PM Lee Hsien Loong made a speech at the Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre Groundbreaking Ceremony on 13 October 2020, in the presence of Mr Sung Yun-mo, Minister of Trade, Industry & Energy, Republic of Korea and Mr Chung Eui-sun, Executive Vice Chairman, Hyundai.
He opened by mentioning the history Hyundai has with Singapore. “Singapore’s relationship with Hyundai goes back a long way. It started when Hyundai Engineering and Construction (HDEC) helped us reclaim land at Pulau Tekong in 1981, nearly 40 years ago.”
“As for Hyundai Motor the first Hyundai cars appeared on our roads in the mid-1980s.”
“First Facility of its kind in the world”
The Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre is the first facility of its kind in the world. It will allow Hyundai to develop new automotive technologies, including the production of electric cars. The new facility will be located in Jurong Innovation District, which already houses a vibrant ecosystem of researchers, technology partners and factories of the future.
The PM added “In fact, you will be neighbours with the NTU Smart Campus, which aims to be a living testbed of tech-enabled solutions like electric vehicles. I hope that this will make it easier for your discussions to bear fruit, and for Singapore technology to power Hyundai cars all over the world.”
The new Innovation Centre will enable Hyundai to pilot new manufacturing models, to meet the demand for mass personalisation of cars through small-scale factories in urban areas. It is an investment of almost $400 million, and may produce up to 30,000 vehicles per year by 2025, five years from now.
Singapore’s drive for autonomous and electric vehicle roll out
Singapore has also been developing plans for autonomous and electric vehicle research and development.
“Singapore’s goal is to have all our vehicles run on cleaner energy by 2040, in line with our Paris Agreement commitments, so that our air is cleaner, and Singaporeans can have a better quality of life. Earlier this year, we announced plans to catalyse Electric Vehicle demand, and to build Electric Vehicle infrastructure like charging points ahead of demand. Now we are taking another step to anchor the value chain here with Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre, as the first Electric Vehicle manufacturing facility in Singapore.”
“Automotive activities are becoming viable in Singapore once again. Electric Vehicles have a different supply chain, fewer mechanical parts and more electronics, which plays to Singapore’s strengths. That is why global companies producing automotive electronics like Delphi and Infineon are already in Singapore and have been here for some time.”
“We hope this will open up new growth areas for our economy, and create exciting jobs for Singaporeans, for example Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) engineers, data scientists, cobot technicians and digital supply chain strategists. These job titles did not even exist a few years ago, but these jobs are now on the cutting edge, and demand new skills. Young Singaporeans may not have these skills in the first instance, but they will learn from the engineers that you bring here from Korea and elsewhere in the world, as we did in the past. And over time, I am confident that we will build up a Singaporean workforce with these skills.”
The Prime Minister noted that the HMGICS is an important milestone in the economic relationship between Singapore and South Korea. It will pave the way for more Korean companies to invest in Singapore, partner with local suppliers and SMEs, and collaborate with universities and research institutes.
He added that Government authorities and agencies such as EDB, JTC, ESG and A*STAR will all work closely with Hyundai to support these partnerships. He said that “Hyundai Motor is already in discussions with NTU and A*STAR, for example, to use AI in autonomous driving.”
The Assurance, Care and Engagement (ACE) Group, in partnership with the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group, the Building and Construction Authority, the Economic Development Board and industry partners such as The Singapore Contractors Association, will be distributing more than 450,000 contact-tracing devices to all migrant and local workers living or working in dormitories, as well as those in the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process sectors.
The distribution of the devices will be carried out in phases from 18 October 2020 and is expected to be completed by early November 2020.
Contract Tracing Devices purpose built for worksite environments
The contact-tracing devices, BluePass tokens, are purpose-built for the dormitory and worksite environment. They are compact and water-resistant, and can be worn at all times.
They will be interoperable with and complement the use of the TraceTogether app on migrant workers’ smartphones, as some workers may not always be carrying their phones at work and at the dormitories.
The ACE Group and sector agencies will trial and evaluate how these tokens function and perform in the rugged work environments, and how the data from the tokens can help improve contact tracing and the quarantine process when new COVID-19 cases are detected.
Tokens will help minimise COVID-19 transmission and work disruptions
This will benefit employers and workers because only close contacts will be isolated, thereby minimising any work disruptions.
Data can also be extracted from the tokens, to assess the extent of intermixing amongst the workers. This can help employers and workers better understand how preventive measures can be taken to minimise intermixing and potential transmission of the virus.
The contact-tracing devices will be distributed with the support of the Forward Assurance and Support Teams to migrant workers living in purpose-built dormitories.
Workers living in other types of accommodation will be issued their devices at Regional Screening Centres for Rostered Routine Tests.
Self-collection points will be set up for workers residing in decant sites and other forms of accommodation. Employers and workers will be informed of the collection dates subsequently.
Photo Credit: www.gov.sg
Enterprise Singapore and the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support enterprise development through industrial and digital transformation in sectors of common interest, including advanced manufacturing, digitalisation and innovation, medical technology and healthcare, and future of mobility.
Under the MOU, Enterprise Singapore and APA will co-organise the refreshed Germany Singapore Business Forum Connect which will feature sector-specific events held throughout the year to facilitate more frequent collaborations between German and Singapore companies.
Mr Peter Ong, Chairman of Enterprise Singapore and Co-Chair of GSBF Connect, said, “In this changing business environment, our enterprises need to connect with one another in more and better ways. Germany and Singapore are trusted partners who place a high emphasis on delivering quality and innovative products and services. The MOU between Enterprise Singapore and APA will cement this commitment to help our companies collaborate and leverage each other’s strengths. I look forward to forging new partnerships with Germany, and welcoming our German friends and partners to join us for the upcoming series of GSBF Connect events.”
Partnerships between Singapore and German companies are expected to grow as both countries deepen business ties through a suite of initiatives. In the last four years alone, the Germany Singapore Business Forum (GSBF) has brought together more than 400 German and Singapore companies.
Platforms such as the GSBF have raised interest amongst Singapore companies to explore opportunities in
Germany, as reflected in the number of business missions to Germany led by Enterprise Singapore which has almost doubled on a year-on-year basis.
The number of business missions to Germany increased from 13 in 2018 to 22 in 2019, benefitting over 150 companies in 2019, across sectors including advanced manufacturing, medical technology and healthcare, future of mobility, and e-sports.
Prof. Axel Stepken, Chairman of the Management Board TÜV SÜD AG and Co-Chair of GSBF Connect, said, “Singapore is attractive to German companies in several ways – as a proven long-term partner with whom new technologies and innovative business models can be developed, but also as an experienced bridge builder into the emerging ASEAN region.
“Singapore has a strong record as a leading R&D hub and digital trendsetter, while German companies are known for their ability to manufacture state-of-the-art machinery and products. I still see many fields and sectors in which we can bring our specific strengths together. With the GSBF Connect, we want to make a relevant contribution to realize these untapped potentials.”
The first edition of GSBF Connect, dedicated to the manufacturing sector, will be held virtually during Industrial Transformation ASIA-PACIFIC 20203 on 21 October. A second edition of GSBF Connect will be held during the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology on 9 December 2020.
Singapore and German SMEs have collaborated in co-innovation projects under the Germany-Singapore SME Funding Programme, jointly managed by Enterprise Singapore, and AiF Projekt GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
A new partnership between Singapore Polytechnic, German testing, inspection and certification company TÜV SÜD, industrial automation leader Delta Electronics and Singapore’s Smart I4.0 Transformation Alliance (SiTA) was announced on 14 October 2020.
A recent Straits Time survey revealed that 8 in 10 employees in Singapore want to work from home and have more flexibility.
As employee expectations and needs change in the new normal, the necessity to have creative and intelligent digital workspace has become the top priority for all employers. Appreciating the relevance and expedience of this issue, OpenGov Asia hosted an OpenGovLive! Breakfast Insight on 15 October to learn about and explore modern digital workspaces for the new normal.
The session witnessed an overwhelming response from the audience in terms of attendance, diversity and engagement. Comprised of senior public sector digital executives from various Singapore agencies, the attendees were eager to discuss, debate and determine what a digital workspace would look like.
Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief at OpenGov Asia, opened the session by recapping how the world was forced to adapt to new ways of working and how that has fundamentally changed the way organisations – public and private – function.
With the remote working in place, it is important to ensure employees have the necessary access to relevant data and applications from any device at any location at any time. Mohit emphasised that this need to enable broad access to employees across an organisation raises significant security issues. The immediate acknowledgement and feedback from delegates validated this concern.
This issue becomes even significantly magnified in the public sector as they did not get the chance to slow down during the pandemic and, on the contrary, were under greater pressure to continue to deliver existing citizens-services and additional emergency measures as well.
Mohit stressed that it is key is to strike the right balance between making data accessible and keeping it safe. He concluded by advising delegates from public sector industry to partner with the right people, experts in the field, who can make it easier for them to strike the access and safety balance rather than trying to do everything inhouse.
After Mohit’s thought-provoking presentation, Prem Pavan, Area Vice President Sales and Services Asia (ASEAN & Korea), Citrix shared his learnings and experience with the audience.
Prem began by explaining that Citrix as an organisation has been dedicated to enabling digital workspaces that are fully equipped with all employee requirements, irrespective of the physical space they are working from.
He brought out some interesting remote working trends they had observed over the last 6 months. These trends highlighted the conclusion, many had already come to, that remote working was here to stay. Not only because of the current pandemic but because employees are more productive, feel more comfortable at home and do have some hesitancy in coming back to their offices just yet.
Prem also opined that the adaptive workplace with a greater focus on cloud and digital transformation is going to be the new norm for organisations across the board – in both the public and the private sector. Additionally, existing physical workplaces will undergo fundamental infrastructural changes in terms of seating plans, desk space and collaborative common areas.
Although remote working is set to become the new norm, it is not without its own set of challenges. The biggest of these is enabling secure access to various data and applications to employees using different devices from different locations at different times.
Prem reiterated the need to nail the act of balancing security, productivity and competitive differentiation. In closing, he offered Citrix’s full support to all public sector organisations in their digital workspace journeys.
After Prem’s informative presentation, Lynn Warneke, Corporate Operations Director and Chief Information Officer at the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) at Victoria shared her thoughts on the topic.
Lynn began by revealing to the audience that she was a true believer in the digitisation of citizen experience by digitally empowering the staff in the public sector and had done this when she joined the DPC two years ago.
Her goal was to enable a high-performance DPC through a collaborative and personalised staff experience enabled by flexible workspaces and premium digital tools and processes underpinned by effective services and solutions.
The first step towards achieving this goal was strategy formulation that rested on four pillars:
- Strengthening Foundations
- Maturing Operations
- Partnering in Reform
- Transforming Experience
The second step included initiating a program, IGNITE, that would help combine the physical, the digital, and the people transform their physical environment, introduce new digital platforms and tools and assist the workforce to move to new ways of working.
Lynn shared the outcomes of strategising and implementing the above-mentioned program which includes:
- Improved collaboration
- Easier communication
- Stronger engagement and improved connection for distributed staff
- Enhanced individual and team flexibility
- Higher productivity
Lynn concluded on a positive note by highlighting the silverling that has emerged out of the dark cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic. This silver lining is the realisation that digital transformation can genuinely enhance organisations’ capability to deliver and can be implemented over a short span of time.
After Lynn, D.N. Prasad, Senior Director, Strategy, People, and Organisation from Government Technology Agency of Singapore spoke about some of his learnings.
Prasad started by emphasising the importance of people as the most valuable resource in today’s world; and since their wellbeing is the responsibility of senior leaders in any organisation, the onus on leaders is high.
He felt that the world is still in the process of learning and adapting to the new normal which he called the “current normal” which seems to change every day.
Prasad suggested the best way for organisations to go through this dynamic time to prioritise people, leadership and culture. In addition, it is important to understand that the workplace is undergoing fundamental changes. The future workspace will have social (digital/virtual) collaboration at its core rather than a designated physical place.
Like Lynn, Prasad advised the delegates to look at the positive side that has emerged out of the crisis. It includes better focus and decision making in companies, more willingness to innovate, more agile work culture and better customer solutions.
He concluded by sharing some call to action points for the leaders in organisations:
- Have a more holistic rather than individualistic approach
- Drive continuous change in the organisation
- Be the role models for others to follow
After the information presentations, the programme moved into the interactive polling session.
On the first question regarding initiatives that are of highest priority in the current times, the delegates seemed equally split amongst all four options with a slightly higher inclination towards technology simplification (32%).
A senior delegate from a media company reflected that for him, understanding and motivating employees working remotely is the biggest challenge. It’s hard to encourage the employees to collaborate and coordinate when you have no physical contact with them.
On the next question about being well equipped to support a fully remote workforce, a major chunk of the delegates voted that they have all the tools required to allow remote work seamlessly (48%).
To this, a delegate from the National Library Board reflected that he voted for not fully supportive of the remote working because even though the employees have all the tools and technology they require to work from home, the problem is a loss of a personal connection; no tool or technology can help establish that connection.
On the final question of the biggest security challenge faced by organisations with a remote workforce, a majority of the audience voted for lack of robust tools to proactively detect malicious user-behaviour (40%).
An executive from the telecom industry shared that she voted for endpoint management because, with the flexibility to work remotely, employees are bringing in a number of their own devices that leads to major security issues and concerns. She also shared that this is not a challenge for their organisation currently, but they are putting in a lot of effort to avoid it.
The session concluded with closing remarks from Prem. He thanked all the delegates and speaker for joining the session and sharing their insights and feedback.
He re-emphasised the importance of people, the need to simplify processes and technology and the vital role of leadership in this process as some of the key takeaways from the session.
In closing, he invited delegates to learn more about this extremely important topic at the upcoming summits and sessions organised by Citrix.
Imperial College Business School and the Lee Kong Chian School of Business at Singapore Management University (SMU) yesterday launched the Singapore Green Finance Centre (SGFC), Singapore’s first research institute dedicated to green finance research and talent development.
The SGFC is supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and nine founding partners: Bank of China Limited, BNP Paribas, Fullerton Fund Management, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Schroders, Standard Chartered Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and UBS AG.
An advisory board, which includes MAS, both academic institutions, and the nine founding partners, will provide guidance on the strategic direction of the SGFC.
Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS, said, “MAS is committed to developing a vibrant green finance research and talent ecosystem in Singapore, to support Asia’s transition to a low carbon future. The SGFC will be an important part of this ecosystem, bringing together two leading academic institutions in environmental science and financial economics. We are especially heartened by the strong industry support for the SGFC, which will be key to its success.”
The SGFC will draw on the respective strengths of Imperial and SMU in climate science, financial economics, and sustainable investing – equipping professionals with new skills and developing a strong pipeline of green finance talent.
Its research and training will enable financial institutions, corporates, and policymakers to improve the management of environmental risks, develop financial solutions to promote environmental sustainability, and design policies for a sustainable future.
Research to support the transition to a low carbon future
The SGFC will pursue research to help develop strategies for policymakers and financial institutions to support Asia’s transition to a low carbon future. The research will be co-created with industry to ensure applicability and relevance, and will cover three key themes:
- transforming businesses by integrating climate-related data and environmental, social & governance (ESG) considerations into decision-making
- designing policies and new initiatives that can improve the efficiency of green finance markets
- catalysing the development of green finance solutions.
To equip professionals with skills in climate finance and applied knowledge in Asian markets, the SGFC will offer an array of courses across various levels – undergraduate, post-graduate, continuing and professional education.
This will develop a strong pipeline of green finance talent which financial institutions and service providers can tap as they expand teams and deepen green finance capabilities to serve the growing needs of Singapore and the region.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced Singapore’s Safer Cyberspace Masterplan 2020 at the opening ceremony of the virtual Singapore International Cyber Week last week.
Building on the 2016 Singapore Cybersecurity Strategy, the Masterplan outlines a blueprint for the creation of a safer and more secure cyberspace in Singapore.
The Masterplan was developed in consultation with industry and academic partners, it aims to raise the general level of cybersecurity for individuals, communities, enterprises, and organisations. It comprises three strategic goals: Securing core digital infrastructure, Safeguarding our cyberspace activities; and Empowering our cyber-savvy population.
Mr David Koh, Commissioner of Cybersecurity and Chief Executive, CSA, said: “Singapore’s digital transformation to achieve our Smart Nation goals in this post-COVID environment must be undergirded and enabled by robust cybersecurity.”
“To leverage the opportunities, we must also mitigate the risks. To this end, the Safer Cyberspace Masterplan aims to raise the general level of cybersecurity in Singapore for Singaporeans, our enterprises and organisations. Cybersecurity is a collective responsibility, where all stakeholders can and must play a role to protect ourselves in the digital domain.”
Securing our Core Digital Infrastructure
The first goal outlined was to defend Singapore’s cyberspace at the outset by minimising vulnerabilities in Internet architecture, devices and endpoints, and enterprise applications. Through this approach, end-users connected to the Internet in Singapore will have reduced exposure to known cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
He said that by strengthening the protection of the Internet architecture in Singapore, the Government will collaborate with Mobile Network Operators to secure Singapore’s 5G networks, and review and update the Multi-Tier Cloud Security standard for Cloud services.
The Government will also help consumers make informed decisions on the level of security offered by smart devices, by introducing the Cybersecurity Labelling Scheme to better secure user devices and endpoints.
To safeguard enterprise applications, enterprises are encouraged to leverage the National Digital Identity’s trusted services, such as MyInfo and SingPass Login, to augment their own identity assurance and authentication processes.
Safeguarding Digital Activities
The second goal aims to ensure swift detection and remediation of malicious cyber activities at the national and enterprise levels, in order to minimise the impact and damage caused by cyber threats.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that the Government will strengthen Singapore’s national malicious cyber activity detection and analysis capabilities with key initiatives such as an Artificial Intelligence-enabled Cyber Fusion Platform for threat detection and analysis, as well as an Internet of Things Threat Analytics Platform.
He added that enterprises must also play their part to protect themselves against cyber threats. The Government will support these efforts by introducing self-help resources and solutions for enterprises, through an Internet Cyber Hygiene Portal, and an integrated and automated Security-as-a-Service solution.
Empowering Singapore’s Cyber-Savvy Population
The third aim of the Masterplan seeks to empower our population to respond to cyber threats. This can be achieved through enhancing awareness of how to protect ourselves in cyberspace, changing our attitudes towards cybersecurity and encouraging the adoption of cybersecurity measures.
At the enterprise level, the Government will develop resources and toolkits that are customised for enterprise leaders, employees, Chief Information Security Officers and cybersecurity teams, so that enterprise leaders can make good decisions on addressing cyber risks that their enterprises face.
In addition, to encourage enterprises to adopt cybersecurity, the Government will roll out a voluntary SG Cyber Safe Trustmark by 2021. With the Trustmark, enterprises can demonstrate that they have put in place cybersecurity processes and measures. Clients can then select enterprises with the requisite cybersecurity assurance to meet their needs.
At the community level, CSA will also continue to expand its outreach efforts through the GoSafeOnline Community Outreach Programme.
Photo Credit: CSA
The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore organised the 15th annual ASEAN Computer Emergency Response Team Incident Drill (ACID) last week on 7 October 2020. This was held alongside the fifth Singapore International Cyber Week.
Hosted by Singapore since 2006, the Incident Drills test incident response procedures and strengthens cybersecurity preparedness and cooperation among Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) in ASEAN Member States and Partners.
Malware Campaign Leveraging the Pandemic Situation
This year’s theme, “Malware Campaign Leveraging the Pandemic Situation”, was chosen in view of the rapid increase of malicious campaigns leveraging the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic across multiple sectors, in many countries in the earlier part of the year.
During a brief pre-drill dialogue, the participants also agreed that it was an opportune time to raise awareness and preparedness against opportunistic campaigns.
The scenario injects are based on the Emotet malware campaign, given its prevalence, and the range of cybersecurity events that may occur following a successful Emotet malware infection.
Computer Emergency Response Teams from all of ASEAN represented
All the Computer Emergency Response Teams from the 10 ASEAN Member States and five key Dialogue Partners from Australia, China, India, Japan, and South Korea, were represented this year.
They were required to investigate, analyse, and recommend remediation and mitigation measures to a series of scenarios injects with varying levels of complexity. The drill this year was well-received and the participating Computer Emergency Response Teams provided positive feedback.
Leading the exercise is Ms Goh Yan Kim, Deputy Director, SingCERT, CSA. Ms Goh said, “With the pandemic resulting in a heavier reliance on the internet, cybersecurity is now more important than ever. These exercises are essential to foster trust and preparedness among CERTs in ASEAN and our Dialogue Partners to respond to current and emerging threats. We look forward to conducting more of these exercises in future.”
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) jointly organised a webinar for the international shipping and port community yesterday, 8th October 2020.
The message at the “Future of Shipping – Digitalisation” webinar was that international standards and collaboration are needed to unlock digitalisation’s full potential to drive efficient, resilient and green shipping.
Maritime digitalisation offers clear benefits to the international maritime and port community
“Digitalisation across global supply chains is a mammoth task, and IMO has a vital role to play in this transformation,” said Mr Chee Hong Tat, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State of the Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in his opening remarks.
Mr Chee added, “Digitalisation is a national imperative for Singapore. Together with our industry, Singapore will continue to collaborate with IMO and Member States in their digitalisation efforts.”
“The pandemic has shown that shipping remains the leading facilitator of global trade,” said Mr Kitack Lim, IMO’s Secretary-General. “Digitalisation is key in enabling the post-COVID recovery, strengthening the resilience of the global supply chain and taking shipping into a new era.”
“IMO is working to ensure shipping can embrace the digital revolution – while ensuring safety, environmental protection as well as cyber security. Cooperation between all relevant stakeholders, from shipping, ports and logistics, will be vital to drive the digitalisation of shipping, enhance its efficiency and the sustainability, and therefore facilitating trade and fostering economic prosperity.”
Enhancing cybersecurity awareness within the maritime sector
The Port Authorities Chief Information Officer (CIO) Cybersecurity Network (PACC-Net) was also launched at the webinar. With the support of nine ports, this network will enhance cybersecurity awareness within the maritime sector and facilitate early sharing of cyber information to counter potential and active maritime cybersecurity threats.
The participating partners are Abu Dhabi Ports, Port of Antwerp, Port Klang Authority, Port of Kobe, Port of Long Beach, Port of Montreal, Port of Rotterdam, Port of Seattle and MPA.
Mr David Foo, MPA’s Senior Director, Operations-Technology, presented how maritime digitalisation offers clear benefits to the international maritime and port community to improve the efficiency and resilience of supply chains.
IMO, MPA and the World Bank agreed that one key step to realise these benefits is the digitalisation of workflows and increased data exchange between ships, ports and value chain stakeholders. This will facilitate global trade, increase supply chain resilience, and improve ship operations.
The webinar had over 400 participants from around the world to discuss digitalisation and decarbonisation in a post-pandemic world.