The second instalment (report on first session) of the invitation-only OpenGov Breakfast Series Dialogue on the “Expanding Cyberthreat landscape in healthcare” was held in Melbourne on the 18th of August, 2016. C-level ICT executives from the healthcare sector across Melbourne came together in a room to have a stimulating, freewheeling conversation lasting over 2 hours. They shared their experiences and concerns, discussed possible solutions, different approaches to cybersecurity suitable for varying contexts. It was the perfect example of sharing and learning that OpenGov strives to enable and facilitate.
Mr. Mohit Sagar, Editor-in-chief of OpenGov Asia opened the doors and started the dialogue, asking who holds ultimate responsibility for security in healthcare organisations. In an increasingly dangerous cyberspace, with blurring lines between insider malice, ignorance and negligence, with ruthless ransomware attacks becoming a fact of life, who takes the call on what to do. The patients repose their trust, place their lives in the hands of the hospitals. Who is responsible for justifying that trust and steering the ship through choppy waters.
The natural reaction to the escalating threats can be to lock the doors and bury the key, by restricting internet access, strictly segmenting networks, keeping devices offline. But this might hamper constructive, collaborative work. The real challenge would be to ensure safety while integrating yourself with the connected world of IoT, cloud and big data.
Mr. Guy Eilon from Forcepoint talked about businesses moving to the cloud. Unfortunately, security concerns are not factored in at an early stage, resulting in significant over-run in costs in the long term. He also spoke about Remote users and the ubiquity of mobile devices. Organisations have no boundaries now and in such an environment, it becomes a real challenge to secure assets, regardless of location of data and users.
Mr. Eilon reiterated the problematic focus on external threats. Organisations spend over 90% of budgets, build higher and higher walls, trying to protect against external attacks. But hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Metaphoric helicopters can airdrop malware right at the heart of our IT systems, rendering the walls impotent. The malware sitting in the systems basically behaves as an insider. In addition, there are insider threats emanating from users, who wilfully or unintentionally are responsible for 65% of data leakages worldwide.
He closed his presentation stressing the importance of getting the right security products for different needs and integrating wherever possible. But even with a common dashboard, there might be a limit to how many incidents can be realistically monitored. The ability to highlight the most important information to direct energies and attention is crucial in this scenario.
Mr. Lim Soo Tong, CIO of Jurong Health Services (JHS) one of the six clusters under the Ministry of Health, talked about the cybersecurity approach in the Singapore public health system. He underscored the urgency of cybersecurity, saying that you might successfully block tens of thousands of malicious emails, but it takes only one to get through a tiny chink in the armour and bring down the system.
Healthcare has been identified as one of the 11 critical areas in the public sector in Singapore and the standards and policies in Singapore health IT are constantly reviewed.
He also tackled the issue of network segmentation. His preference would be to provide controlled/limited access, with users allowed to log on to a dynamic list of accredited, white-listed sites, in contrast with blacklisting. They are also considering internet access through a secure, virtualised web browser. In the past, it was enough to ensure that antivirus signature is up to date and track failed login attempts. Now it is much more complex.
Mr. Soo Tong touched upon a Ransomware attack they faced. Thankfully, very few laptops and printers were affected and the fallout was contained easily. In his view, the operational risk from such attacks is more important than financial and reputational damage. In a hospital, interrupted operations are literally a matter of life and death.
Bring Your Own Device and Compliance
Mr. Soo Tong shared his mixed experience on initially permitting Bring your Own Device (BYOD). Security measures and policies were implemented but many potential gaps for data leakages remained. As mentioned in the previous session's summary, Jurong Health is considering revoking BYOD privileges by the end of August, 2016.
Mr. Nicholas Hobbs from Epworth Healthcare said that medical devices tend to lag a long way behind in terms of IT. Devices and technologies bought off-the-shelf from vendors need to be patched and they try to ring-fence but it is a difficult process.
Mrs. Sally Campbell from the Royal Melbourne Children’s Hospital recalled the early stage when YouTube etc. were banned due to concerns over productivity reigned supreme. But then as younger doctors started joining the workforce and bringing in all sorts of devices, they tried to put rules in place around the devices themselves and access to shared drives and the internet. But the thoughtfully framed, sensible policies approved through long processes proved difficult to implement.
Mr. Soo Tong described their approach as trying to minimise exposure. So, their network is isolated. Doctors’ own devices are read-only. They are not allowed to download material onto them. Admin rights are not provided on any systems to end-users.
But there are potential open doors everywhere. For instance, read-only restrictions can be circumvented by the simple method of clicking a photo. The doctor’s reluctance to comply partially stems from the obstacles imposed by regulations in the way of delivering healthcare.
The key question is how to obtain compliance. It just takes one person to disobey the rule. The challenge is to achieve that elusive balance between productivity and efficiency one one side and potentially stifling rules on the other.
Russel Withers from Western Health shared his prior experience in designing, building, commissioning and then running Fiona Stanley Hospital. They built a single firewall, a proxy service, mobile device management for BYOD, single network and all medical devices had to sit on that network. They had to comply with the structure of the network, its security protocols. Generic passwords were disallowed, use of USBs was restricted, encryption implemented. It was constraining. Vendors and doctors complained. But when a security incident occurred they were able to trace the responsible individual quickly and only one application service was down for a short period.
But here everything was planned and built from the ground-up, without the constraint of legacy systems. Working in a hybrid environment with a combination of old and new infrastructure and doctors not connecting to the controlled ICT environment is a much tougher trial for CIOs.
Mr. Withers said new developments are designed with the new, up-to-date IT infrastructure. That becomes the new starting point.
Cloud security and the comfort of redundancies
Earlier during the dialogue, Mr. Sagar had spoken about cloud security concerns, what is being parked where and for what reasons. What is the ultimate objective of moving to cloud?
The conversation now moved to detailing those concerns after Mr. Withers explained why they had chosen on-premise systems for Fiona Stanley. If an incident occurs, if public networks and medical information cannot be accessed and systems cannot be fixed because they are hosted off premises, then how can business continuity be ensured.
Several of the delegates expressed preference for redundancies in their networks and data centres. But they significantly add to costs and complicate design.
Backups to disks and older archives on tapes continue to be widely relied on, with copies stored on and off premises. The physicality is re-assuring but it might not be a viable long-term solution.
Mr. David Collier, CIO, Chisholm, Institute of TAFE, pointed out that the dedicated resources of cloud infrastructure providers are exponentially higher than those available to individual healthcare bodies. The implicit security from that cannot be matched by any level of redundancies implemented by hospitals.
He added the caveat that more standardisation is required and moving to the cloud has to be done with consideration of every single detail of processes. Ministers and bureaucrats must be educated and no corners must be cut on funding.
Another possible solution could be a private cloud, like the one used by the Singaporean healthcare system. A private cloud would provide better control, while leveraging the benefits of collaboration and flexibility.
Dialogue questions and discussion
The first question posed to the delegates was the same as in the Sydney session. regarding the main driver for their information security expenditure. The response was similar to the previous session with “Protecting critical assets from being compromised” garnering 66.7% of votes. Concerns were related to both preventing outwards data theft and inwards malware intrusion.
The next question on the most concerning security threats generated split response in the form of 30% for Employee negligence and 20% each for Insider threats, data and identity thefts and process/ system failures. These threats are inter-linked and have to be dealt with through an integrated strategy.
When asked about the most important security measures, “Data protection and data loss prevention” was at the top of the participants’ minds, with 70% voting for it. Data leakage might be happening without the ICT teams even being aware of it, either through malicious insider actions or malware sitting in the system. Such silent data leakage could seriously compromise operations and reputations.
During the subsequent conversation, it emerged that due to security concerns and differences and ambiguities in regulations, data sharing is limited across state jurisdictions. Old-fashioned calls are often relied on for getting out-of-state patients’ records. Even within the state, sharing health records between public and private sector healthcare is limited. There is also a problem with unique identifiers.
Currently, the Australian government is rolling out a national individual health record system, called My Health Record. As of August 7, 2016, 4 million people or 17% of Australia's population had registered.
A polling question on measuring effectiveness of security expenditure revealed that 50% of delegates’ organisations do not formally evaluate the same. Some do not track IT security expenditure separately. In addition, in 40% of organisations attending the dialogue the final responsibility for IT security continues to be laid on CIOs, CSOs or Heads of Security.
Like the Dialogue in Sydney, the conclusion was that Ministers, Boards and senior management must realise the importance of ICT and ICT security and dedicate enough funding. A large proportion of currently available funding goes to keeping the lights on.
ICT is evolving at an accelerating pace. The healthcare sector, like other industries is rushing to keep up. Silos are being smashed, systems being integrated. Certain aspects might be overlooked, wrinkles left un-ironed and holes left unplugged.
As threat proliferate and escalate, the ramifications of not taking action can be deadly. An attack on one hospital is an attack on the entire medical care system. It impairs public trust, which is essential for healthcare agencies and hospitals to continue doing their job, effectively delivering vital services.
Securing the environment is not about reaching a destination but rather an ongoing process, a never-ending journey. Predictive analytics can be used to discover vulnerabilities and patch them in time. Security can be made a part of IT infrastructure design. It is time to wake up and be pro-active, rather than reactive.
Rehabilitation services have gained increasing significance, as highlighted by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat during RehabWeek 2023. The demand for rehab services is growing worldwide due to an ageing population and a rising incidence of chronic diseases. To meet this demand and improve outcomes, the field of rehabilitation is embracing innovation, particularly through advancements in technology, robotics, and digitalisation.
Rehabilitation plays a crucial role in enabling individuals, regardless of age, to regain independence and participate meaningfully in daily life. With the World Health Organisation estimating that 1 in 3 people globally may benefit from rehab services, the importance of this field cannot be overstated.
Beyond individual well-being, rehabilitation contributes to productive longevity and reduces downstream medical costs when integrated into holistic care plans. Thus, it aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of “healthy lives and well-being for all at all ages.”
Deputy Prime Minister Heng shared his personal experience as a stroke survivor, emphasising the pivotal role that therapists and early rehabilitation played in his recovery journey. Early rehab interventions were instrumental in mitigating the debilitating effects of extended bed rest in the ICU. Dedicated therapists, combined with intensive rehab, enabled him to regain full functionality, underscoring the transformative potential of rehabilitation services.
Innovations in rehabilitation leverage broader trends like robotics and digitalisation. These innovations offer precision rehabilitation, tailoring treatment plans to individual needs. They also mitigate manpower constraints by augmenting human efforts with technology.
For instance, robotics-assisted physiotherapy and games-based cognitive exercises are becoming increasingly prevalent. Moreover, virtual rehabilitation has gained prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic, enhancing convenience and empowering patients to take charge of their rehab journeys from home.
Many societies are facing the dual challenge of an ageing population and a declining workforce to provide rehabilitation services. Technology is critical in augmenting these efforts to meet growing demand. Innovations in rehabilitation enhance its effectiveness and accessibility, ensuring that patients follow through with and benefit from rehab programs.
Singapore is at the forefront of innovative rehabilitation practices. Its acute hospitals offer excellent rehab care services and conduct research to improve care. Notably, Tan Tock Seng Hospital is a pioneer in rehabilitation medicine. Changi General Hospital houses the Centre for Healthcare Assistive and Robotics Technology (CHART), facilitating the synergy between clinical needs and technological innovation.
The One-Rehab Framework is a recent innovation in Singapore, ensuring timely access to rehabilitation care. This framework enables seamless care coordination across different settings and care team members through a common IT portal and harmonised clinical outcomes. It streamlines the sharing of relevant patient information and encourages right-siting of care within the community, reducing the burden on acute hospitals.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Heng, RehabWeek serves as a platform for delegates with diverse expertise and a shared commitment to advancing rehabilitation care. It encourages the sharing of best practices and useful technologies to strengthen collective impact, especially when addressing global challenges.
Singapore stands ready to collaborate with international partners, offering its strong ecosystem in research, innovation, and enterprise to advance the field of rehabilitation for the benefit of people worldwide.
He added that rehabilitation is evolving and embracing technological innovations to meet the increasing demand for its services, especially in ageing societies. “Collaboration, innovation, and a focus on the last-mile delivery of care are crucial for ensuring that individuals can live well and maximise their potential through effective rehabilitation,” Deputy Prime Minister Heng said. “Singapore’s commitment to these principles makes it a valuable partner in advancing the frontiers of rehabilitation on a global scale.”
The Vietnamese government has said that digital transformation and green transformation are inevitable global trends. They have a crucial role in enhancing economic growth, labour productivity, competitiveness, production, and business efficiency. They also reduce reliance on fuel sources that cause pollution and minimise carbon footprint.
To discuss digital and green transformation for sustainable development and to foster networking opportunities for businesses to accelerate their green transitions, the Ministry of Science and Technology held a forum in the northern province of Quang Ninh.
Domestic and international scientists, along with representatives from organisations and technology companies, deliberated on strategies to speed up green and digital transformations. They underscored the importance of advancing technological innovation and implementing reforms in human resource management, training, and quality enhancement to create new products and processes. This, in turn, will boost business value, aid in the delivery of better goods and services to society, and expedite Vietnam’s industrialisation and modernisation processes.
Participants suggested the establishment of a support mechanism for industries implementing green and digital transformation solutions in Vietnamese businesses. They also stressed that it is necessary to promote Horizon Europe’s international cooperation programme on joint research and innovation for Vietnam and have comprehensive digital transformation solutions for businesses.
During the forum, Quang Ninh province representatives, the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA), businesses, and organisations exchanged memoranda of understanding regarding collaboration in the domains of digital transformation and green transformation.
Vietnam has been introducing emerging technologies in the agricultural sector to promote sustainable growth. Earlier this year, the government announced plans to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) for the optimisation of farming practices, including weather prediction, monitoring of plant and livestock health, and enhancing product quality.
AI can improve crop productivity and help control pests, diseases, and cultivation conditions. It can improve the performance of farming-related tasks across food supply chains. Advancements in the manufacturing of AI-controlled robots are assisting farmers worldwide in utilising less land and labour while simultaneously boosting production output.
Vietnam’s commitment to technological advancements in agriculture extends beyond AI, as highlighted by the government’s plans to harness biotechnology. In September, the Politburo issued a resolution under which Vietnam aims to be among the top ten Asian countries in biotechnology production and services by 2030.
As OpenGov Asia reported, the biotechnology sector is on the verge of becoming a significant economic and technological industry, with an expected 50% rise in the number of companies in terms of investment size and growth rate. Additionally, it is projected that half of the imported biotechnology products will be substituted by domestic production. This sector is anticipated to make a 7% contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Vietnam aims to establish a thriving biotechnology sector by 2045, positioning itself as a prominent centre for smart production, services, biotechnology startups, and innovation in Asia. This sector is expected to contribute 10% to 15% to the GDP by that year.
As a result of its tropical climate and its economic shift away from agriculture, biotechnology plays a vital role in Vietnam’s industrialisation and modernisation efforts. It contributes significantly to ensuring food security, facilitating economic restructuring, and promoting sustainable development. Furthermore, in environmental conservation, biotechnology has brought forth numerous solutions. These include the breakdown of inorganic and organic pollutants, waste treatment, industrial waste processing, and the use of microorganisms to address oil spills and incidents of oil contamination.
Vietnam can focus on developing various aspects within the biotechnology sector, such as agricultural advancements in crop and animal breeding, manufacturing veterinary drugs, developing vaccines, and creating bio-fertilizers.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has inaugurated several digital projects for the Defence Accounts Department (DAD) as part of its 276th Annual Day celebrations. The initiatives include:
The Summary of Accounts, Budget, and Expenditure for Raksha Mantralaya (the Ministry of Defence) tool aims to provide a more accurate and objective view of defence financial information like payment, accounting, and budgeting in India.
This analytics tool integrates, compiles, sanitises, and standardises financial data from various applications, data sources, and databases. It then offers a real-time, comprehensive platform with dashboard features, allowing users to visualise trends, display metrics, present graphs illustrating key performance indicators, and generate reports, among other functionalities.
SARANSH will function as a complete dashboard for higher management, offering a quick overview of all defence expenditures. It enables centralised monitoring and encourages data-driven decision-making for all defence organisations.
The Bill Information and Work Analysis System will function as a dashboard for various Principal Controllers of Defence Accounts (PCsDA)/ Controllers of Defence Accounts (CsDA), providing different infographics to monitor and analyse the whole process flow of bill management. It will also generate reports on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). It provides real-time detailed analyses of bill processing, with interactive visualisations of granular data flowing through the various office automation systems within a controller office.
E-Raksha Awaas is a centralised and comprehensive software package designed to enhance and streamline the process of generating rent and related charges for rentable buildings within Defence Services. It also facilitates the prompt remission of these charges to government accounts. This package acts as a unified online platform for all stakeholders engaged in the generation, recovery, and remission of rent and allied charges.
Minister Singh described the DAD as the guardian of defence finance and commended its efforts to strengthen the country’s defence capabilities through transparent and efficient systems, praising its prudent resource management and output optimisation.
He suggested ways to improve the department’s efficiency such as encouraging DAD officials to enhance their professional skills to address the challenges posed by “constantly evolving times”. He urged them to partner with organisations like the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to create and implement customised training modules, as per requirements.
Providing financial advice is one of the DAD’s most crucial responsibilities, the Minister noted. The DAD should consider two key aspects when offering financial advice: a realistic assessment of the demands of the user agency and a thorough understanding of the product’s market.
He explained that it is important to evaluate whether there is a need to purchase a product and whether a similar product of equal or greater effectiveness is available in the market at a lower cost. This understanding will enhance the quality of financial advice.
Furthermore, to foster such an understanding, Singh suggested establishing an in-house mechanism—a standing committee of experienced individuals who can research and analyse market forces and offer valuable insights to field officers. “Big banks and financial institutions develop in-house economic intelligence and research teams. On similar lines, the DAD needs to develop an in-house team for market research and intelligence,” he stated.
It is also vital to strengthen the internal vigilance mechanism to detect and review suspicious activity. This will not only expedite addressing issues but also enhance public trust in the department, the Minister said.
Scientists from Washington University in St. Louis have created a sonobiopsy method to diagnose brain disease. The Sonobiopsy method employs ultrasound and microbubbles to momentarily breach the barrier, enabling brain RNA, DNA, and proteins to enter the bloodstream for analysis. While this technique was initially tested on animals, a recent study demonstrates its safety and viability for human use. This innovation may pave the way for non-invasive brain disease and tumour diagnostics.
Eric Leuthardt, MD, co-senior author and co-inventor of the technology, stated that Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) drastically transformed brain disease diagnosis in the 1980s and ’90s, offering structural and functional brain imaging capabilities.
Leuthardt, the Shi Hui Huang Professor of Neurosurgery and a professor of neuroscience at the School of Medicine in biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering at the McKelvey School of Engineering referred to sonobiopsy as the third revolution, emphasising its molecular aspect. This innovative technique allows blood sample collection reflecting gene expression and molecular characteristics at the brain lesion site, essentially performing a brain biopsy without the associated risks of surgery.
Eric Leuthardt and Hong Chen, PhD, Associate Professors of Biomedical Engineering at McKelvey Engineering and Neurosurgery at the School of Medicine, developed the groundbreaking technique, focusing on multidisciplinary research to create engineered solutions for neurological diseases.
The technique employs focused ultrasound to target a brain lesion at a millimetre scale. Subsequently, microbubbles are injected into the bloodstream, travelling to the designated area and bursting, creating minuscule, temporary openings in the blood-brain barrier. These openings naturally close within a few hours, causing no lasting harm. Within this time frame, brain lesion biomolecules can exit the bloodstream, facilitating their collection through a standard blood draw.
Hong Chen, another Senior Co-author and co-inventor of the technology described this innovation as initiating a new field for brain-related conditions. It offers the capability to noninvasively and nondestructively access all brain regions, enabling the retrieval of genetic information about tumours before surgical procedures.
This information aids neurosurgeons in determining the best approach to surgery, helping confirm the nature of suspicious findings on imaging. Furthermore, it paves the way for studying diseases that typically don’t undergo surgical biopsies, including neurodevelopmental, neurodegenerative, and psychiatric disorders.
Initially, the researchers utilised a commercially available ultrasound device combined with an MRI scanner, a setup limited by cost and MRI availability. To streamline the procedure, Hong Chen’s team designed a portable, handheld ultrasound probe that could be attached to a stereotactic pointer commonly used by neurosurgeons for pinpointing brain lesions. This device was seamlessly integrated into the clinical workflow, requiring no additional training for neurosurgeons.
Eric Leuthardt emphasised the user-friendliness of this device, stating that it was efficiently utilised during the study in the operating room but could also be employed in a clinic or at a patient’s bedside in a hospital. He noted that this approach was a significant step toward making advanced diagnostics more accessible, enabling the examination of patients’ brains without needing a high-tech, multimillion-dollar scanner.
In their research, the team conducted sonobiopsies on five individuals with brain tumours using this device. Subsequently, the tumours were removed surgically following the standard care protocol.
The analysis of blood samples collected before and after sonication revealed that the technique increased circulating tumour DNA, ranging from 1.6-fold to 5.6-fold, depending on the specific type of DNA examined.
Circulating tumour DNA holds crucial information about genetic alterations in a patient’s tumour, which guides treatment decisions regarding the tumour’s aggressiveness. Notably, the procedure showed no signs of causing damage to brain tissue, affirming its safety.
A collaboration in science and technology has emerged as the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation of Thailand (MHESI) joined forces with the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of the People’s Republic of China. The two nations came together to review the progress of ongoing collaborative projects and chart a course for future technological innovations.
The meeting was attended by figures in the field of science and technology, including Prof Dr Sirirurg Songsivilai, Permanent Secretary of MHESI, and Mr Zhang Guang Jun, Deputy Minister of MOST. Notably, Executive Vice President Dr Uracha Ruktanonchai represented the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), underlining the significance of the collaboration.
One of the projects under this collaborative effort is centred around rail technology. It combines the expertise of the Rail and Modern Transport Research Centre of NSTDA, the Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (TISTR), and the China Railway Company. Their goal is to establish the China-Thailand Belt and Road Joint Laboratory on Rail Transit.
Public transportation is vital to modern urban life, shaping how people move within cities, reducing traffic congestion, and minimising the environmental footprint. As Thailand and China embark on collaborative endeavours in rail technology, they contribute to enhancing public transportation systems, which stand as a cornerstone of sustainable mobility.
This laboratory will be a hub for cutting-edge research and testing on rail transit systems. With Thailand’s high-speed train project on the horizon, this laboratory is poised to play a crucial role in ensuring its successful implementation.
The Thailand-China Technology Transfer Centre (TCTTC), a collaborative initiative led by NSTDA, represents another milestone in this partnership. TCTTC has fostered collaboration by facilitating researcher exchanges, supporting training programmes, and enabling business matching between Thai and Chinese enterprises. These initiatives have yielded positive outcomes for both nations.
As the collaboration looks ahead to 2024, TCTTC has set its sights on ramping up technology transfer activities in several key areas. Notably, the focus will be on digital technology, artificial intelligence (AI), and technologies. These forward-looking endeavours are driven by a shared commitment to addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and leveraging innovation for sustainable growth and development.
The plans for 2024 reflect the landscape of technology and innovation. They also underscore Thailand and China’s shared commitment to harness innovation’s power for sustainable growth and development. As technology continues to reshape the global landscape, these collaborative efforts are set to make significant contributions across various sectors. Together, these two nations aim to create a powerful technological synergy that promises a brighter and more connected future on the global stage.
This recent meeting between MHESI and MOST marks a promising partnership at the intersection of science, technology, and innovation. With ongoing endeavours in rail technology and technology transfer, as well as forward-looking plans for digital technology and AI in 2024, the collaboration is poised to make significant contributions to the advancement of both Thailand and China. As these two nations combine their strengths, they stand to create a technological synergy that promises sustainable development and a brighter future on the global stage.
In an exciting collaboration between LASALLE College of the Arts (LASALLE) and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), the future of electric vehicle (EV) design is undergoing a remarkable transformation. This pioneering effort, a testament to engineering excellence and design innovation, has birthed an avant-garde electric vehicle prototype that is making waves at LASALLE College of the Arts as part of Singapore Design Week.
Led by Nathan Yong, Programme Leader of BA (Hons) Product Design at LASALLE and a recipient of the President’s Design Award, three students from LASALLE, namely Choong Yu Haun, Namjot Kaur, and Joel Yong, joined forces with SUTD’s Electric Vehicle Club (EV Club) to embark on a journey that reimagines the art of electric vehicle design.
At the heart of this transformative project lies the innovative use of 3D printing technology, a disruptive force that is reshaping the automotive landscape. Drawing inspiration from the intricate and efficient forms found in nature, particularly in insects, the collaborative team has pushed the boundaries of design to create a body shell that epitomises speed, agility and a new benchmark for future electric vehicles.
In doing so, they have also made substantial strides towards sustainable transportation design, underscoring their commitment to environmental stewardship and technological advancement.
The result of this remarkable collaboration is the TITHONUS design, crafted by LASALLE students and based on the open-top tandem two-seater electric sports car initially designed and built by SUTD students.
This lightweight chassis houses a quad-motor electric powertrain capable of short 2-second bursts of up to 1,000Nm of torque. With double-wishbone suspension all around and 18-inch wheels regulated by disc brakes, TITHONUS is a testament to the fusion of creativity, engineering acumen, and digitalisation in the pursuit of a sustainable and thrilling automotive future.
LASALLE receives tuition grant support from Singapore’s Ministry of Education and is a founding member of the University of the Arts Singapore. Besides, the partnership between LASALLE and SUTD has not only pushed the boundaries of electric vehicle design but also showcased the transformative power of 3D printing technology and digitalisation in the realm of transportation.
Singapore’s commitment to sustainable mobility is evident in its ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the impact of climate change. The government’s “Green Plan 2030” outlines a clear roadmap for transforming the country’s transportation sector. At the forefront of this transformation are electric vehicles, which are seen as a pivotal solution to reduce the carbon footprint of the transportation industry.
Digitalisation is the driving force behind Singapore’s electric vehicle revolution. The integration of digital technologies into every facet of the EV ecosystem is unlocking new possibilities and reshaping the way we perceive and use electric vehicles.
Also, central to the success of EVs is a robust charging infrastructure. Digitalisation has enabled the development of a smart charging network across Singapore. EV owners can easily locate charging stations through mobile apps, check availability in real time, and even make reservations. Additionally, predictive analytics help optimise the placement of charging stations based on usage patterns, ensuring convenience for users.
Digitalisation has transformed the way EVs are managed and maintained as advanced telematics systems allow for remote diagnostics, real-time monitoring of vehicle health, and over-the-air software updates. This not only enhances the overall reliability of EVs but also minimises downtime and reduces maintenance costs.
The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology is devising incentives to support the implementation of 5G telecommunications network technology in Indonesia. This step is taken as part of a strategy to optimise the 5G network to enhance internet speed significantly.
Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Budi Arie Setiadi has revealed that the government’s efforts are geared towards encouraging investment in this sector. One specific measure is to incentivise telecommunications operators to encourage them to make large-scale investments. With these incentives in place, operators can avoid making a substantial upfront payment, which can reduce their investment costs.
Budi Arie Setiadi also expressed his belief that internet speed in Indonesia will continue to increase in line with the advancement of digital technology. The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology is committed to making Indonesia one of the top 10 countries in the world in terms of internet speed by implementing a robust 5G network. Therefore, the government will continue to focus on developing the digital infrastructure to support this goal.
In addition, Budi Arie Setiadi emphasised the importance of establishing a strong digital infrastructure. He explained that includes the development of a reliable and extensive 5G network, which will help meet the needs of the public and industries as they navigate the ever-evolving digital era.
“5G in the future will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping not just the telecommunications landscape but also the broader digital ecosystem,” Budi Arie Setiadi elaborated. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected and reliant on high-speed data transmission, Indonesia is positioning itself strategically to harness the potential of 5G technology for its growth and development.
The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has embarked on a mission to position Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, among the top 10 nations globally regarding 5G network deployment.
“When we discuss speed, it’s a measure relative to other nations, but what truly matters is our global ranking. We employ this benchmark because the world’s pace of internet adoption is not slowing down. Even if our target is to achieve 100 Mbps, if we observe that the global rankings are on the ascent, we remain steadfast in our pursuit,” he expressed.
Furthermore, he also underscored that the government is committed to assessing and crafting strategic initiatives to deliver improved-speed 5G network services. He emphasised that they are poised to collaborate closely with various mobile operators and industry ecosystems to formulate the most effective strategies.
In pursuing high-quality internet network services, the government also remains acutely attuned to the evolving dynamics within the domestic industry.
Budi Arie further highlighted the significance of fostering an industrial ecosystem that enhances quality sustainably and competitively. He said that it is paramount as it will ensure the industry sustains its health and engages in fair competition.
Commercial 5G services are already operational in 49 cities across Indonesia. Furthermore, the development of 5G networks is actively progressing in five super-priority tourist destinations and is being showcased at various international events.
The Minister’s emphasis on global ranking highlights Indonesia’s determination to benchmark itself against international standards. It acknowledges that the digital landscape is dynamic and constantly evolving, and being among the top performers globally clearly indicates staying relevant in the digital age.