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Speech by Minister Gan Kim Yong at the Launch of the CISCO-NUS Accelerated Digital Economy Corporate Laboratory

Speech by Minister Gan Kim Yong at the Launch of the CISCO-NUS Accelerated Digital Economy Corporate Laboratory

Professor Tan Eng Chye, President of the National University of Singapore,

Mr. Irving Tan, Chairman, Cisco Systems (Asia-Pacific, Japan and China),

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Opening

1. Good morning to all of you. It is indeed a great honour for me to be here today for the official launch of the Cisco-NUS Accelerated Digital Economy Corporate Laboratory.

Singapore serves as a base for companies such as Cisco to develop their innovation and R&D capabilities.

2. This significant partnership between Cisco and NUS attests to Cisco’s confidence in Singapore for companies seeking to develop their R&D capabilities here, and in our research institutions such as NUS.

3. I would like to thank Cisco for its significant contributions to the growth of our tech ecosystem.

a. Over the last 26 years, Cisco has expanded its Asia-Pacific, Japan and China (APJC) HQ in Singapore to about 1,000 employees today.

b. In 2018, Cisco established its first-in-ASEAN Co-Innovation Centre, which brings together industry, government and start-ups to develop blockchain-enabled Internet of Things solutions.

c. It also established its Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence in the same year, with the aim to expand Cisco’s APAC threat intelligence research and response capabilities.

4. Today’s launch of the Cisco-NUS Corp Lab is yet another milestone in Cisco’s journey in Singapore, and a continuation of Cisco’s efforts to enhance its R&D capabilities.

a. NUS is a natural choice to site this Corp Lab, since Cisco and NUS have collaborated on various projects over the years and are no strangers to each other. With its strong focus on R&D, Cisco has a strong track record of working with local and international companies in developing and commercialising solutions for the industry.

b. I am confident that the Corp Lab partnership will help enhance Cisco’s competitive advantage, by expanding the scope of its technological capabilities for its clients.

5. Let me elaborate on how Singapore and the region can also stand to benefit from such a partnership.

Singapore-based companies can access cutting-edge technologies, which will support the digitalisation and transformation of key sectors.

6. First, the Corp Lab will support industry transformation and digitalisation.

a. Cisco and NUS will co-develop 17 new tech solutions and 12 improved products and services in areas such as Artificial Intelligence, healthcare, supply chain and cybersecurity.

b. These cutting-edge technologies can be accessed by companies looking to digitally-transform their businesses, and compete more effectively.

c. This is in line with the aim of Singapore’s S$25 billion Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 Plan.

Singapore can strengthen its innovation capabilities through the creation of jobs and training opportunities, as well as new partnerships.

7. Second, the Corp Lab will generate new jobs and training opportunities for local talents, and encourage new partnerships with local companies.

a. It will create more than 20 new R&D jobs, as well as provide training opportunities for almost 100 researchers, analysts, engineers as well as students.

b. The Corp Lab has also committed to partnering at least 100 Singapore-based companies to customise and refine their solutions according to specific user requirements. This will provide opportunities for local companies to participate in the R&D process and learn from a leading technology company. This will allow them to derive productivity improvements, revenue growth or cost savings through innovation.

8. The Singapore Government supports such public-private R&D partnerships through competitive research grants.

a. A*STAR and the National Research Foundation provide several funding schemes to support companies to co-develop new technologies with local universities and research institutions. They include:

i. The Industry Alignment Fund, which supports public research performers in strategic R&D projects with companies. The Cisco-NUS Corp Lab is one such project supported by this fund; and

ii. The Industry & Enterprise Cluster Fund, which helps to strengthen partnerships across companies, universities and research institutions to bring ideas to market.

9. Partnerships between companies continue to be an effective way to spur innovation and reimagine new business models.

a. I encourage more to follow the example of Cisco and work with us to uplift the ecosystem, which will benefit everyone.

Closing

10. Let me conclude by once again congratulating Cisco and NUS on the official launch of the Corp Lab. I look forward to ground-breaking ideas and solutions from this collaboration.

11. Thank you. 

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