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Speech by MOS Low Yen Ling at the Namic Global Additive Manufacturing Virtual Summit

Speech by MOS Low Yen Ling at the Namic Global Additive Manufacturing Virtual Summit

Dr Alex Lin, CEO, NTUitive,

Dr Ho Chaw Sing, Managing Director, National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC),

Distinguished Guests, 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Introduction

1. A very good morning to all of you. I am very pleased to join you here at the NAMIC Global Additive Manufacturing Summit 2020. This ninth edition of the virtual NAMIC summit brings together key thought leaders, start-ups and industry professionals in the midst of a global crisis.

2. The COVID-19 pandemic is undoubtedly one of the biggest healthcare crises of our generation.

a. When the pandemic first broke out, demand for personal protective equipment and test kits soared; some countries imposed export bans to cater to domestic needs – leading to supply chain disruptions across the globe. 

b. To mitigate the supply chain disruptions, the Additive Manufacturing community stepped up by ramping up production of essential medical supplies for Singapore.

c. NAMIC led a task force comprising experts from NUS, NUH, and several local enterprises to design and produce Singapore’s own 3D-printed nasopharyngeal swabs in less than seven weeks. 

d. To date, the task force has printed more than 5 million swabs.

e. I thank NAMIC and the task force members for your invaluable contribution to our nation’s efforts in combating COVID-19.

Singapore as an Innovation Hub for Additive Manufacturing


3. The pandemic has demonstrated the growing importance of Additive Manufacturing in enabling innovation in many up and coming industries, such as Medical Technology, and Marine & Offshore. 

4. As one of the few countries in the world with a coordinated strategy to leverage Additive Manufacturing to transform emerging industries, Singapore is in a good position to harness the benefits of 3D printing to change, disrupt, and innovate manufacturing processes.

5. To strengthen Singapore’s status as an innovation hub for Additive Manufacturing, the Government has committed resources to building our talent pipeline.

a. For example, through the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 plan, $3.2 billion was allocated to R&D for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering. 

b. In addition, to ensure that we have a complementary skilled workforce, the Singapore Government is also investing in our talent pipeline by training more than 600 engineers in additive manufacturing design and process capabilities.

c. Additive Manufacturing Technology Centres based in our Institutes of Higher Learning – such as the NUS Centre for Additive Manufacturing and the SUTD Digital Manufacturing and Design Centre – are launchpads for homegrown additive manufacturing innovation.

6. I am very encouraged by NAMIC’s efforts to accelerate the adoption of 3D printing technology and address challenges companies face in implementing this technology.

a. Since its inception, NAMIC has successfully raised more than $50 million in private-public funding to support over 200 additive manufacturing projects – ranging industry verticals such as healthcare, biomedical, construction and marine offshore. 

b. In partnership with MPA and the Singapore Shipping Association, NAMIC has also recently announced Phase 2 of the Joint Industry Programme (JIP).

c. Under phase 2, the JIP will apply additive manufacturing technology in the marine industry by bringing together key industry players across the value chain to showcase the potential of 3D printing technology for maritime parts. 

7. It is heartening to know that the number of players in Singapore’s additive manufacturing ecosystem has continued to grow amidst COVID-19. 

a. Just last month, Siemens officially opened its Advance Manufacturing Transformation Center (AMTC), providing a one-stop advanced manufacturing ecosystem that facilitates local companies’ transition into 3D printing and Industry 4.0.

b. Under the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme, Siemens will also be organising a 6-month Additive Manufacturing learning programme at the AMTC, which will provide Singapore trainees with relevant skillsets to support the current wave of industrial companies undergoing digital transformation. 

8. As we continue to re-open our economy, we must harness the potential of Additive Manufacturing and strengthen Singapore’s reputation as an innovation hub for 3D printing.

Collaboration as a Driver for Innovation

9. To place Singapore at the forefront of Additive Manufacturing and advance our role as an Industry 4.0 leader in the region, we must continue to facilitate collaborations to drive innovation in our ecosystem. 

10. Singapore is an attractive location for international companies looking to scale up their activities in this part of the world. Therefore, it is important for us to seek ways to encourage collaboration and create synergies between these companies and our additive manufacturing players.

a. One such example is the collaboration between Wilhelmsen Ship Services and thyssenkrupp to set up a 3D-printing joint venture targeting the maritime industry.

b. This partnership combines thyssenkrupp’s deep expertise in additive manufacturing and Wilhelmsen’s long-standing maritime service and supply know-how. Together, they  optimise the production and delivery process of 3D printed spare parts for the unique demands of maritime markets.

c. Their collaboration is testament to the growing demand for such services which will continue to drive innovation and improve competitiveness in Singapore.

11. NAMIC has also been instrumental in engaging key players to grow the Additive Manufacturing ecosystem through strategic alliances and collaborations.

a. For instance, NAMIC and Osteopore have formed a strategic alliance for the purpose of establishing a point-of-care model that leverages the medical device company’s leading regenerative implant solutions. 

b. Under this alliance, they will develop three market-driven strategic initiatives based on Osteopore’s regenerative implant solutions. The aim is to grow the local clinical adoption of 3D printed implants to achieve better patient outcomes and lower healthcare costs. 


12. NAMIC and the Singapore Standards Council, overseen by Enterprise Singapore, have also been working closely with government agencies, academic experts, and industry stakeholders to develop standards to help guide the development and adoption of Additive Manufacturing technologies. 

a. For example, the first national standard - Technical Reference (TR) 70 seeks to provide clear guidelines on evaluating the suitability of Additive Manufacturing as a manufacturing process for innovative applications. 

b. TR 70 was developed with key stakeholders including MINDEF, SAF, DSTA, SUTD, and the Standards Development Organisation arm of the Singapore Manufacturing Federation.

c. TR 70 will shorten the learning curve for end users of additive manufacturing technology, and allow for the production of customised spare parts with faster turnaround time. 

d. In the next few months, the Standards Council will be publishing a new Singapore Standard on the qualification of additive manufactured parts. This will be the only standard that uses a tiered parts classification, with corresponding testing requirements, to qualify the reliability and safety of an additive manufactured part, as well as a safety standard for Additive Manufacturing facilities.  

e. I encourage more companies to use these standards to deliver Additive Manufacturing products for your customers.  

13. The Government will continue to encourage and support public-private partnerships to build capabilities in the future of manufacturing. 

a. About two months ago, Entegris, a global supplier of advanced materials and process solutions embarked on a joint laboratory collaboration with A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology, or SIMTech.

b. This Entegris-SIMTech partnership is an excellent example of how such cooperation can drive value and capture emerging opportunities for our local manufacturing ecosystem.

c. The partnership aims to overcome current design constraints in traditional manufacturing – by tapping on SIMTech’s capabilities in additive manufacturing and Entegris’ expertise in advanced materials science.

d. This could lead to breakthroughs in 3D printing that will benefit a wide range of industries, such as the semiconductor and medical technology sectors. It could also create more collaboration opportunities for local SMEs, enabling them to be part of the manufacturing value chain.

Conclusion

14. As we continue to create more opportunities for collaboration in Singapore, we hope there will be greater impetus for wider adoption of additive manufacturing technologies. 

15. In the last five years, the number of companies providing additive manufacturing solutions and adopting the technology has grown exponentially from a handful to more than 150 companies today. 

16. We look forward to this growing trend. I would like to encourage companies to explore the many possibilities that additive manufacturing technology has to offer. 

17. I wish all of you an engaging and successful Summit. Thank you very much.

 
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