In 2015, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore’s public sector agency for economic research, was focused on advancing 3D bioprinting, and last year it was working to improve the stress absorption of 3D printed implants. Now, the agency is launching a new Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Initiative. The announcement was made today at the IIoT World Tour by Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Trade and Industry; she also announced that a public-private partnership is opening a Smart Manufacturing Joint Lab. The IIoT initiative, which will focus on the digitalization of industrial customer care, got its start through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) betwen A*STAR and 13 companies wishing to start a consortium focusing on the full IoT value chain.

The consortium will be made up of the following:

  • Large Local Enterprises: Singtel and Starhub
  • MNCs: Rolls-Royce, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Rohde & Schwarz, and Cisco Systems
  • SMEs: Frontier Integrated Technology, Concorde Security, and MEDs Technologies
  • Startups: Third Wave Power, Wismut Labs, and Sidefx Studios

The IIoT initiative the consortium will work on will help develop solutions for the IIoT, including cybersecurity, gateways, industrial data analytics, sensors, and integrated systems for aftermarket customer care. It will combine the best of industry and academia to meet demands from companies looking to the future and wanting to further emphasize aftermarket support and service – now that IIoT technologies are being further developed, and sensors are being added to products and machines, businesses are able to constantly collect and analyze data on their products, so they can conduct predictive maintenance and create new business models.

[Image: A*STAR]

A*STAR also launched an IIOT Research Program earlier this month, which will focus on Singapore’s IIoT efforts and combines multi-disciplinary capabilities from its research institutes – National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). The program will especially center around developing advanced data analytics, industrial cyber physical security for cognitive and secure IIoT systems, and reliable industrial wireless communications, and the new technologies, along with others related to advanced manufacturing, will be piloted at the Model Factories of A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) and Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC).

A Smart Manufacturing Joint Lab will also be launched by a public-private partnership, made up of A*STAR, Rolls-Royce, and Singapore Aero Engineering Services (SAESL), in order to work on developing next-generation manufacturing and MRO capabilities. The lab initiative will leverage Singapore’s advanced manufacturing R&D capabilities in order to bring together expertise and offer broader value and productivity.

[Image: A*STAR via OpenGov Asia]

“I am confident that the partnerships among the public and private sector will pave the way for the digital transformation of our manufacturing sector,” said Ms. Low. “The government’s vision for the future of manufacturing in Singapore is an exciting one – where global manufacturing companies continue to anchor their advanced manufacturing activities here, and our local enterprises develop and harness advanced manufacturing technologies to develop new products, scale up and become globally competitive, leading to the creation of fulfilling good jobs for Singaporeans.”

That’s not all of the news A*STAR has this week – the agency has also launched its Tech Access Initiative, which supports Singapore’s local manufacturing enterprises, most especially its SMEs, by offering them access to its base of research facilities and equipment, including 3D printing technology. In addition, A*STAR opened its brand new Industrial Additive Manufacturing Facility (IAMF) at ARTC.

A*STAR has launched its Tech Access Initiative and new Industrial Additive Manufacturing Facility [Image: OpenGov Asia]

The Singaporean government has determined that additive manufacturing is one of several technologies that the city-state needs to embrace in order to ramp up the country’s competitive manufacturing industry, and will be investing S$ 3.2 billion in R&D and innovation under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE2020) Plan, the goal of which is to advance Singapore’s advanced engineering and manufacturing capabilities. The government aims to support SMEs as they master the barriers of integrating these technologies, and the new IAMF will help SMEs embrace additive manufacturing technology through A*STAR’s user training, technical advice, and equipment.

SIMTech will make its 19 different types of additive manufacturing equipment – from high-pressure cold sprays and inspection tools to robotized 3D scanners – available under the new Tech Access Initiative. The goal is for Singapore SMEs to utilize the IAMF to find opportunities to leverage AM processes, as well as experiment with applications, without having to purchase their own expensive equipment at the offset.

“Our manufacturing sector has successfully gone through major shifts, from a labour-intensive sector in the 1960s to one that is innovation-driven and productive today,” said Dr Koh Poh Koon, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and National Development, at the launch of the Tech Access Initiative and opening of the IAMF. “Moving forward, technological trends such as digitalisation, robotics and automation, and Additive Manufacturing are transforming not just shop floor operations and supply chains, but also business models. Against this backdrop, the Committee on the Future Economy has recommended that we continue to sustain a globally competitive manufacturing sector as an anchor for our economy. The government is committed to partnering our companies to upgrade their technological capabilities to ensure that they succeed in the new manufacturing paradigm.”

[Source: OpenGov Asia]

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