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Strengthening Singapore’s Defence with Tech Partnerships


Singapore’s Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) is growing its network of partners and areas of collaboration to give Singapore’s defence and security a strategic technological edge against future threats. At the recent Singapore Defence and Technology Summit 2023, DSTA signed more than nine partnerships with military partners, commercial companies, and academic institutions.

Mervyn Tan, the DSTA’s Chief Executive stated that the changing nature of asymmetrical threats and the rise of new, disruptive technologies have made it even more important for DSTA to prepare the agency for these new paradigms and stay on the cutting edge of the latest technology trends.

He added that they brought together hundreds of top government leaders, innovators, and engineers from around the world at the Singapore Defence Technology Summit so they could share their thoughts and ideas.

Given the new threats and opportunities, the agency wanted to adopt a very different collaboration strategy. They are pushing beyond traditional areas such as platform design to share data and leveraging smart and digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Analytics, and Machine Learning (ML) with their defence sector partners to optimise efficiencies, improve system performance, and achieve sustainability.

To meet Singapore’s defence needs, DSTA will also look into ways to accelerate the adoption of suitable commercial dual-use innovations, such as collaborations with digital tech start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises. Also, the collaborations with top-tier academia will allow DSTA to delve deeper into research on emerging technologies.

More than nine partners from a wide range of fields came together to make the new partnerships. DSTA will work more closely with businesses to build data-driven analysis and diagnostic tools that will help it build its Fleet Management System.

DSTA will also work with a Swedish aerospace and defence company to make a Multi-Role Combat Vessel that is advanced, digitalised, and data driven. This will not only help DSTA engineers get better at designing surface ships, but it will also help them get better at analysing data.

The partnership between DSTA and a technology company will be expanded to include the co-development of new radar waveforms and the training of local radar experts so that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) can be better supported.

DSTA has also teamed up with other institutions and firms to use digital technologies to improve the full range of defence capabilities, from cyber security to making traditional weapon systems and platforms more available. To promote sustainability, DSTA will also work with one of the world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas companies to get a fleet of ships run by the Republic of Singapore Navy to use Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil.

DSTA will work with an international high-technology group, operating in aviation and Carnegie Mellon University to develop its talent pool through internships, co-development of executive education programmes and courses, and the exchange of academic publications and research information. This is in addition to enhancing the technical capabilities of existing platforms.

DSTA also actively solicits innovative solutions from small and medium-sized businesses, start-ups, and even individuals through initiatives such as the International Data Engineering Prize Challenge, a global competition that called for an innovative data ingestion and curation solution for counter-terrorism intelligence analysis.

These partnerships put DSTA in a much stronger position to constantly innovate and be prepared to leverage the most cutting-edge technologies to enhance Singapore’s future-proofing capabilities.


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