SINGAPORE - Local information technology firm NCS launched an innovation centre in Shenzhen city on Monday (Jan 18) to drive cross-border collaboration in applications of 5G and other emerging technologies such as driverless vehicles, as it looks to expand its presence in the China market.
The 1,400 sq m Next Shenzhen Innovation Centre is NCS' first in China, and adds to its two centres in Singapore and Melbourne.
NCS employees will work alongside clients and partners from industries such as financial services, telecommunications and real estate to jointly develop projects utilising 5G, Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain technology. DBS Bank is one of the centre's first anchor tenants.
During the launch event at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, NCS chief executive Ng Kuo Pin said: "NCS has set our sights beyond Singapore, and we aspire to be the digital catalyst of governments and enterprises across Asia-Pacific.
"(The centre) forms the perfect gateway for us to serve Singaporean clients who are looking to enter and expand into the Chinese market, and for our Chinese clients to venture into South-east Asia and the Asia-Pacific."
The launch event was held concurrently in Singapore and at the new centre in Shenzhen in southern Guangdong province, with the two locations connected via a live video feed.
Guests were given an idea of the kinds of solutions that could potentially be developed at the Shenzhen innovation centre through live demonstrations conducted by NCS.
These included a robot fleet management system that allows users to operate and monitor multiple robots remotely, and a small self-driving minivan that can serve as a mobile vending machine, among other functions.
The minivan is built by Chinese start-up Neolix, which is a partner of NCS. The vehicle taps 5G technology to navigate the roads, and was deployed in contactless delivery trials in Shanghai by fast food brands KFC and Pizza Hut last year.
The Shenzhen innovation centre will also offer opportunities for NCS employees based in Singapore to be deployed in Shenzhen through job attachments and rotations, as well as internships for Singapore and Shenzhen students under an exchange initiative.
Speaking at the event on Monday, Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan said the new centre holds "great promise" as a hub for innovation and talent exchange between Singapore and Shenzhen, and will complement the Singapore-China (Shenzhen) Smart City Initiative (SCI) launched in 2019.
"Through the SCI, both sides are enhancing digital connectivity and building stronger linkages between our technology and business ecosystems," said Mr Tan.
"As Shenzhen grows into a global innovation powerhouse, there will be greater opportunities for collaboration between Singapore and Shenzhen (such as this one)."