Robotics Centre to help start-ups opens

Dr Koh Poh Koon looking at an OMNi-smart helmet, which is made by OMNI-, a start-up firm supported by the Robotics Centre. It is fitted with information display, GPS navigation, dual-view camera and in-built speakers, and can be controlled by a mobil
Dr Koh Poh Koon looking at an OMNi-smart helmet, which is made by OMNI-, a start-up firm supported by the Robotics Centre. It is fitted with information display, GPS navigation, dual-view camera and in-built speakers, and can be controlled by a mobile app, making it easy for riders to navigate safely.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

Facility in one-north will enable greater access to support services, technology and networks

A centre has been set up to allow start-ups in the robotics and automation sector greater access to support services, innovative technologies and communication networks.

Launch pad Robotics Centre is the first of its kind for start-ups and is situated at JTC Launchpad in one-north.

The Launchpad community houses about 800 start-ups and more than 50 business incubators from diverse industries.

The robotics centre was opened yesterday by Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and National Development, who said: "Robotics has been identified as a key area to enable Singapore to leverage advances in technologies to enhance the competitiveness of our economic sectors, address challenges of an ageing population and seed new growth industries."

The 1,600sqft facility offers a maker space, co-working space and a display area.

The maker space provides a range of equipment from plastic 3D printers and electronics components, but can also facilitate access to off-site equipment.

The centre is a joint project developed by Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), a national private sector-led organisation supported by the MTI, and ANTI, the corporate venture arm of local precision engineering firm PBA Group.

ACE will provide business-related support and mentorship for start-ups while PBA will provide industry-specific expertise, resources and contacts in the sector.

Start-ups can approach either ACE or PBA with their business ideas. If they pass a shortlisting process, they will be able to use the space and equipment for free.

According to Mr Derrick Yap, chief executive officer of PBA Group, about $250,000 has been put into setting up the centre.

Five start-ups are in development at the centre. One is Moovaz, which has created technology to collaborate with PBA Group's Golden Retriever Automated Robot systems - technology designed to transport items for warehousing.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2018, with the headline 'Robotics Centre to help start-ups opens'. Print Edition | Subscribe