SEAGATE Technology yesterday opened a $100 million design, research and development (R&D) centre to house 500 research scientists and engineers.
The Singapore Seagate Design Centre, in Ayer Rajah Crescent, will focus on developing the technology giant's next generation of 2.5-inch storage drives.
The facility, named The Shugart in honour of group founder Al Shugart, has two blocks - one with nine storeys and the other with six. Seagate will bring together all its R&D staff in Singapore to enhance collaboration and innovation. They are now located at its other facilities in Singapore. Seagate has about 7,000 employees here.
Its devices are used in IT and electronic devices such as computers, notebooks, video recorders and security surveillance systems.
Seagate chairman and chief executive Stephen Luczo said demand for storage devices would be supported by a range of industries. For instance, media, retail, operations and surveillance companies see value in storing data for the long term, so they can retrieve what they need when they need it. Using the security surveillance industry as an example, Mr Luczo said: "You always wish you had more footage of that street corner three months ago, if some event happened. People would rather not get rid of this stuff if they can afford to store it."
Vice-president for development engineering Mike Troemel said demand would also come from console gaming and digital video recorders.
Mr Luczo said 3D printers and robots would eventually require large amounts of stored data too.
He said Singapore provided the right human capital and infrastructure for Seagate's R&D operations. "For us to push the science where it needs to be pushed, you need to have state-of-the-art labs, facilities and infrastructure. We're fortunate to be in a place like Singapore where we have the human capital."
At the opening ceremony, he noted: "Singapore's business-friendly climate and the great support from government agencies truly set it apart."
Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang, who attended the ceremony, said the recent capacity and R&D expansion by companies affirm Singapore's continued competitiveness and strength in electronics.
"The Government will continue to partner the industry to enhance its competitiveness, by growing and deepening capabilities in manufacturing and R&D."