Researchers are spotting drug-resistant superbugs before they break out and reimagining biosecurity at a regional level to stop the spread of infectious diseases. Scientists at Murdoch University are contributing research that is strengthening our understanding of infectious diseases and how to stop them.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the devastating impact of infectious diseases. Millions of people have died and millions more have suffered from the wider health, economic and social impacts. Stopping infectious diseases has been identified by the World Health Organisation as one of the most urgent health challenges of this decade and is now in sharp focus.
Overcoming antimicrobial resistance
Antimicrobial resistance, when infectious organisms no longer respond to medicines, is a major challenge in managing infectious diseases. It occurs when bacteria change over time, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. Overcoming this challenge requires a One Health approach – which recognises that the health of humans, animals and ecosystems are interconnected.
At Murdoch University’s state-of-the-art Antimicrobial Resistance and Infectious Diseases (AMRID) Laboratory, Associate Professor in Microbiology Sam Abraham leads the One Health Infectious Diseases research team. Associate Professor Sam Abraham, “Globally, there is a significant public health concern due to the transfer of such bacteria to humans via food and the environment, the limited therapeutic options to treat such infection in humans and the rapid transmission of genes responsible for antimicrobial resistance into human pathogens.”
This is a concern that precedes and extends beyond the current COVID-19 pandemic, with research from the team exploring how Australian animals may acquire bacteria resistant to last-line antimicrobials. Their research has shown that Australia currently has low levels of resistance to last-line antimicrobials in livestock due to the regulation of antimicrobial use, Australia’s geographical isolation and strong biosecurity.
“It’s crucial that we keep it that way, so the use of technology and antimicrobial resistance surveillance is important,” said Dr Abraham.
Embracing technology to beat bacteria
The team is using innovative robotics, genomics and microbiology to study antimicrobial resistance in key zoonotic bacteria emerging in Australian animals. Dr Abraham noted that most countries are using low numbers of samples for antimicrobial resistance surveillance, which is not going to help find emerging issues until it is too late. “We need to use high-throughput robotics and genomics with rapid turn-around time for analysing large data sets to identify emerging problems quickly and respond to those problems rapidly.”
The facility has used its platforms in several national antimicrobial surveillance programs in livestock. It has also been used for surveillance of wild bird species including seagulls and pigeons, finding them to be carriers and potential spreaders of highly drug-resistant superbugs. “Twenty per cent of Australian seagulls are carriers of human pathogens capable of causing serious human infections such as meningitis, sepsis, and urinary tract infection,” said Dr Abraham.
So, the major issue in Australia is the threat of human-derived drug-resistant bacteria entering livestock systems directly or indirectly via wild birds through sewage and waste disposal. Their research has demonstrated the emergence of last line drug-resistant bacteria – at low frequency – in livestock, companion animals and wildlife as a result of human-derived bacteria entering the animals directly or in-directly through birds. This poses a significant risk to animal and human health and our ability to control such infections.
Dr Abraham’s research has helped inform national and international approaches to combatting antimicrobial resistance – including assisting with the process that developed Australia’s National One Health Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy.
Optimising surveillance and biosecurity
Another area of research expertise contributing to a better understanding of infectious diseases is focused on disease surveillance systems and how biosecurity systems operate. Led by Professor of Biosecurity Simon McKirdy, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Harry Butler Institute, this research is looking at the development of biosecurity systems to ensure that they operate cost-effectively and in an efficient manner that protects people, agriculture and the environment.
“Our work centres on developing robust surveillance systems that can deliver results that decision-makers can utilise – both as an early warning tool and also for real-time decision making during a response to a disease outbreak,” said Professor McKirdy.
The key elements include having robust and appropriate risk analysis to understand the threats and mitigation measures. Then having an effective surveillance system that is linked to diagnostics and provides a high level of confidence in detecting threats and collecting the right number of samples to give us statistical strength to say this is the current presence or level of disease within the community, McKirdy says.
The unfolding COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of having robustly designed surveillance systems and how these are presented to the community, along with the need to focus on the wider One Health relationships. The human world, in relation to biosecurity surveillance, can learn a lot from the animal and plant world. The more we can bring these One Health aspects together, the better will be the outcome,” said Professor McKirdy.
Singapore’s Minister Josephine Teo recently addressed the Singapore Conference on Artificial Intelligence, emphasising the nation’s commitment to learning, contributing, and posing critical questions in the realm of AI. Drawing parallels to Singapore’s historical challenges, the Minister highlighted the significance of seeking answers collaboratively.
Minister Josephine reflected on Singapore’s journey as an independent nation, underscoring the importance of seeking wise counsel from international experts. Notably, she mentioned Dr Albert Winsemius, who played a pivotal role as Singapore’s Chief Economic Advisor, advising the nation to focus on attracting foreign investments—a decision that propelled Singapore into an industrial powerhouse.
While acknowledging the value of global advice, Minister Josephine stressed a crucial difference in Singapore’s approach to AI. The nation aims not only to learn from the world but also to contribute significantly. The Singapore Conference on Artificial Intelligence (SCAI) serves as a platform to foster international collaboration—a brain trust where experts and thought leaders can share knowledge and ideas.
Minister Josephine drew attention to Singapore’s water story, highlighting the nation’s innovative solutions to address its existential water challenge. Through technologies like membrane filtration and desalination, Singapore transformed from heavily relying on imported water to producing “NEWater,” now supplying 40% of the country’s water needs.
Besides, Singapore freely shares its water management expertise through events like the Singapore International Water Week, showcasing the nation’s commitment to addressing global challenges collaboratively.
While acknowledging AI as a general-purpose technology, Minister Josephine recognised its potential for both positive and negative impacts. She outlined the commendable applications of AI, such as drug discovery and personalised learning, but also stressed the risks, including biases, cybercrime, and potential societal disruptions. Minister Josephine reiterated Singapore’s commitment to embracing AI innovations while confronting associated risks.
Drawing inspiration from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Minister Josephine proposed a holistic, system-oriented approach to addressing AI’s challenges and opportunities. Much like TCM practitioners aim for holistic health, SCAI adopts a systems-oriented perspective to identify strategic points for focused efforts in the AI landscape.
Minister Josephine also highlighted SCAI’s goal of identifying critical questions in AI that, if systematically answered, can enable AI to serve the global good. She drew parallels to a talk by Dr Lydia Liu, emphasising the need to move beyond theoretical fairness criteria in AI to consider system dynamics and interaction effects for practical impact.
In its pursuit of AI development, Singapore aims to create a new equilibrium by focusing on specific outcomes, measuring progress, and addressing both risks and opportunities. The SCAI conference serves as an experiment, bringing together diverse perspectives from 16 countries and various sectors to form an international brain trust for AI.
Minister Josephine expressed hope that SCAI would contribute to international cooperation on AI, forging connections and friendships to address complex AI issues collectively. Singapore’s unique approach and diverse participation underscore its dedication to fostering a global brain trust to navigate the intricate landscape of AI for the global good.
As AI technologies continue to advance, their potential to address global challenges, such as healthcare, poverty, and climate change, becomes increasingly evident. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding is essential to leverage AI for the betterment of humanity while mitigating potential negative consequences.
The ethical dimensions of AI development and deployment are significant considerations. An understanding of AI for the global good facilitates the creation of ethical frameworks and guidelines, ensuring responsible and fair use of these technologies. This approach emphasises the importance of ethical considerations in harnessing the power of AI to benefit societies worldwide.
The Centre for Eye and Vision Research (CEVR) and DEFTA Partners (DEFTA) announced a strategic collaboration aimed at advancing technology transfer and the commercialisation of advanced research in eye and vision health. This collaborative initiative, marked by a signing ceremony at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) campus, brings together the expertise of CEVR and the extensive business network of DEFTA, with the goal of fostering innovation and translating research outcomes into globally impactful products.
Under the leadership of the Chairman of the CEVR Board of Directors and Deputy President/Provost of PolyU, and the Director of Investment Research and Deputy Head of DEFTA, the collaboration is set to leverage DEFTA’s track record in identifying and nurturing technology-based startups.
The partnership envisions a seamless integration of DEFTA’s business network with CEVR’s research achievements to facilitate the commercialisation of university-originated research. Through strategic alliances with Japanese companies, facilitated by DEFTA, CEVR aims to propel the translation and commercialisation of groundbreaking research outcomes, contributing to the advancement of eye and vision health solutions on a global scale.
The Chairman of the CEVR Board of Directors expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, highlighting the significant opportunities it presents for CEVR. He emphasised DEFTA’s crucial role in driving the commercialisation of research projects and enabling global expansion. The Chairman said he looks forward to a close working relationship with the DEFTA team to achieve shared goals, bringing innovation to fruition and enhancing eye health worldwide.
Meanwhile, the Director of Investment Research and Deputy Head of DEFTA underscored the synergy between The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the University of Waterloo in Canada, along with the strong support from the Hong Kong SAR Government, as key factors contributing to CEVR’s research capabilities. She noted that DEFTA’s robust network with industrial corporates and extensive experience will secure more collaboration opportunities and resources for CEVR’s projects. The Director expressed confidence in DEFTA’s ability to foster innovation and create opportunities in the field of eye and vision research.
The signing ceremony, witnessed by PolyU’s President; the Consul-General of Japan in Hong Kong; and the Group Chairman and CEO at DEFTA Partners, symbolised the formalisation of the collaboration. This strategic partnership marks a milestone in the efforts to address urgent needs and challenges in global eye and vision health.
In embracing this collaboration, CEVR anticipates an expansion of its partner network, enabling the research centre to undertake more innovative and cutting-edge projects. The collaboration is poised to create a platform for CEVR to address critical issues in the field, ultimately contributing to advancements in global eye and vision health. As CEVR and DEFTA embark on this collaborative journey, the combined expertise and resources are expected to drive impactful changes in the landscape of eye and vision research.
The strategic collaboration between the Centre for Eye and Vision Research (CEVR) and DEFTA Partners marks a significant step forward in advancing the translation of cutting-edge research in eye and vision health into tangible, real-world solutions.
The formalised partnership, celebrated at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), brings together the academic prowess of CEVR and the business acumen of DEFTA, setting the stage for innovative advancements in the field. With a shared vision of promoting technology transfer and commercialisation, this collaboration holds the promise of not only addressing urgent global needs in eye health but also fostering a collaborative environment that can lead to groundbreaking developments.
As CEVR and DEFTA combine their strengths, we anticipate witnessing transformative changes that will positively impact eye and vision health on a global scale. This partnership exemplifies the power of collaboration between academia and industry, showcasing a commitment to driving positive change and improving lives through cutting-edge research and innovation.
The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and a leading provider of energy-efficient computing solutions for smart vehicles have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to create a ‘Technology Innovation R&D Center’ at the Hong Kong Science Park.
The partnering company plans to invest around HK$3 billion by the end of 2028 and aims to expand its research and development team to approximately 100 personnel. The collaboration, overseen by the ITIB and the OASES, is dedicated to advancing Hong Kong’s microelectronics and intelligent driving ecosystem.
The MoU signing ceremony involved the Chief Corporate Development Officer of HKSTP and the Co-founder and Chief Operation Officer of the technology firm. The event was witnessed by key figures such as the Secretary for Innovation, Technology, and Industry; the Director-General of the Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises; the Under Secretary for Innovation, Technology, and Industry; the Chairman of HKSTP; and the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the partnering firm.
The Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry highlighted the influx of new energy and intelligent vehicle enterprises in Hong Kong, emphasising the positive impact on relevant ecosystems. He acknowledged the partner firm’s establishment of an international R&D centre at Hong Kong Science Park as leveraging the city as a platform for globalisation. The Chairman of HKSTP, expressed the significance of the partner firm’s presence, contributing to the long-term diversification of Hong Kong’s economy.
The Founder and CEO of the partnering company, expressed delight in collaborating with HKSTP, emphasising the ideal business and R&D environment provided by the Hong Kong Science Park. The partnering company aims to use the Technology Innovation R&D Center to accelerate the development of automated driving computing solutions, benefiting Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area’s smart vehicle ecosystem.
The “Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Development Blueprint” supports Hong Kong’s goal to become an international I&T centre, with a focus on the microelectronics industry. The establishment of the “Hong Kong Microelectronics Research and Development Institute” was announced in the 2023 Policy Address to drive collaboration and create an enabling environment for microelectronics industry advancement.
The partnering company is a leading provider of energy-efficient computing solutions for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving (AD), is committed to enhancing next-generation driving experiences. The company collaborates with a wide network of partners, offering products and services to accelerate the transformation of smart electric vehicles. Their Founder and CEO is a renowned expert in machine learning, with the company holding nearly 2,000 patents and collaborating with major automobile companies globally.
HKSTP remains dedicated to advancing Hong Kong’s new industrialisation mission, boasting a microelectronics ecosystem with nearly 250 companies. Five Hong Kong universities rank among the top 100 globally, with over 100 researchers engaged in microelectronics research. HKSTP provides comprehensive microelectronics hardware infrastructure to support design, prototyping, and pilot production processes.
The collaborative efforts between the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and the partnering firm signify a pivotal step towards advancing Hong Kong’s standing in the global microelectronics and intelligent driving landscape.
With the establishment of the ‘Technology Innovation R&D Center’ at the Hong Kong Science Park, the partnering firm brings substantial investment and expertise to fuel the city’s economic diversification. The commitment to nurturing talent, fostering innovation, and leveraging the international I&T centre status reflects a strategic alignment with Hong Kong’s broader goals.
As the microelectronics ecosystem at HKSTP continues to flourish, this collaboration sets the stage for groundbreaking developments in automated driving computing solutions, contributing significantly to the smart vehicle ecosystem in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area. Together, HKSTP and their partnering company exemplify the synergy necessary for propelling Hong Kong’s technological prowess into a new era of growth and global competitiveness.
To accelerate digitalisation in coal mines, a group of robotics researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee (IIT-Roorkee) conducted tests in the open-cast mines of the Chhattisgarh-based Coal India subsidiary, South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL). The team is working on developing drones for coal mines under its project, titled “Design and development of an intelligent unmanned aerial vehicle applied to open-cast minefield surveillance for real-time monitoring, hazards, and vulnerability assessment”.
Under the project, the team is creating a drone to address challenges associated with stock measurement in open-cast mines. Once developed, the drone will assist surveyors in measuring stocks of coal or overburden by sending it to various sections of the mine. At present, 3D TLS (Terrestrial Laser Scanning) technology is employed for measuring overburden and coal stock, but its scope is limited.
SECL mines will serve as the primary testing and development ground for drones, with SECL providing essential technical expertise on coal mines to support the research team in obtaining crucial data for the project. The I-Hub Foundation for Cobotics (IHFC), the Technology Innovation Hub of IIT-Delhi, will act as the funding agency for this undertaking.
The IIT-Roorkee team recently conducted drone tests in the Rajnagar coal mine in the Hasdeo area and visited the Amadand mine in the Jamuna Kotma area of SECL. The team successfully tested a drone produced in their institute’s laboratory.
Integrating drones into mining operations is poised to enhance both production and productivity while offering crucial logistics support. Drones can play a pivotal role in improving mine safety by monitoring slopes and assisting in blast observation.
They can help in accurately monitoring the movement of rocks and other materials during blasting in open-cast mines, allowing workers to take proactive measures to mitigate accidents. It also helps address false claims related to such incidents more effectively.
Furthermore, drones can also be employed to deliver goods to face machinery in mining operations. Additionally, in the event of accidents, drones can facilitate the delivery of essential items such as medicines or food to the personnel working on the face, ensuring timely support and aid.
As part of Coal India’s “Project Digicoal,” SECL is actively implementing various measures to digitise its mines. The deployment of numerous digital solutions in major projects like Gevra, Dipka, and Kusmunda is a key aspect of this initiative. The focus of these solutions is to improve worker safety, optimise mine surveys, enhance learning, and streamline management processes. They include:
- An emergency SOS device named “Suraksha Kavach” enables mine workers to call for assistance in the event of an emergency. It uses real-time location detection to enhance rescue operations.
- It uses drones for conducting surveys of mines and analysing mine topography, eliminating the need to physically enter risk-prone zones and enhancing safety measures.
- A technology-driven learning platform accessible to all, featuring modules covering the latest industry trends.
- The Land Acquisition Management System (LAMS), which is comprehensive digital solution designed for end-to-end workflow management. It includes features such as digital verification of land records, process mapping, and the generation of resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) and compensation plans.
Last year, the government announced its plans to make India a hub for drone technology. It has been working to boost the demand for drone technology and services by implementing effective policies, for example, the Drone Rules, 2021, providing incentives through the Production Linked Incentive Scheme for drones and drone components, and creating indigenous demand.
In a resounding testament to the strides being made in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), Director Franz A de Leon, PhD, of the Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) assumed a pivotal role at the AI Asia Expo – Philippines 2023 and Industrial Digital Transformation Congress. The event emerged as a collaborative platform, bringing together high-level officials, industry executives, and experts to deliberate on the responsible integration of AI across diverse sectors.
Dr Franz illuminated the immense potential for growth and innovation in AI within the Philippines. During this strategic gathering, discussions reverberated around crucial topics such as ethics, governance, and the transformative impact of AI on industries, all geared towards contributing to the nation’s economic development.
The Director’s emphasis on fostering an ecosystem valuing research, creativity, and ethical AI implementation underscored a commitment to positioning the Philippines not merely as a consumer but as an innovator within the broader Asian AI landscape.
Addressing the challenges of AI adoption, Dr Franz underscored the necessity of collaboration with partner organisations and stakeholders in government, academia, and industry. This collaborative spirit ensures that the breakthroughs in AI research seamlessly transition into practical applications, bridging the gap between theoretical exploration and tangible impact.
The commitment to democratising AI access took centre stage in Dr Franz’s discourse. Recognising the transformative power of AI for national development, he highlighted its potential to enhance public services, ensure equitable access, and improve citizens’ interactions with the government. By democratising access to AI, the DOST-ASTI aims to make cutting-edge technology accessible to all, fostering innovation and broadening AI’s positive impact across the country.
Further exemplifying its commitment to regional collaboration and innovation, DOST-ASTI partnered with the Philippine Statistics Authority Regional Statistical Services Office in MIMAROPA. At the 2nd MIMAROPA Data Festival, Elmer C Peramo, a technical expert from DOST-ASTI, delved into the fundamentals of Data Science and AI. He highlighted the potential of these technologies to propel the country’s technological landscape forward.
The iTANONG and ASTI-Automated Labeling Machine (ASTI-ALaM) projects, championed by DOST-ASTI, were spotlighted during the festival. These initiatives underscored the institute’s commitment to democratising advanced AI technologies, ensuring that the benefits of AI-driven progress are not confined to urban centres. Instead, regional communities are encouraged to leverage AI to address their unique challenges, fostering a more inclusive technological landscape.
The 2nd MIMAROPA Data Festival became a platform for DOST-ASTI to engage with statisticians, data experts, and stakeholders, gaining valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities unique to the region.
This commitment to regional empowerment aligns with DOST-ASTI’s vision of advancing cutting-edge AI technology nationwide, fostering local innovation, and shaping a future where AI acts as a catalyst for positive change and significant national development.
According to DOST-ASTI, AI innovation drives multifaceted advantages for national development. Streamlining processes, optimising resources, and fostering economic growth, AI creates new job opportunities, positioning nations as technological leaders. In governance, it enhances public services and facilitates informed decision-making through data analysis.
Societal impact is evident in improved healthcare, education, and public safety, promoting inclusivity. AI also contributes to environmental sustainability and necessitates capacity building for a skilled workforce.
Likewise, it enhances national security by bolstering surveillance and defence capabilities. Extending its reach regionally, AI bridges urban-rural gaps, fostering inclusive development and positioning nations on a trajectory of sustained progress and innovation.
New Zealand military is advancing its military capabilities with the imminent acquisition of five state-of-the-art C-130J aircraft, signalling a transformative leap forward in the country’s defence readiness. The modernisation initiative, overseen by the Ministry of Defence, underscores New Zealand’s commitment to staying at the forefront of aerospace technology and bolstering its national security posture.
Andrew Rooney, the Project Team Lead at the Ministry of Defence, highlighted the meticulous process of preparing the first C-130J aircraft for service. A team of 14 painters dedicated two days to meticulously apply 238 litres of paint on the towering 11.85-meter-high aircraft, utilising ladders and scaffolding. Further adornment with distinctive RNZAF markings, including the iconic Kiwi roundel and No. 40 Squadron’s mariner’s compass, is slated for completion in the coming months.
The second C-130J aircraft is currently undergoing the final stages of assembly, with its engines being fitted before making its way to Georgia, USA, for the finishing touches at the paint shop. This process underscores the commitment to both functionality and aesthetics as these aircraft are poised to become vital assets in New Zealand’s defence capabilities.
Digital engineering takes centre stage in the aircraft’s cargo capabilities, with an additional 4.5 meters in length and a payload capacity of 21 tonnes. These enhancements, resulting from a fusion of digital engineering and materials science, amplify the aircraft’s utility and operational efficiency, allowing it to carry more cargo with digital-aided precision.
Operational capabilities reach new heights with the C-130J, featuring a 15-tonne payload and an extended range of 2400 nautical miles, a testament to the integration of digital technology in avionics, navigation systems, and fuel management. This not only augments strategic deployment options but also aligns with a broader global trend of using digital technologies to enhance military readiness and response capabilities.
Human training, an integral part of the digital transformation, sees the first three crews of No. 40 Squadron fully trained and certified to operate the C-130J. This is complemented by a recent exercise in Hawaii, where aviators and maintenance personnel were embedded with the US Air Force 19th Airlift Wing, showcasing the interconnectedness and collaboration facilitated by digital platforms in modern air forces.
The pinnacle of digital technology in aviation training is embodied by the ongoing construction of a full-motion flight simulator in the United States. Simultaneously, infrastructure development at RNZAF Base Auckland progresses, promising a facility that will support advanced simulation technology—an essential component in the ongoing digital revolution in aviation training.
Further, in the context of digital technology integration, New Zealand has always advanced its military structure. OpenGov Asia reported it was set to trial the Bluebottle, an Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) designed and manufactured in Australia, aboard the HMNZS Aotearoa. The USV, powered by solar, wind, or wave energy, represents a cutting-edge approach to maritime autonomy. Equipped with a retractable rigid sail and a unique flipper and rudder device, the Bluebottle can undertake maritime tasks without fuel or personnel, achieving a top speed of five knots and the ability to operate indefinitely in challenging wave conditions, marking a significant step in leveraging digital technology for naval operations.
New Zealand was also enhancing its maritime infrastructure, recognising the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft equipped with cutting-edge digital sensors, radar systems, and high-resolution cameras, and this aircraft significantly enhanced its ability to monitor naval activities.
The impending deployment of these cutting-edge technologies heralds a new era for the New Zealand Defence Force, aligning the nation with the latest advancements in aerospace technology. The enhanced capabilities, extended range, and increased payload capacity position New Zealand to respond effectively to a wide array of operational requirements, reinforcing its commitment to national and global security.
The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) of Singapore and Mexico’s National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Personal Data Protection (INAI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), highlighting the growing significance of international cooperation in the digital age. This marks a significant milestone as the first such collaboration between Singapore and a Latin American country’s data protection authority.
The collaboration acknowledged that data governance and the seamless flow of information across borders are imperative for fostering global trade in the digital economy. Recognising personal data protection as a shared concern, the MoU aims to build trust and facilitate secure cross-border data flows between the two nations.
Commissioner of PDPC, Lew Chuen Hong, and Commissioner Josefina Román Vergara of INAI Mexico formally sealed this partnership, signifying a commitment to navigating the complexities of the digital age together.
The collaboration’s focal points include the development of compatible data transfer mechanisms that will serve as the foundation for trusted cross-border data flows. Technological innovation also takes centre stage, with both authorities pledging to cooperate in fostering advancements that enable these secure data exchanges.
Beyond this, the MoU sets the stage for an exchange of information, sharing best practices, and collaborative research on emerging privacy and data protection issues and trends.
Commissioner Josefina Román Vergara of Mexico’s INAI perceived this collaboration as a pivotal stride toward a future where nations work hand in hand to confront the challenges of the digital era. “By focusing on the development of compatible data transfer mechanisms, technological innovation, and information exchange, through this MoU we are not only shaping our digital futures, but also setting a standard for global cooperation,” she remarked.
Singapore’s PDPC shares a similar sentiment, expressing its commitment to facilitating responsible cross-border data flows. The MoU with Mexico’s INAI is viewed as a significant leap forward in bridging the fragmented global landscape for personal data protection. Commissioner Lew Chuen Hong emphasised the importance of the collaboration, stating, “We look forward very much to working closely with Mexico on this.”
The scope of the MoU extends beyond the technical aspects of data transfer and innovation. It encompasses the continued sharing of experiences and the exchange of best practices on data protection.
Both countries commit to providing mutual assistance in cross-border personal data incidents that contravene their respective data protection legislations. This not only reflects a commitment to data security but also establishes a framework for cooperation in addressing challenges that may arise in the enforcement of data protection laws.
As the digital landscape evolves, Singapore’s PDPC remains dedicated to actively collaborating and strengthening global cooperation on personal data protection. The renewal of the MoU with Australia’s Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) at the 60th Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA) Forum in Sydney underscores Singapore’s commitment to fostering international partnerships in safeguarding personal data.
These collaborative efforts by Singapore’s PDPC with Mexico’s INAI and Australia’s OAIC highlight the shared recognition of the global nature of personal data protection. In an era where information knows no borders, such collaborations set the stage for standardised practices, innovation, and mutual support in addressing the challenges posed by the digital age.
Digital collaboration, according to PDPC, is critical for modern organisations seeking to thrive in a dynamic and interconnected world. It not only improves efficiency and productivity, but it also allows for global connectivity, fosters innovation, and promotes flexible work arrangements, all of which contribute to the success and competitiveness of businesses and teams.