Cisco, NUS launch S$54-million Corporate Lab

Image courtesy of NUS

Cisco and the National University of Singapore (NUS) have launched a Corporate Laboratory to boost innovation and research in key technology areas and rev up Singapore’s digital economy.

Established with an investment of S$54 million over five years, the Cisco-NUS Accelerated Digital Economy Corporate Laboratory is supported by National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore.

Based in the NUS Kent Ridge campus, the Corporate Lab will bring together talent from NUS and Cisco to focus on five strategic research areas, with the aim to boost Singapore’s knowledge-based, innovation-driven digital economy.

The focus areas are artificial intelligence (AI), healthcare, cybersecurity, urban infrastructure, and future workforce and productivity.

These technologies are especially critical nowadays as companies and countries prepare for a post-pandemic future where digital-first interactions, a hybrid workforce, and smart urban infrastructure are likely to become ubiquitous. The success of all these trends will be underpinned by cybersecurity and the ability of businesses and governments to keep critical information infrastructure safe from malicious actors. 

“As we prepare for a post-pandemic future, one thing is clear — technology will be central to every aspect of businesses and governments, and their interaction with consumers and citizens,” said Naveen Menon, Cisco president for the ASEAN region.

“In this digital-first era, building local innovation capabilities that deliver globally relevant solutions will be critical to the success of countries,” said Menon. 

NUS president Tan Eng Chye said digital transformation is an inevitable direction for businesses and societies, and this has been accelerated by the COVID-19 situation.

“We need to be nimble and innovative to reap the benefits of digitalisation,” said Tan. “Data sciences, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, optimisation and analytics are NUS’ key research strengths.”

The Corporate Lab is led by Jeremy Lim, manager of the Cisco Singapore Co-Innovation Center, and Associate Professor Biplab Sikdar who is a faculty member of the NUS Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, as Co-Directors.

The Corporate Lab will employ and train more than 100 researchers, analysts, engineers and students to work on 15 research projects. It will also provide scholarships for doctoral students who will work on projects associated with the Corporate Lab. 

In addition, the Corporate Lab aims to deliver 17 new technology solutions, 12 improved products and services in areas such as AI, healthcare, supply chain, urban infrastructure and cybersecurity, and also benefit/partner at least 100 Singapore-based companies to use and refine the developed solutions.