Earlier this month, SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) published
the final results from its DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology or blockchain) proof
of concept for Nostro reconciliation.
Under the current correspondent banking model, a
correspondent bank provides services on behalf of another overseas financial
institution through a correspondent account (Nostro/ Vostro accounts).
Correspondent accounts are established through bilateral agreements between the
According to a 2016 McKinsey report, on an average, 34% of
the cost of an international payment is related to Nostro trapped liquidity
caused by the absence of real-time data to optimise intraday liquity
management. Around 9% of the cost is linked to investigations or exceptions
mainly driven by a lack of standardisation in the end-to-end payment’s process,
and by the related Nostro account reconciliation.
SWIFT’s DLT POC, which started in
April 2017, sought
to test whether DLT can help banks reconcile Nostro accounts more
efficiently and in real-time, while lowering costs and operational risk. Preliminary
results were published
in October 2017.
Participation from 34
A total of 34 banks contributed to the proof of concept. They
were segmented in two groups working independently from each other. The initial
six financial institutions in the founding group worked with SWIFT to explore
and define the standards, data model, business and functional specifications,
that resulted in the creation of the concept model. They tested the application
and provided a number of change requests to improve the user’s experience of
the application, of which, a certain number were implemented prior to the start
of the final phase of testing with the validation group in September 2017.
The validation group of 28 financial institutions were
tasked with executing the same set of tests to provide independent conclusions
on the enhanced solution
The initiative was one of the most extensive blockchain
proofs of concept powered by Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 (Hyperledger is a global open
source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain
technologies, hosted by The
Linux Foundation) executed in the industry till date, both in terms of
participant engagement and in terms of the scale of the infrastructure
With the PoC SWIFT set out to work with the technology in a
“many-to-many” setting addressing a real business issue, and draw lessons for
larger scale implementations of the technology in the bank-to-bank payment
area. The PoC sought to assess whether DLT, combined with SWIFT assets, would
meet industry-level governance, security and data privacy requirements, whether
DLT could bring concrete benefits over other architectures, and to check DLT’s
current level of maturity to serve as a production-grade application within a
mission-critical global infrastructure.
Based on the business and technical requirements validated
by the participating banks, SWIFT developed a DLT solution through which Nostro
Account owners and their servicers could share a private confidential ledger
recording transactions related to their Nostro accounts.
The solution leverages ISO 20022 standards
innovations – including the unique end-to-end transaction reference (UETR) –
and integrates intraday liquidity standards. The PoC was built within the SWIFT
DLT sandbox environment – a use case agnostic DLT platform which enables
experimentation and collaboration between SWIFT and its community.
The PoC showed that DLT could deliver the business
functionalities and data richness required to support automated real-time
liquidity monitoring and reconciliation. It enabled real-time event handling,
transaction status updates, full audit trails, visibility of expected and
available balances, real-time simplified account entries confirmation, the
identification of pending entries and potential related issues, and generated
the data required to support regulatory reporting.
The PoC also demonstrated the significant progress DLT has
made with regards to data confidentiality, governance, security, and
identification frameworks, showing that that the emergent technology, combined
with SWIFT assets, provides the necessary foundation for financial multi-bank
“The PoC went extremely well, proving the fantastic progress
that has been made with DLT and the Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 in particular”, said
Damien Vanderveken, Head of Research and Development at SWIFT. “The DLT sandbox
enabled us to control access, to define and enforce user privileges, to
physically segregate confidential data and store it only with the relevant
parties while supporting a strong identity framework by linking all
participants to their BIC, and having all keys signed by a SWIFT certification
However, the PoC also found that there are considerable
pre-requisites for industry adoption of such a solution. For instance, all
account servicers would first need to migrate from batch to real-time liquidity
reporting and processing. Today, 44% of cross border payments exchanged over
SWIFT generate a real-time confirmation of debit or credit.
While the DLT application could provide a platform to share
the information, significant work and investment would be required to upgrade banks’
back-office applications so that they can feed the platform with real-time
updates. The success of any solution will therefore depend upon deep
integration with back office systems using APIs. These implementation costs could
be significantly lowered should ISO 20022 standards be adopted first.
In addition, a value proposition for each market segment
catering for different levels of sophistication, automation of operations and
past investments would be key to ensure industry-wide adoption and coexistence.
For instance, the benefits of DLT for the larger clearing
banks are less clear since their dependency on external Nostro Servicer
providers is reduced overall when compared to mid-tier banks. Larger banks
typically manage their key currencies internally and have already invested
heavily in highly optimised liquidity and reconciliation tools.
To facilitate improvements in the Nostro process, SWIFT will
continue helping its community migrate towards real-time liquidity reporting
and processing through SWIFT gpi, and establish a roll-out plan for the
community-wide adoption of the UETR.
SWIFT will also initiate an ISO 20022 consultation with its
community to assess a timeline and a migration approach towards ISO 20022 as a
potential means to reduce integration costs, and will continue to actively
promote the re-use of ISO 20022 in the DLT context.
The PoC also showed that further progress is needed on the
DLT technology itself, before it will be ready to support production-grade
applications in large-scale, mission-critical global infrastructures.
For example, while 528 channels were required in the PoC to
ensure Nostro accounts would only be stored on the nodes of their account
servicers and owners, to productise the solution, more than 100,000 channels
would need to be established and maintained, covering all existing Nostro
relationships, presenting significant operational challenges.
Stephen Gilderdale, Chief Platform Officer, SWIFT, said, “It
is a strategic priority for SWIFT to work with new technologies like DLT and
incorporate them into key solutions like gpi. We are already working on new
PoCs and will continue our R&D efforts to ensure that SWIFT customers will
be able to leverage their existing SWIFT infrastructure and connectivity to
benefit from blockchain services, whether offered by SWIFT or by third parties,
on a secure and trusted platform.”
The issuance of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) on broadening the provision of internet service through satellite services is seen by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as further promoting financial inclusion and digital finance in the country. The IRR, issued in September by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) under Department Circular No. 002, Series of 2021, aims to promote the development of an inclusive and vibrant satellite industry by liberalising access to satellite systems.
Increased access to satellite services is expected to hasten the rollout of internet connectivity for the country’s unserved, underserved, geographically isolated, and disadvantaged areas. With the issuance of the IRR, banks, fintech companies, and other financial sector entities will be guided even further in their exploration of ways to use satellite technology for their operations, particularly in expanding presence in underserved communities.
With enhanced countryside connectivity, we see previously unserved and underserved areas being reached by digital financial services, especially those designed for the lower-income segments, like remittances, bills payments and the opening of transaction accounts.
– Governor, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
As financial transactions and services shift to online platforms, internet connectivity is recognised as a critical enabler of financial and economic inclusion. Banks and other financial service providers (FSPs) will be able to better serve rural areas with more access points, such as automated teller machines and cash agent services that rely on internet connectivity, as internet service is expanded.
Meanwhile, with the introduction of the Philippine Identification System and its electronic know-your-customer service, increased internet access will enable more unbanked rural clients and low-income communities to use digital financial services and benefit from digital innovations.
Republic Act 11055, or the Philippine Identification System Act, was signed into law by the Philippines President in August 2018. Its purpose is to create a single national ID for all Filipinos and resident aliens. The national ID must be a valid proof of identity that can be used to simplify public and private transactions, school enrolment, and bank account opening.
It will also increase efficiency, particularly when dealing with government services, as people will only need to present one ID during transactions. “These developments will contribute towards the BSP’s financial inclusion targets, namely that first, 70% of the adult population should own a transaction account, and second, that half of all retail payments should be in digital form by 2023,” the BSP Governor said.
Ultimately, The BSP encourages financial service providers to seek opportunities for innovation and market expansion from this policy reform to accelerate financial inclusion in the country.
In addition, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a US$400 million loan to support reforms that will assist the Philippine government in accomplishing a resilient financial sector and ensuring a more inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
First Financial Sector Reform Development Policy in the Philippines, the financing loan is the first of two programmes that support three reform areas: strengthening financial sector stability, integrity, and resilience; expanding financial inclusion for individuals and businesses; and promoting disaster risk finance, which protects national budgets and businesses, as well as families’ lives and livelihoods, from the effects of disasters.
OpenGov Asia reported that the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will move forward with Phase 1 of the National Broadband Programme (NBP), which will boost the development of supplemental infrastructure or a “resiliency route”. According to the DICT secretary, the establishment of a resiliency route serves as insurance or a safety net against any unforeseen problems or events that could reason a delay in the project’s completion.
The Philippine government established the National Broadband Plan to accelerate the deployment of fibre optic cables and wireless technologies throughout the country, particularly in remote areas, and to improve overall internet speed and affordability (NBP).
The Indian Institute of Technology in Hyderabad’s (IIT-Hyderabad) Technology Innovation Hub on Autonomous Navigation (TiHAN) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). They will collaborate in the field of India-specific technology development, simulations, and the real-world verification and validation of advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous driving. TiHAN and ARAI will jointly promote research and develop and offer solutions, technologies, and practices to the industry to enable smart mobility in autonomous vehicles.
The collaboration will significantly contribute to safe and sustainable autonomous mobility solutions in India and provide greater insight into TiHAN activities. It will update testbeds on autonomous navigations (aerial/terrestrial) in the campus, the Project Director of TiHAN-IIT-H stated. The collaboration will also promote the innovation ecosystem, skill development, and entrepreneurship activities in the area of autonomous navigation systems.
According to an official statement, the partnership will further strengthen ARAI’s abilities and activities in the field of smart mobility. ARAI has been looking for avenues to disseminate knowledge in a structured way and is keen to offer joint programmes, the ARAI Director noted.
TiHAN at IIT-H focuses on the research, design, and development of autonomous navigation and data acquisition systems for UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and RoVs (remotely operated underwater vehicles), etc. An official said that TiHAN aims to support activities related to autonomous navigation, which will make India a leader in the domain. TiHAN intends to be at the forefront in devising technology, protocols, testing, and validation through testbed, which will be inaugurated shortly.
Recently, IIT-Hyderabad announced it is investing more than IN₹10 million (US$133,406) in six start-ups that are working in the areas of autonomous navigation. A news report stated that these deep-tech start-ups largely work on building drones, an autonomous indoor logistics ecosystem for warehousing, and surveillance UAVs, etc. The prototype-ready start-ups, which are working on projects like building sentient drones, an autonomous indoor logistics ecosystem for warehousing, ecological monitoring using drones, would get IN₹2.5 million (US$33,351) each.
Apart from this, TiHAN is also investing up to IN₹1 million (US$13,341) in early-stage start-ups, including a project that is building surveillance UAVs, another that is making drones for video and photo applications, and a project that is working on passive thermal cooling systems for li-ion battery packs. In addition to the start-ups, these facilities will also be available for researchers and the industry at large, an official noted. TiHAN is going to support more deep-tech start-ups in the coming months.
In September, ARAI indigenously developed a charger for electric vehicles (EV) to boost the EV ecosystem in the country. To promote EVs, charging infrastructure is crucial, since mobility chargers are imported, the association’s focus is to develop these indigenously, which will be cost-effective and boost the local economy, the ARAI Director noted. He was speaking at a press conference organised to announce the details of the Symposium on International Automotive Technology (SIAT 2021). Many EV components, including motors, controllers, and chargers are imported. ARAI has developed indigenous technology for EV charger AC001, which has been taken up for manufacturing and promotion by Bharat Electronics. The charging points will be set up by Bharat Electronics and parts for EV charger systems will be manufactured locally.
The post-pandemic world is entering a period characterised by restructuring and consolidation. Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), with the backing of Academia Sinica, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health and Welfare are focused on six key strategic industries: IT and digitisation, cybersecurity, precision healthcare, renewable and sustainable energies, national defence and strategy, as well as civilian affairs and military preparedness.
With the rising popularity of the 5G infrastructure, asset security will be the next global battlefield. The synergy between Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), cloud and many other emerging technologies related to 5G is yielding a plethora of innovative cross-domain applications. With the popularity of 5G, asset security has become a critical issue that cannot be ignored.
Healthcare and technologies join hands to pave the way for the rise of precision healthcare. As the ageing society is creating a growing demand for medical services and management of chronic diseases, precision healthcare has become an irreversible trend worldwide. A number of leading medical institutions are utilising advanced technologies to enhance their smart healthcare and smart hospital services.
Taipei Veterans General Hospital President said that he intends to make smart healthcare the centrepiece of the next stage of development at the hospital, with the goal of reaching a peak utilisation of cutting-edge technologies that combine precision healthcare and big data.
Science and technology help improve military power by speeding up the transformation of the defence industry. When it comes to defence and strategy, Taiwan has accumulated substantial experience as a result of having developed the FORMOSAT-5 satellite and the FORMOSAT-7 satellite constellation, in combination with its existing complete supply chains and manufacturing capabilities in the semiconductor, information communication electronics and precision machinery sectors
These technologies assure Taiwan an ongoing capability to develop and manufacture satellites, as well as serving as an important R&D and manufacturing base for global satellite components, ground communications, ground terminals and other equipment.
Taiwan has long held an edge in display technology, and the sector is an economic powerhouse. To take full advantage of the nearly limitless opportunity presented by internet-connected devices and application services, and position display technologies and related applications as the engine for Taiwan’s next wave of economic growth, the government has released an action plan for display technologies and applications covering the years 2020 to 2024.
This strategy will move the sector beyond mere displays toward the 2030 vision of a smart-tech lifestyle incorporating emerging display technologies and applications, thereby keeping Taiwan’s advanced tech industry at the global forefront.
Three are three essential Taiwan tech strategies:
- Encourage demonstration applications and field testing: Drive domestic demand by building demonstration sites for exemplary solutions incorporating domestic products. Build Taiwan into the world’s top supplier of display technology products and solutions by 2030.
- Develop new capabilities for smart technology: Develop emerging technologies like intelligent sensors, online-offline convergence, and cybersecurity, as well as advance new technology through multidisciplinary cooperation. Elevate Taiwan’s international competitiveness and position on the value chain by producing a range of specialised and differentiated products by 2030.
- Build an environment for industrial development: Construct communications mechanisms and experimentation platforms for smart retail, smart transport, smart health care and smart entertainment. Nurture new talent capable of synthesising multidisciplinary research to create future-oriented display technologies and innovative applications, and promote cooperation with international counterparts.
Taiwan researchers have been inventing novel advanced technologies, including a bendable water-enabled portable power bank — a device that generates power from a few drops of water. As reported by OpenGov Asia, a team from the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology said that the gadget utilises membrane technology to generate electricity from water.
For the first time since 2005, New Zealand’s government intends to create a new digital strategy. The strategy aims to define the goals, priorities, and activities for the next 2 to 5 years, as well as the long-term outcomes through 2031 and beyond those years. According to the government, its vision is to enable all of Aotearoa New Zealand to flourish and prosper in a digital world.
To ensure that it will not be lacking in key the components of this implementation, the government has issued a discussion document and demands immediate feedback. The document, according to Infrastructure New Zealand’s Chief Executive, is a start. “The discussion document has a heavy focus on connectivity and how we use it, and inclusion. That’s good, but a national digital strategy needs to recognise that digital technology is a means to an end, not an end in itself – it needs to drive economic growth and development and leverage every opportunity.”
In infrastructure solutions, digital technology is already playing a significant role. The strategy must outline how New Zealand can capitalise on digital technology opportunities, such as how digital infrastructure can help address New Zealand’s infrastructure deficit while also contributing to environmental outcomes. It is also noted that a submission will be made to ensure that it covers all bases and is fit for purpose in the future. “We’ll be keen to see an implementation plan and monitoring framework to ensure the strategy is meaningful and outcomes-based, as opposed to yet another plan that isn’t realistic.” She then added.
More than ever, how New Zealand navigates the digital world is essential to the country’s long-term success. There are significant consequences if the government gets this wrong, given the rise of working from home and the contribution digital technologies can make to mitigating the impact of climate change. As per a report released this year, New Zealand’s digital competitiveness has dropped by 70 points. The pandemic, according to NZTech Chief Executive, has stressed the importance of digital technologies.
OpenGov Asia reported that in response to the crisis, digital transformation and technology alliances are two of several areas in which a multinational professional services network of firms based in New Zealand intends to create more than 500 new jobs over the next five years. The proposed job creation drive is part of the company’s global strategy aimed at “responding to fundamental changes in the world,” such as technological disruption, climate change, fractured geopolitics, and the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The programme, dubbed ‘The New Equation,’ was announced by the firm and was described at the time as “a revolutionary approach in how we see new opportunities to serve clients as they work to build trust and deliver sustainable business outcomes.”
Another report had also stated that digital transformation could boost the New Zealand economy by up to $46.6 billion per year by 2030. The report identified three main pillars of action for New Zealand to fully leverage the opportunities brought about by digital transformation: supporting technology adoption in key industries, upskilling the current workforce and future talent and promoting digital export opportunities.
The report also discussed eight transformative technologies and the economic benefits they bring to New Zealand, such as artificial intelligence (AI), which can be used to drive data-based public health interventions; mobile internet to help digitise retail distribution channels; and the Internet of Things (IoT) for supply chain tracking.
In addition, as per New Zealand’s last transformation strategy, accelerating the New Zealand Government’s digital transformation will enable people to access personalised services when and where they need them, participate in decisions about issues that are important to them, and have trust in an open, transparent, and inclusive government.
Wisconsin’s Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) is partnering with tech companies to enhance Wisconsin’s occupational licensure review and adjudication. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform will automate certain data entry tasks that are currently conducted manually. This will improve the customer experience and will expedite entry to the credentialed workforce in Wisconsin.
DSPS currently issues licenses for more than 240 occupational fields. The department issues credentials to most health care providers, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, physical therapists, and more. It licenses about 1.1 million people every two years.
Our credentialing process is almost 100% manual. That is because applicants fill out a paper form and mail it in, leaving department employees to decipher the handwriting and enter the data into the agency’s database. Automating that process is going to be a great step in terms of licensing applicants much more quickly and helping our process be much more accurate.”
– Dawn Crim, Secretary, Department of Safety and Professional Services
Currently, several teams handle data entry, but with the new solution by using their expertise in reviewing applications and processing and interacting with the customer. The tech companies are working to enable AI to automate data extraction from emails and attachments and send the information to DSPS’ database. It will also link necessary attachments such as degrees or certifications to the applications, with administrators being alerted to review any mismatches.
In addition to easing data entry, the technologies could help with customer service. For instance, virtual assistants could help in many permutations of the process. Because the process for each license is governed by statutory authorities and regulations, there tends to be a specific workflow for each industry. Virtual assistants could help point callers to the resources they need.
Although the different industries have different requirements, there are questions common to all licensing types. They use a natural language understanding platform that lets agencies design and integrate a conversational user interface into applications. The AI can comb through processes and statistics, such as how many calls virtual assistants deflect from staff. With those statistics, DSPS can make data-informed decisions about regulations, processes and procedures.
This modernisation effort is part of the second of a three-phase effort the state is pursuing. The first phase focused on the state’s construction industry, including replacing the regulated objects system, a 20-year old software application used for commercial building inspection permits, plan reviews and credentialing.
The third phase will address the complaint process. DSPS has more than 100 councils, committees and boards that govern the industry, so DSPS wants to use technology to study where complaints are coming from and whether they can be attributed to regulations or licensed professionals themselves.
Many U.S. Government agencies have leveraged the power of AI to achieve their goals more efficiently. As reported by OpenGov Asia, Yolo County District Attorney has had robust discussions with community members about the implicit or explicit bias that may occur in the criminal justice system. Prosecutors have nearly absolute discretion to charge or dismiss criminal cases. There is concern that these high-stakes judgments may suffer from explicit or implicit racial bias, as with many other such actions in the criminal justice system.
Yolo DA decided to address this potential problem by announcing the official launch of a first-of-its-kind Race Blind Charging (RBC) programme. The office then has been using the algorithm, developed by the Stanford Computational Policy Lab (SCPL).
By using a first-of-its-kind Race Blind Charging software program, Yolo County will ensure that their decisions on whether to charge someone with a crime are not infected by any real or perceived bias. This innovation will also help improve public confidence in the procedural fairness of the criminal justice system.
A Chinese tech giant has opened up its self-driving robo-taxis to the public on the streets of Shanghai. Passengers are able to hail one of the autonomous taxis at around 150 stations throughout the city’s Jiading area, a residential and commercial part of Shanghai. As the system is currently in a testing phase, the service is free and will operate from 9.30 pm to 11 pm daily through an app.
The autonomous taxis feature a combination of lidar, radar, cameras and GPS — similar to set-ups used by other self-driving technology companies, making them capable of Level 4 autonomy. This would mean that, in most cases, the vehicle does not require human interaction and can fully drive itself. A human overseer will, nevertheless, be on standby at all times during the Shanghai trials.
Autonomous vehicles have accumulated over 8.7 million miles of testing. Its goal is to put around two hundred vehicles on Shanghai’s roads in the near future and says that it is either testing or deploying five hundred vehicles across thirty cities. Shanghai is the fifth city in which the service has been rolled out after Guangzhou, Changsha, Cangzhou and Beijing, all cities with populations over 6.5 million.
The service has also expanded to Beijing as fully driverless robo-taxis began operating last April. The robo-taxis have an operator sitting in the passenger seat, rather than behind the wheel, in order to reassure passengers. Rides in Beijing cost 30 yuan (around £3.40), though elsewhere journeys remain free, as the system is still in its testing phase.
Apart from self-driving taxis, a leading Chinese autonomous driving firm has also unveiled its latest L4-level unmanned delivery vehicles and smart solutions recently, as self-driving commercialisation is revving up in the country with faster-than-expected driverless applications.
The latest unmanned delivery vehicles have already offered delivery services in communities in foreign markets, and are able to cope with complex scenarios of open roads in urban villages, urban-rural junctions as well as downtown areas. The unmanned delivery vehicles have been applied to sectors like automobile manufacturing, hazardous chemicals, food processing, agricultural breeding, civil aviation and industrial parks.
In China, a sound unmanned distribution business model has been formed with technologies able to support different needs. The overall industry is expected to eventually enjoy large-scale commercial applications.
For some time now, domestic tech companies have been gearing up efforts in unmanned delivery services, which are expected to generate huge commercial value in a variety of businesses like express delivery, food takeaway orders, fresh produce ordering and retail pharmaceuticals.
Beijing also issued temporary self-driving license plates to 99 vehicles from 15 companies including online food delivery giants, self-driving firms and ride-hailing platforms, which marked a milestone for the commercialisation of autonomous driving.
As reported by OpenGov Asia, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the Ministry of Science and Technology jointly issued a guideline mapping out key transport technology based on innovation for China through 2035. The guideline emphasises making technological breakthroughs in the transport sector. It sets the goal that self-reliance on key transport technology will be achieved by 2035. Mechanisms will optimise to spur the vitality of innovative entities as much as possible. Legislation in artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous driving, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will be studied and drawn up.
Though the smart public transport service is currently limited to selected areas, they have been tried in a variety of application scenarios such as residential communities, commercial areas, and industrial parks to increase transportation efficiency and save fuel consumption.
The demonstration pioneers have been constantly fine-tuning and upgrading the systems while extending the mileage of safe operation, increasing the number of passengers, pouring investment in technology upgrading, and infrastructure construction to cope with the demand for intelligent public transport.
Singapore’s Tampines Polyclinic, this month will use robots instead of nurses to monitor patients’ temperatures and remind them to put on their masks. The Healthcare Assistive Robot for Frontline Infection Control (Hiro) was developed by researchers at Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) and is currently being tested at the polyclinic. The robot uses UV-C light to kill bacteria and viruses and can direct visitors to service points.
NP’s Robotics Research and Innovation Centre assistant director said, “the robot is meant to help cut down on the possibility of infection in the polyclinics and also reduce the burden on healthcare staff doing laborious tasks like cleaning hard-to-reach areas and temperature screening, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
We want this facility to be a platform for collaboration with the industry as NP moves towards our vision of helping to develop technology for the future in the healthcare, transportation, construction and sustainability industries.
– Assistant Director, Robotics Research and Innovation Centre, Ngee Ann Polytechnic
The Healthcare Assistive Robot is part of the NP’s joint effort with healthcare provider SingHealth, which operates eight of the 20 polyclinics in the area. The robot’s development began last year, with plans to deploy more at various SingHealth polyclinics the following year. NP also announced the launch of the Robotics Research and Innovation Centre, which is divided into two wings and located on NP’s Clementi Road campus. The centre will house students pursuing a new Specialist Diploma in Robotics Engineering, which is geared toward adult learners and will accept 40 applicants in April of next year.
The facilities, which include workshops, showcase areas, and laboratories, will provide students with real-world robotics experience, according to the NP deputy principal. Moreover, other projects in the works with the National Parks Board include a park patrol robot and a plant health monitoring robot (NParks). Last year, in collaboration with Hougang Primary School, CoDDiE, a teaching assistant robot that assists students in learning to code, was developed. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, a variety of unmanned robots have begun to appear in public roles across the country.
OpenGov Asia in an article reported that two robots have been patrolling the Toa Payoh Central neighbourhood in Singapore as part of a three-week trial, looking for errant smokers, unlicensed hawkers, motorbikes and e-scooter riders on sidewalks and gatherings that exceed the current group size limits. The robots are designed to alert public officers in real-time to these offences since they will be equipped with cameras that have a 360-degree field of vision and can see in the dark. They will also be able to broadcast and show warnings warning people about the dangers of such behaviour.
The patrolling robot, developed by HTX in collaboration with the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research, will contribute to enhancing efficiency while reducing the need for manpower for foot patrols, according to the company. This is particularly true for labour-intensive operations like monitoring illegal hawkers. The latest patrolling robot is a refresh of the police’s Multi-purpose All-Terrain Autonomous Robots, or Matar, which have been deployed at large public events such as the National Day Parade, Marina Bay Countdown, and Chingay.
The fourth industrial revolution’s technological innovations are radically transforming the economy. The self-sufficient economy is becoming a reality. AI, robotics, and the Internet of Things (IoT) advancements are ushering in a new era of automation.
Workplace automation in Singapore is expected to increase more than double in three years, covering 29% of all work done by businesses, up from 14% in 2018. This could result in at least 5% of Singapore’s full-time workers losing their jobs.
Singapore must adopt new strategies to keep up with global technological advancements to avoid falling behind. The automation of the economy will be critical to Singapore’s growth and competitiveness. According to a report, automation could boost global productivity growth by up to 1.4% per year. However, for the Singaporean workforce, automation may pose significant challenges and disruptions to current jobs and skillsets.