cultivating collaboration and fortifying its resilience against continually evolving cyber threats.
Beyond a training ground for sharpening the skills of cyber defenders, CIDeX 2023 encapsulates the government’s profound commitment to adopting a robust, collaborative, and forward-thinking approach to safeguarding the integrity and security of the nation’s critical infrastructure in the dynamic landscape of the digital age.
The Cyberport Entrepreneurship Programmes’ 20th Anniversary Celebration and Graduation Ceremony was a major event attended by notable personalities, distinguished guests and budding innovators.
Cyberport is Hong Kong’s digital technology flagship and incubator for entrepreneurship with over 2,000 members including over 900 onsite and close to 1,100 offsite start-ups and technology companies. It is managed by Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, wholly owned by the Hong Kong SAR Government.
With a vision to become Hong Kong’s digital technology hub and stimulate a fresh economic impetus, Cyberport is dedicated to cultivating a dynamic tech environment. This commitment involves nurturing talent, encouraging youth entrepreneurship, aiding startups, fostering industry growth through strategic partnerships with local and international entities, and driving digital transformation across public and private sectors, bridging new and traditional economies.
Professor Sun Dong, the Secretary for Innovation, Technology, and Industry, Hong Kong highlighted Cyberport’s incredible journey and the achievements of its vibrant community. Expressing his delight in commemorating Cyberport’s two-decade-long legacy, he emphasised the institution’s pivotal role as an ICT powerhouse in Hong Kong.
From its humble beginnings to its present stature, Cyberport has emerged as a catalyst for innovation, nurturing over 2,000 technology companies and startups and showcasing an exponential growth rate over the past five years.
Cyberport’s community has attracted a staggering US$38 billion of investment, marking its significance as an ICT flagship in Hong Kong. The establishment takes pride in its contribution to nurturing numerous innovative ideas and fostering dynamic business ventures, with seven notable unicorns in fintech, smart living, and digital entertainment sectors.
Cyberport excelled at the prestigious Hong Kong ICT Awards, with 25 startups securing 28 accolades, including the esteemed Award of the Year. This achievement showcased the institution’s exceptional calibre and innovation prowess nurtured within its ecosystem.
Acknowledging the pivotal role of startups in Cyberport’s success story, Professor Sun Dong shared how these young enterprises, often starting with a simple idea at a small table, grow in tandem with Cyberport’s support. The institution provides not just financial aid but also a nurturing environment where entrepreneurs can leverage extensive networks, collaborative spaces, and expert guidance to cultivate their ideas into commercial successes.
The graduation of more than 200 startups from the Entrepreneurship Programme stood as a testament to Cyberport’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurial talent. This initiative empowers startups to translate their ideas into tangible commercial solutions and market breakthroughs, laying the foundation for their future success.
Looking ahead, Professor Sun Dong outlined Cyberport’s exciting plans, including the upcoming expansion block slated for completion in two years, aimed at providing additional space for the community’s development. He also highlighted Cyberport’s initiative to establish the Artificial Intelligence Supercomputing Centre, a pioneering endeavour set to commence in 2024, envisioned to be a pioneering and substantial facility in Hong Kong.
Cyberport’s extraordinary journey showcases significant achievements while charting a promising future, embodying the core values of innovation, collaboration, and collective growth.
Professor Sun expressed gratitude on behalf of the Government, acknowledging their hard work and contributions to the tech ecosystem emphasising the importance of collective participation for a better future.
The vibrant success of events like the Cyberport Venture Capital Forum 2023 resonates with Cyberport’s commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration, further cementing its role as a catalyst for technological advancement and entrepreneurial growth in Hong Kong.
The Cyberport Venture Capital Forum (CVCF) 2023 saw a turnout of over 2,500 participants during its two-day hybrid event. Themed “Venture Forward: Game Changing through Innovation,” the forum convened 80 global visionary venture experts, entrepreneurial pioneers, and influential thinkers. With more than 120,000 page views and over 300 fundraising meetings facilitated, it solidified its position as a pivotal platform fostering networking and collaborative opportunities.
In a significant stride towards technological innovation and sustainable development, the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) have joined forces to revolutionise India’s construction and wastewater treatment sectors.
This pioneering collaboration under the “Access to Knowledge for Technology Development and Dissemination (A2K+) Studies” Scheme of DSIR is aimed at aligning with India’s Smart Cities Mission and its ambitious commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2070.
DSIR’s allocation of two crucial research studies to TERI signifies a pivotal step in bridging the informational gap on advanced building materials, designs for energy efficiency, and the assessment of membrane-based sewage wastewater treatment systems for reuse and recycling.
A significant milestone in this partnership was marked by a high-profile Stakeholder Consultant Meeting held at the prestigious India Habitat Center in New Delhi. Attended by key decision-makers, esteemed experts from academia, industry leaders, and policymakers, this event became a platform for insightful discussions and collaborations.
Dr Sujata Chaklanobis, Scientist ‘G’ and Head of A2K+ Studies at DSIR, emphasised the importance of promoting industrial research for indigenous technology development, utilisation, and transfer in her address. Her words underscored the crucial role of research and innovation in fostering sustainable technological advancements.
Mr Sanjay Seth, Senior Director of TERI’s Sustainable Infrastructure Programme highlighted India’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2070. He stressed the imperative integration of cutting-edge technologies and innovative designs in buildings to significantly reduce energy consumption, a key step towards a sustainable, low-carbon future.
The first session of the consultation centred on leveraging emerging technologies and innovative solutions for advanced building design to enhance energy efficiency. Experts from various domains provided insightful suggestions and information, fostering dialogue on energy-efficient building designs and sustainable construction practices.
The second session delved into the current status and prospects of membrane technologies in India for sewage treatment. Insights from academia, including professors from prestigious institutions, shed light on research gaps and opportunities for commercialisation in the domain of membrane-based technologies.
Industry experts also provided valuable perspectives on the current membrane market, innovations, and opportunities, creating a comprehensive understanding of the landscape and paving the way for future developments.
The amalgamation of insights from academia, industry, and end-users enriched the discussions, providing a roadmap for future innovation and development in these critical sectors. The event culminated with a commitment from both DSIR and TERI to embark on an innovation journey, heralding a sustainable and resilient future for India.
The DSIR-TERI collaborative consultation stands as a beacon of transformative progress in advancing sustainable building practices and sewage treatment technologies. It underscores the power of partnership in driving technological evolution for a more sustainable tomorrow.
India’s ambitions intertwine technological progress with a steadffast commitment to sustainability, envisioning a future where innovation not only drives economic growth but also champions environmental stewardship.
Through strategic initiatives and cooperation, India aims to leverage cutting-edge technologies to address pressing global challenges, ensuring a harmonious balance between technological advancement, environmental preservation, and societal well-being.
NITI Aayog, in collaboration with CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, initiated the India Australia Rapid Innovation and Startup Expansion (RISE) Accelerator under the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) to bolster circular economy startups from both countries, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT-Kanpur) and the African-Asian Rural Development Organisation (AARDO) jointly organised an international training programme, focused on exploring the application of nanotechnology in promoting plant growth and crop protection for sustainable agriculture.
According to an IIT-Kanpur statement, the programme served as a forum for experts from diverse fields to discuss and deliberate on solutions to meet the urgent global challenge of achieving food security and promoting sustainability in agriculture.