300 funded assessments to help companies adopt advanced manufacturing

Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry and National Development Koh Poh Koon speaking at the Business Excellence Awards on Oct 26, 2017. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - The Government will fund 300 assessments for the Singapore Smart Industry Readiness Index to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and multinational corporations (MNCs) accelerate their industrial transformation efforts, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry and National Development, Dr Koh Poh Koon said on Thursday (March 22).

To further amplify the reach and use of the Index, an accreditation programme will also be developed to train and qualify assessors, said Dr Koh.

The Index is a world-first diagnostic tool that companies across all industries and sizes can use to learn about Industry 4.0, evaluate the state of their facilities and develop a transformation roadmap. Industry 4.0 refers to the Fourth Industrial Revolution which envisages companies using "smart factories" where highly-skilled staff work seamlessly alongside robots, using automation and new data exchange technologies.

The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), in partnership with Germany's TUV SUD, launched the Index in November last year. TUV SUD specialises in training, inspection and product certification services.

Said Dr Koh: "The Index has received positive reviews since its launch and we are heartened that companies have found it useful in their transformation journeys. However, through feedback from public workshops, we recognise that having a qualified assessor can help companies overcome the initial barriers to transform.

"As such, we have committed 300 funded assessments and an accreditation programme, to ensure companies receive sufficient guidance in using the Index to evaluate their facilities and identify priority areas to focus on."

TUV SUD, the technical advisor and project manager in the development of the index, will be conducting the 300 funded assessments while details of the accreditation programme will be released at a later time.

Once trained, qualified assessors will aid companies over two half-day consultations across two weeks in using the Index to develop an Industry 4.0 strategy.

In addition, the government will collaborate with Singapore trade associations and chambers like the Association of Singapore Marine Industries and Singapore Food Manufacturing Association to drive the use of the Index, EDB said.

Since its launch, the Index has garnered both local and international interest with over 500 people from more than 200 MNCs and SMEs attending the public workshops conducted by EDB and TUV SUD.

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