SINGAPORE/MUNICH: Electronics giant Siemens opened its first digitalisation hub in Singapore on Tuesday (Jul 11), with the aim of developing smart solutions for Singapore companies and universities.
The hub in MacPherson brings together specialists like data scientists, software engineers and solution architects from various sectors. These professionals will experiment, develop and test-bed innovations to help businesses become more efficient, said Siemens in a news release.
Key target areas are urban infrastructure, advanced manufacturing and healthcare.
The launch of the digitalisation hub took place simultaneously at parallel events in Singapore and at Siemens’ headquarters in Munich.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is in Germany for a week-long working visit, witnessed the launch via satellite from Siemens’ headquarters, alongside the German conglomerate’s president and CEO Joe Kaeser.
PM Lee said the fact that people in both Munich and Singapore are witnessing the launch through live video feed “shows how technology can change our everyday lives, improve the way we do things, and bring people closer together”.
In his speech, Mr Lee lauded the “longstanding and deep partnership” between Singapore and Siemens, which will mark 110 years in Singapore next year.
The company’s ASEAN regional headquarters is based in Singapore, employing more than 1,500 people. Around S$1 billion of Singapore’s Gross Value Added are also linked to Siemens operations, the company said.
“Siemens has been a steadfast partner and participant of Singapore’s development story,” Mr Lee said. “(It has) created jobs and helped build up Singapore’s technical competencies in key industries such as oil and gas, power, transport and healthcare.”
But besides having the infrastructure, Mr Lee also stressed that the Singapore workforce must have the right skills and abilities to support these efforts.
On his part, Mr Kaeser said Singapore’s Smart Nation push and advanced infrastructure makes the country “the ideal location” for the digitalisation hub.
SIEMENS TO HIRE 300 DIGITALISATION SPECIALISTS BY 2022
Singapore currently hosts about 50 per cent of Southeast Asia’s data centre capacity. With the new hub, which is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), Siemens is set to develop smart grids and new mobility applications with firms like Singapore Power and ST Electronics, among other solutions.
The German conglomerate added that 60 specialists from various disciplines will work at the hub for a start, with the number of digitalisation experts expected to reach 300 by 2022.
EDB chairman Beh Swan Gin said that the hub will also help expand the pipeline of digital-ready talent in Singapore.
To mark the launch, three collaboration agreements were signed by Siemens with Nanyang Technological University, SP Group and ST Electronics. Projects range from mobility solutions based on self-driving vehicles to creating a multi-energy urban microgrid solution to help consumers of electricity save energy and cost.
Digitalisation was one of the key themes at the recent G20 summit in Hamburg, where PM Lee called on world leaders to play an active role in helping workers and businesses embrace new technology.
PM Lee pointed out on Monday that the Singapore Government is helping to train people at a young age, by introducing basic coding skills in schools, mandatory digital literacy modules in universities, and study awards or training schemes under the SkillsFuture programme.