Employers and employees in Thailand alike are being compelled to reconsider the nature of the job environment because of the pandemic. Companies are increasingly embracing a hybrid model that incorporates a mixture of remote working and in-office. Many employees, according to a study, prefer this hybrid approach as they consider the workplace as an ideal place to meet, collaborate and socialise with colleagues – at least till when it is safe again.
Culture has fundamentally shifted, and organisations will have to redefine work and reimagine how teams function and collaborate. Remote working allows employees to work more independently with less oversight than traditional working techniques. This is beneficial in attracting and keeping employees, particularly millennials with prior experience leading digital transformation initiatives.
When evaluating work-from-home regulations, management must consider the quality of work and overall productivity in the light of the infrastructure, platforms and solutions needed to facilitate this. The right technological tools are needed to store and analyse data for measuring employee performance, which can be used to incentivise and encourage productivity, engagement, and collaboration of a remote workforce.
The question then is: How should organisations be viewing and preparing for this new reality?
As it is common to have several devices connected to multiple systems and linked to a defined cloud, hybrid work is bound to raise power consumption in supporting high-speed memory and speedy access. Therefore, to cost-effectively offer a reliable remote working experience, it is necessary to have a robust power management efficiency approach.
Remote and dispersed working in a digital environment is built on adaptability, agility and accessibility that requires a secure digital infrastructure. Only a robust cyber security system will ensure the safety of such an organisational setup.
Apart from that, maintaining flexibility is crucial to boosting efficiency and remaining agile. To that end, accelerating the power of server processors and cloud deployments in the virtual workplace can help to create an efficient working environment. Specifically, a hybrid cloud can give the required flexibility, agility and scalability while also controlling operating costs.
OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight held on 23 November 2021 aimed at exploring strategies to foster a creative digital workplace with hybrid cloud, multi-layered security and manageability features that complement Thailand’s digital economy strategy.
Embracing the challenges of the hybrid work culture
Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia, kicked off the session with his opening address.
The pandemic has vaulted the governments and businesses headfirst into the next stage of digital transformation and online services. Culture has changed. “People do not want to return to the old work environment anymore,” Mohit asserts. Culture is going to challenge strategy if organisations force people to return to work in an office.
“Hybrid work is here to stay,” Mohit is convinced and organisations need to be able to provide the environment within the organisation that is harnessing technology to offer that service to your employees.
Against this backdrop, organisations carefully consider the implications of hybrid work as new challenges abound. Despite high productivity, the workforce is exhausted with rapidly increasing digital/online fatigue – it is getting more difficult to stay in touch with employees virtually.
Managing a dispersed workforce has meant that organisations have pivoted or are in the process of pivoting to a cloud-enabled model. While this offers significant advantages for remote working, data sharing and virtual collaboration, it has increased the surface for cyber risk. The new digital landscape has created many opportunities for cyber-criminals in Thailand and, indeed, globally.
In face of mounting challenges and evolving risks, the blueprint is clear: organisations must harness technology to enhance working experience and drive organisation goals in the new normal. Global companies have been looking into the design of high-performance computing solutions that will tackle some of the world’s toughest challenges.
“Do not hide behind the word security,” Mohit cautions. Security concerns should not deter people from embracing technology – security concerns must be confronted, not avoided. “Either deal with the risk of security or risk having dissatisfied employees leave.”
Mohit urges delegates to partner with organisations with the expertise to facilitate digital transformation. Experts can assist them to enhance the remote working experience and can make their digital transformation journey smoother, cost-effective and impactful.
Employing leading technologies to confidently transit to hybrid workplaces
John Hampton, Senior Director, Worldwide Customer Field Support, AMD, spoke next about the trends in the future of work, as well as the technologies that can help organisations facilitate transformation.
The pace of change is accelerating exponentially, John asserts. From one device per household, it is now the norm to have one device per user.
While technology used to be an enabler, it is now a foundational piece of the business. No longer is the younger generation the sole adopters of technology – everyone has been forced to embrace technology. Further, people now work from anywhere in a digital economy, as opposed to working from an office in a cash economy. The implications are clear – people expect access from anywhere, anytime, using any device.
The mission at AMD is to use technology innovation to solve the world’s biggest challenge. AMD has been investing and supporting the fight against Covid-19. AMD has been helping with research, stimulation s and high-performance computing working to accelerate the vaccine.
The attendant challenges, John points out, are issues of performance, security, price, reliability, and lower total cost of ownership (TCO), among other issues. While the challenges might seem overwhelming, AMD’s innovation can support these trends. AMD’s value proposition is A + A + A, which means CPUs, GPUs, and software.
John says that AMD has a portfolio that can help innovate and advance technology in a compelling way. He shared that AMD has hardware-based security in their processors. AMD possess a superior ‘zen’ architecture, multi-tier security design, ecosystem collaboration (ISVs, IHVs, CSPs), competitive price, excellent performance and power, industry-standard technology (no vendor lock-in) – all of which makes AMD a viable alternative option.
Some of the technologies include:
- AMD Secure Processor: A hardware root of trust that helps protect the confidentiality and integrity of data with minor impact.
- Secure memory encryption: Full system memory encryption helps defend data against certain cold boot and even physical attacks
- Secure encrypted virtualisation: A set of AMD technologies that help protect virtual machines with up to 509 unique encryption keys known to the processor.
- AMD shadow stack: Provides hardware-enforced stack protection capabilities to help guard against malware attacks.
John speaks of the advanced technology at AMD. The newest CPUs and GPUs are powering the new supercomputer and is delivering staggering performance. The same technology in the supercomputer is used in all the other products by AMD.
AMD also boasts a broad base of supporters including companies in the field of hardware, software, and operating systems. John is excited that AMD is partnering with many new customers in the new ecosystem. “Choice is so important right now,” John asserts, and AMD brings that choice in the different supply chains.
A fitting example is how DBS transformed its data centre with AMD EPYC™ CPUs. DBS Bank Ltd wanted to accelerate its digital transformation with technology at the core, provide greater resiliency, improve sustainability, enable faster release cadences, and lower costs. To enable that required a switch from monolithic systems to wholesale virtualisation across most workloads, particularly the next generation of cloud, machine learning, and AI (Artificial Intelligence).
The resulting solution was transferring DBS’ computing infrastructure from premium highly resilient systems to technologies such as the Dell PowerEdge R7425 and R6525 servers powered by AMD EPYC™ 7542, 7642 and 7742 processors. It also involved running VMware virtualisation, open-source software, and aggressive automation from Day 0 provisioning to Day 2 operations.
As a result, the footprint of a DBS data centre was reduced to a quarter of its size in square feet, consuming half the power and providing a tenfold increase in the room for growth. Coupled with the wide adoption of open-source software and aggressive automation, cloud infrastructure services can now be provisioned in a matter of minutes instead of months.
In closing, John reiterated that AMD can help organisations arrive at technology decisions based on technology competitiveness, future roadmaps (future proof investment), overall TCO benefits, standard implementation to avoid vendor lock-in and dual/multi-vendor solutions. He encouraged delegates to reach out to his team to explore ways they can help.
Strategies to tackle the challenges of a new reality
GP CAPT Amorn Chomchoey, Acting Deputy Secretary-General, National Cyber Security Agency, elaborated on the hybrid workplace situation in Thailand.
Echoing the sentiments of Mohit and John, Amorn posits that hybrid work is inevitable. Increasingly, employees want the best of both worlds – flexible remote work with opportunities for in-person work. At the same time, employees are experiencing a digital overload with the surge in time spent in meetings and chats each week. However, leaders are out of touch with employees who feel disconnected from their up-line managers. Zoom and Teams are not enough, he contends.
Singapore and Greater Asia, Amorn remarks, seem to be faring better – the leadership is more connected with workers and staff seem less exhausted. However, people are likely to move to other positions after they have been separated from their workplace.
Considering these prevailing trends, Amorn offered a few suggestions that organisations can consider to mitigate challenges. Firstly, organisations need to create a plan for more empowerment and flexibility. Additionally, organisations need to invest in technology to bridge the physical and digital world. There is also a real need to combat digital exhaustion from the top. Companies need to prioritise rebuilding social capital and culture. Finally, he emphasised the urgency to rethink employee experience to compete for talents.
Cloud adoption, Amorn adds, is paramount. Many companies recognise the tremendous benefits and are moving to cloud. He pointed out best practices that organisations can adopt while cautioning against common pitfalls that compromise data.
Setting up the right protection and security must be the priority in this age of digital transformation. Yet, security cannot be completely outsourced, he believes. “Even if you have SaaS (Software as a Service), companies still need to take up responsibility for the security.”
In summation, Amorn acknowledges that the world has changed. Organisations need to respond quickly and devise new ways to stay relevant in this changing world. Embracing technology is an indispensable part of that equation.
After the informative presentations, delegates participated in interactive discussions facilitated by polling questions. This activity is designed to provide live-audience interaction, promote engagement, hear real-life experiences, and facilitate discussions that impart professional learning and development for participants.
The first question asked delegates which area they would focus on based on the Thailand Digital Economy Plan. Most of the delegates indicated digital transformation (61%) as their area of focus, followed by enterprise architecture (22%) and work collaboration (17%).
A delegate posits that transformation must begin with processes that people utilise. Agreeing, Mohit adds that technology is the enabler and emphasises the need to upskill the workforce to cope with the demands.
John concurs with the view that digital transformation starts with the people. “People are the most valuable resource at AMD,” he shares. “When organisations place people first, products and profits will follow. Against that backdrop, it is paramount for people to have a digital transformation and security plan in place.”
He is confident that AMD can help organisations accelerate those plans. In addition, he believes that AI and Machine Learning can act as false multipliers for organisations that do not have certain skill sets in place. The key is to be able to balance human resources and technology. If you put people in front you need to give them the process so that they can help you.
When asked about the most important focus of their organisation to ensure that operations can continue efficiently post-COVID-19 pandemic, most delegates indicated their focus to be strengthening business continuity plans (45%). The other delegates prioritised employee satisfaction (25%), reduction of Total Cost of Ownership (20%) and sales strategy to increase revenue (10%).
Focusing on sales is the most important, for Mohit, because all other policies and practices will align when the organisation is driven by revenue. He points out that all the options are important but that organisations need to choose a focus area and a starting point for their journey.
A delegate shared that his organisation is focusing on cloud services to reduce TOC. Without a doubt, cloud has become mainstream for government and all private sectors, Mohit concedes. From his observation, governments have challenged how processes and technology deployment goes into the market.
For some organisations, Amorn points out, costs are a real concern. John recognises costs as a genuine issue and shared that AMD has experience in managing budgets and helping customers get more with their existing budget through various hybrid cloud solutions. For example, AMD has been able to deliver the same or higher level of performance with reduced software and hardware cost, using a single processor to perform what is done in traditional dual-processor data centres.
Inquiring on the main issue executives and management should on decide on when evaluating work-from-home regulation, most delegates indicated platforms and solutions needed to facilitate work-from-home (65%) as the main area. The remaining votes were split between overall productivity (18%), quality of work (12%) and IT infrastructure (5%).
Since work-from-home is here to stay, organisations need to move away from blaming infrastructure or processes, and instead, find solutions through technology. John, too, believes that organisations need to evolve the way they think. To alter the way people work, technology must be deployed in this new reality. The quality of work from employees will improve through improvements in technology.
Mohit is convinced that the workforce in Asia is more tech-savvy now – they own their own smart devices and are interacting with multiple platforms. In fact, they are not only demanding remote working but having access to everything remotely.
A delegate commented that keeping track of people and work has been a challenge. That, Mohit is an issue of culture. The key is not to dwell on the challenge but to find solutions to evolve the platforms that employees use so that it becomes more engaging and appealing. That is the way to retain employees while ensuring that quality work is produced.
John concurs with Mohit and emphasises that organisations can achieve outputs is through culture. Organisations need to consider how they are shaping culture such that it continues to adapt to the modern situation.
Regarding strategies to incentivise and encourage productivity, engagement and collaboration of a remote workforce, more than half the delegates indicated that the flexibility of working from anywhere (55%) is an important strategy, followed by a convergence of personal and professional devices (27%) and secure digital infrastructure (18%).
On the main types of cloud computing organisations work with, delegates were evenly split between private clouds (33%) and hybrid clouds (33%). The remaining votes opted for multi-clouds (28%) and public clouds (6%).
In the last poll, delegates were asked about how their organisation measure the performance of IT Infrastructure. In response, more than half of the delegates selected system performance (55%) as the indicator, followed by the overall Total Cost of Ownership (45%).
“People are waiting for the technology that can change them and their behaviour,” a delegate opines. With the right technology, engagement and connection can enable the workforce to stay motivated and continuously perform.
For Mohit, all the options point to one thing: that hybrid cloud infrastructure is in place for all the other objectives to be achieved.
In closing, John summarised the discussions. It was exciting to note, he said, that the theme of “people as resources” stood out in the discussion. He is a firm believer in the paramount importance of using tech, tools and plans to support people.
Along the same vein, he reiterated the importance of employing the right technologies to mitigate the issues of transiting to hybrid work culture.
While it might sound daunting, partnerships can help to lubricate the process and ease organisations in the move towards change. He underscored the importance of such conversations to understand the challenges that organisations face
John says AMD is s a disruptive force because they deliver a high level of performance at a dramatically lower TOC. He invited delegates to reach out to him and the team if they had queries or wanted to explore ways AMD can help them.
Concluding the session, he thanked all the delegates for their participation and insights on the topic and looked forward to collaborating with them in the near future.
The Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) will be collaborating with a chemical manufacturing corporation in research that will drive new advancements in sustainable lithium battery technologies. The joint project will be led by the Executive Director of the Energy Research Institute at NTU (ERI@N) and Co-Director of NTUSingapore CEA Alliance for Research in Circular Economy (SCARCE), a centre for excellence in innovative solutions for recycling and recovering valuable elements from e-waste.
The Chief Commercial Officer at the chemical manufacturing corporation has played an important role in many breakthroughs in battery research and development. By expanding its R&D partnerships, the company can build on its heritage of innovation and continue to push the boundaries of what is possible and find optimal pathways for progress.
The firm is excited to begin this journey with a pioneering, distinguished scientist like Professor Srinivasan and the entire team at NTU, as new pathways to support advancements in battery technology can be explored.
The Executive Director of the Energy Research Institute at NTU (ERI@N), who will lead the research, is a renowned academic whose research focuses on the circular economy. She worked extensively on research initiatives with battery industry leaders and helps advise on public policies for energy and sustainability in Singapore and around the world. She is also the Executive Director of the Sustainability Office at NTU Singapore, which oversees and integrates sustainability initiatives and innovation across the University and its smart campus.
She noted that NTU Singapore has a strong history of working closely with the industry to commercialise research into tangible and impactful outcomes. The team is excited to collaborate with innovative leaders like the partnering firm, to advance sustainable lithium battery technologies. Their hope is to accelerate a more sustainable approach for lithium-ion batteries used in millions of electric vehicles and portable devices across the world.
The global Lithium-ion Battery Market was US$36.90 billion in 2020. The global market size is projected to reach US$193.13 billion by 2028, exhibiting a CAGR of 23.3% during the forecast period from 2021-2028.
Recent research shows that the continuing demand for power supply for numerous applications, augmented demand for electric vehicles, the surging necessity of battery-operated equipment and machinery in automotive industries, and the usage of lithium-ion batteries in renewable energy applications are sustaining the lithium-ion battery market growth.
As governments across the globe begin imposing guidelines for the monitoring of surging pollution phases. Various industries are being compelled to use lithium-ion batteries. The power industry is working to manufacture renewable energy and stock for future purposes.
In addition, low cost, low-self discharge rate, and negligible installation space are a few of the crucial factors driving the implementation of lithium-ion batteries in smart grid and energy storage systems. Since the product is more resilient to high temperatures, it is perfect for usage in distant areas and thermal control applications. The Asia Pacific region is expected to hold the largest lithium-ion battery market share during the mentioned period.
NTU is home to various leading research centres including the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N). Under the NTU Smart Campus vision, the University harnesses the power of digital technology and tech-enabled solutions to support better learning and living experiences, the discovery of new knowledge, and the sustainability of resources.
Indonesia has great ambitions for its digital economy and has deployed strategies to achieve its ambitions with a goal to reach USD315 billion by 2030. The 2021-2024 Indonesia Digital Roadmap is set on 4 pillars, namely digital infrastructure, digital government, digital economy and digital society.
As part of its strategy, the government is promoting four important digital skills to accelerate its digital economy. The government believes that the future demand for digital skills will be focused on four areas Artificial Intelligence, Bitcoin, Cloud Computing, and Data Analytics (ABCD). The ABCD skills are projected to help the national economy hit its US$315 billion by 2030 target.
Therefore, the Indonesian government is encouraging young people to start businesses through a variety of free programs such as Beta School, 1,000 Startup Movement, Startup Studio, HUB.ID and IGDX.
“Aside from university disciplines, the ABCD is becoming increasingly important for everyone. I believe that all young people require ABCD,” stated Dedy Permadi, Expert Staff of the Minister of Communication and Informatics, in a discussion forum.
Mastering ABCD technical hard skills apart, Indonesian digital talents are also expected to be proficient in non-technical or soft skills known as the 4C’s, which are Complex Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Creativity and Communication.
The Director of SDPPI Kominfo, Ismail, expressed his hope that the young generation in Indonesia would capture the golden opportunity for digitalisation. Digitalisation will transform Indonesia from a consumer country to a prominent player in the new normal.
The government recognises the importance of good infrastructure support in boosting the digital economy. As a result, the government is working to ensure an equitable distribution of internet connection networks across Indonesia, particularly in frontier, remote, and underdeveloped (3T) areas.
According to Ismail, the development of ICT infrastructure must meet three criteria: broad coverage, the deployment of a fibre-optic cable network on the backbone, and affordability, which means that the price is reasonable for the community.
Private operators focus on developing infrastructure in high-demand urban areas and, as a result, the digital divide between cities and towns has grown wider. Consequently, the government is beginning to develop 3T telecommunications in rural, underserved areas.
“We cannot rely solely on private-sector investment. To speed up and accelerate digital transformation, the government must invest in infrastructure,” Ismail said emphatically.
The Ministry of Communication and Information Agency and Telecommunications and Information Accessibility (BAKTI) have also worked to improve and expand internet access for public services throughout Indonesia. BAKTI is working with telecommunications companies to build Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) in remote areas of Indonesia.
“We hope to finish building BTS in all remote areas by 2023 and connect them to the 4G network,” Deddy stated.
Indonesia is a vast archipelagic country. So, relying solely on fibre optic cable networks will make it difficult to provide connectivity. As a result, the government is combining the fibre optic cable network constructed with the 150 Gbps SATRIA 1 satellite.
This multifunctional satellite can provide internet access to 150,000 public service locations in Indonesia, including educational institutions, local governments, defence and security administration, and health facilities. This satellite is scheduled to launch in 2023.
The government has begun construction of the first National Data Centre in the Delta Mas Region, GIIC, Cikarang District, Bekasi Regency, West Java Province, in connection with its digital strategy. It will then gradually expand data centres in Nongsa Digital Park in Batam, Riau Archipelago, the new National Capital City (IKN) in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, and Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara.
The creation of this government data centre is intended to promote efficiency, effectiveness, state data sovereignty, and national data consolidation as part of the One Data Indonesia initiative. “This (data centre) is critical because government data management is critical to developing society’s transformation into a digital society,” Deddy said.
The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) affirmed its strategic co-incubation partnership with a Canada-focused venture capital firm to identify promising international start-ups seeking to expand their innovation journey to Hong Kong, into the GBA and beyond.
With a proven track record in life science start-ups, the VC firm will work with HKSTP to build an inbound stream of early and mid-stage ventures. The co-incubation programme aims to bring several strong-performing ventures to Hong Kong with a focus on biotech, but also on other deep-tech areas such as ESG, advanced materials, edutech and AI.
To date, as Hong Kong’s largest technological ecosystem, HKSTP has helped accelerate growth for hundreds of outstanding start-ups, raising over HK$80.2 billion in total funding in the past five years. During the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the total valuation of HKSTP’s acceleration programme start-ups grew over 250% while total investment funds raised have also doubled.
The partnership with the VC firm is the most recent of HKSTP’s series of strategic co-incubation programmes with global market leaders in the industry, investment, R&D and academia, which further elevate Hong Kong’s innovation and technology (I&T) ecosystem strength as a global springboard to success.
Riding on Hong Kong’s thriving biotech market and the city’s status as the world’s second-largest biotech fundraising hub, the co-incubation partnership also recognises HKSTP’s impact and success in building a vibrant biotech ecosystem in Hong Kong.
The Head of Incubation and Acceleration Programmes at HKSTP stated that the co-incubation partnership with an international player like the partnering firm validates Hong Kong’s unique and growing status as a global I&T hub helping international start-ups go beyond borders in their global growth journey.
She noted that with a pipeline of seed stage and series A start-up’s already in place, this proves the strength of the HKSTP innovation ecosystem and confirms that Hong Kong is open again for global business and an ideal launchpad for high-growth tech ventures seeking GBA, regional and global expansion.
The Managing Partner of the VC firm stated that the signing of this co-incubation agreement will allow the two parties to incubate and introduce promising global start-ups to scale their businesses in Asia. The firm will continue to leverage its unique cross-pacific networks and investment niches in transformative life science technologies to enrich Hong Kong’s innovation ecosystem with more ground-breaking technologies from North American start-ups.
The programme features co-incubation activities ranging from business development, consulting and training to mentoring sessions for qualified overseas start-ups. Participating entrepreneurs will also create proofs-of-concept and pilot initiatives.
The start-ups will tap into the investment and international business network reach of the firm while also formally joining the HKSTP innovation ecosystem to access product validation, commercialisation and go-to-market expertise from HKSTP and its wider network of partners.
Specialising in investing globally in science and technology-based start-ups, the VC firm has been active in Hong Kong and Asia with its specific focus on nurturing start-ups that aspire to expand to China and Asia. In 2019 it facilitated eight Canadian start-ups from prestigious start-up programmes to come to Hong Kong to gain deeper insights into strategic landing tactics and expansion into the Asian markets. This latest partnership with HKSTP has forged a new level of commitment to the Hong Kong I&T ecosystem.
The Singapore Food Agency (SFA), National University of Singapore (NUS), Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL), and seven industry partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop the AquaPolis Programme.
The AquaPolis Programme is an initiative under Singapore Food Story R&D Programme 2.0. It envisions Singapore as a leading research and innovation cluster for sustainable tropical aquaculture. The aim is to gather local and overseas aquaculture researchers and industry partners to foster strategic synergies in developing innovative and sustainable solutions while cultivating talent for the industry’s workforce.
AquaPolis will capitalise on the technical, operational and research expertise of strategic partners to achieve translational R&D results, in improving the productivity and competitiveness of our local farms towards Singapore’s “30 by 30” food security goal.
This goal aims to build the agri-food industry’s capability and capacity to sustainably produce 30% of Singapore’s nutritional needs by 2030. Beyond local production, the developed solutions and innovations may also be relevant to agri-food industries in other regional countries and contribute to sustainable food practices and enhance our food security, particularly in the light of climate change.
The MoU demonstrates the shared commitment of SFA, NUS, and TLL in R&D collaboration, and exchanges with industry partners on the knowledge of cultivation and intensification of sustainable aquaculture production in Singapore.
The MoU was jointly signed by the Chief Executive Officer of SFA; the Deputy President (Research and Technology) of NUS; the Chief Executive Officer of TLL as well as major heads from the seven industry partners.
The Chief Executive Officer of SFA stated that the agency welcomes the strategic collaboration. He noted that it is exciting to see R&D talents from local and overseas institutions as well as our key industry partners, coming together with innovation and sustainability in mind, to build Singapore’s capabilities and capacity in aquaculture within Singapore and beyond.
The aquaculture industry plays a key role in Singapore and the world’s food security, and the leader is confident that these collective efforts will strengthen food security and build a resilient food future for Singapore.
The Deputy President (Research and Technology) of NUS stated that the University is excited to host the AquaPolis Programme. The University looks forward to collaborating closely with the Singapore Food Agency and Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory to co-create innovative research solutions to address challenges in tropical aquaculture.
The Chief Executive Officer of TLL stated that AquaPolis represents a milestone in Singapore’s 20-year journey to bring together partners, with a vision to transform our aquatic food systems to be more sustainable and resilient for a growing population considering global climate changes.
The Lab looks forward, together with SFA and NUS in partnership with the industry partners, to help lay the foundation for research-based innovation to address challenges faced by the industry today and to nurture the next generation of aquaculture champions to benefit all consumers in Singapore.
SFA will be uplifting the aquaculture industry in the coming years through the Singapore Aquaculture Plan (SAP). Through the SAP, SFA will focus on productive and sustainable production and unlock the full potential of sea-based fish farming.
- Unlocking new spaces through sea space tenders and longer leases;
- Supporting the aquaculture sector to transform into one that is highly productive, climate-resilient and resource-efficient using technology and adopting appropriate farm management methods. These include conducting environmental surveys and water and seabed quality surveys to better inform farm management;
- Supporting research and innovation for sustainable tropical aquaculture through leveraging on SFA’s Marine Aquaculture Centre.
Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has recently updated its platform known as Chief Technology Officer-as-a-Service (CTO-as-a-Service). The platform enables SMEs to self-assess their digital readiness and needs at any time and from any location, as well as access market-proven and cost-effective digital solutions and engage digital consultants for in-depth advisory and project management services.
This is for any business entity that wants to know how to start going digital, understand what type of solutions to adopt for its specific business challenge, or choose the solution that best meets its needs.
An enterprise can benefit from CTO-as-a-Service through:
- Conduct a self-evaluation of its digital readiness and pinpoint its gaps and needs in terms of digitalisation;
- Study other Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) that have carried out digitalisation projects successfully;
- Receive digital solution suggestions based on the business’s needs and profile; and
- Evaluate the features and costs of various digital solutions.
There are more than 450 subsidised digital solutions available for selection, including those that address industry-specific or general business needs, as well as those that serve to streamline operations, increase business sales revenue, or ensure business resiliency.
The business can also work with digital consultants from the designated operators through CTO-as-a-Service, for digital advisory to assist:
- Seek a deeper comprehension of its business priorities and needs;
- Create training plans and digital solutions specifically for its businesses;
- Include fundamental data usage, protection, and cybersecurity risks in the digitalisation process.
The business may also ask digital consultants to assist with project managing the rollout of its digitalisation initiatives.
Eligible businesses can use digital advisory and project management services for free for the first time. Should the businesses want to keep using digital consultants, future usage or service enhancement will be based on commercial agreements.
Any company that satisfies the requirements below is qualified to use free project management and digital advisory services for the first time:
- Licensed and active in Singapore;
- A minimum of 30 per cent local shareholding;
- Enterprise’s group employment size is no more than 200 employees, or the group’s annual sales turnover is no more than S$100 million;
- Has never previously used CTO-as-a-Service digital consultants.
Meanwhile, SMEs are the backbone of Singapore’s economy. They employ two-thirds of the country’s workers and contribute almost half of Singapore’s GDP. Since digital technology is changing every part of Singapore’s economy, SMEs need to take advantage of digital technologies to grow and do well.
The SMEs Go Digital programme, which was started by the IMDA in April 2017, is meant to make going digital easy for SMEs. More than 80,000 SMEs have used the programme’s digital solutions.
Enterprises can also use advanced and integrated solutions to improve their capabilities, strengthen business continuity measures, and build longer-term resilience. Solutions that are supported by government agencies solve common problems at the enterprise level on a large scale, help enterprises adopt new technologies, and make it easier for enterprises to do business within or across sectors.
IMDA works with sector-led agencies and industry players to find advanced and integrated digital solutions that can be supported and are relevant to their sectors. Companies that want to use these solutions can check the IMDA website to find out when they can apply for each one.
Costs for hardware, software, infrastructure, connectivity, cybersecurity, integrations, development, improvement, and project management can be covered by funding support. With this, the agency has kept helping businesses, and the list of solutions that are supported will grow, with an emphasis on AI-enabled and cloud-based solutions.
Taiwan City Science Lab @ Taipei Tech demonstrated a series of cutting-edge AI applications. The lab exhibit advanced AI applications and their research and development results, such as the mobile robot, a AI robotic fish and Campus Rover.
The cross-disciplinary R&D and teaching laboratory aims to be a global technology and talent exchange platform. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Taipei Tech are coming together to jointly established City Science Lab @ Taipei Tech.
“Through developing advanced AI technology and big data system, we plan to make Taiwan the island of high-end technology,” said Yao Leehter, Taipei Tech Chair Professor of the Department of Electrical Engineering.
Yao indicated that Taipei Tech alums highly support the lab. The lab also collaborates with Kent Larson, the leader of MIT City Science Lab, the City Science Lab @ Taipei Tech aims to be an international platform for technology and talent exchange.
Taipei Tech adopts and jointly promotes with MIT to implement the Undergraduate Scientific Research Programme. Known as UROP, the programme provides sufficient resources for students and cultivates a new generation of scientific researchers. The collaboration was initially rolled out in 1969 by MIT’s first President, William Rogers.
For students to learn the most modern and state-of-the-art technology applications, the lab provides advanced equipment for R&D purposes, such as mobile robots. The agile, mobile robot can adapt to complex terrains and is equipped with LIDAR, infrared, and stereo vision sensors, which can draw 3D point cloud maps in real-time and detect and dodge obstacles. The mobile robot is used in decommissioned nuclear power plants, factories, construction sites, and offshore drilling oil platforms. Another mobile robot use case is for patrol, troubleshooting, and leak detection.
In addition, the lab also showcased its R&D results which are the AI robotic fish to the advanced instrumental equipment. The robotic fish is a streamlined robot designed to resemble a real fish. The fish robot comprehends and mimics the motion model of swimming fish through machine learning.
The robot can swim underwater in a simulated way. To perfectly mimic the fish movement, researchers have spent significant time collecting massive movement data from real fish, documenting, and analysing the swimming performance. Afterwards, they utilised AI technology and programme coding to control the motoric movement of the robotic fish.
The team then spent a year adjusting the robotic fish to make the swim movement look like a real fish. Machinery fish propulsion efficiency and excellent swimming performance are considered one of the most critical subjects in bionics.
“The robotic fish is useful for biological research and can also be used to carry out underwater operations and examine water quality,” said Yao.
Recently, the fish robot was involved in movie production. During the designing process, the production house team suggested adding a “cloth” on the fish with fish skin and fish scale to make it more lifelike. The company also came up with the idea to use a magnet to stick the fish scale on the body of the robotic fish. Taiwan Textile Research Institute and the local design research group joined the brainstorming and production process to finish the golden fish’s final look onscreen.
Moreover, The Campus Rover, developed by the team of Professor Yao in cooperation with the Taipei Tech Department of Industrial Design, demonstrated practical AI applications in real life. For example, campus or express hospital service can use the self-charging robot to ensure delivery safety.
In a process that could be compared to travelling through a wormhole, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and other institutions sent quantum information across a quantum system. The Sycamore quantum processor device was used in this experiment, which pave the way for more quantum computer research into gravitational physics and string theory in the future.
Calculations from the experiment showed that qubits moved from one system of entangled particles to another in a model of gravity, even though this experiment didn’t produce a disruption of physical space and time in the sense that might understand the term “wormhole” from science fiction.
A wormhole connects two far-off regions of spacetime. Nothing is allowed to travel through the wormhole in the general theory of relativity. But in 2019, some scientists hypothesised that an entangled black hole-created wormhole might be passable.
By introducing a direct interaction between the distant spacetime regions and using a straightforward quantum dynamical system of fermions, physicists have discovered a quantum mechanism to make wormholes traversable. This type of “wormhole teleportation” was also created by researchers using entangled quantum systems, and the outcomes were confirmed using classical computers.
In this experiment, researchers used the Sycamore 53-qubit quantum processor to teleport a quantum state from one quantum system to another to send a signal “through the wormhole.” The research team had to find entangled quantum systems that behaved as predicted by quantum gravity while also being small enough to run on current-generation quantum computers.
Finding a simple enough many-body quantum system that maintains gravitational properties was a key challenge for this work. The team gradually reduced the connectivity of highly interacting quantum systems using machine learning (ML) techniques to accomplish this. Each example of a system with behaviour that is consistent with quantum gravity that emerged from this learning process only needed about 10 qubits, making it the ideal size for the Sycamore processor.
It was crucial to find such tiny examples because larger systems with hundreds of qubits would not have been able to function on the quantum platforms currently in use. The team observed the same information on the other 10-qubit quantum system on the processor after inserting a qubit into one system and sending an energy shockwave across the processor after doing so.
Depending on whether a positive or negative shockwave was applied, the team measured how much quantum information was transferred between two quantum systems. The researchers demonstrated that a causal path between the two quantum systems can be established if the wormhole is kept open for enough time by the negative energy shockwaves. It is true that the qubit that was inserted into one system also appears in the other.
The team then used conventional computer calculations to confirm these and other properties. Running a simulation on a traditional computer is not like this. A conventional simulation, which involves the manipulation of classical bits, zeros, and ones, cannot create a physical system, even though it is possible to simulate the system on a classical computer and this was done as described in this paper.
Future quantum gravity experiments could be conducted using more advanced entangled systems and larger quantum computers because of this new research. This research does not replace direct observations of quantum gravity, such as those obtained through the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory’s detection of gravitational waves.