CapitaLand and its partners commit up to $10 million in smart cities solution lab

The Smart Urban Co-Innovation Lab aims to provide a real-world development and test-bed centre at Singapore Science Park. PHOTO: CAPITALAND

SINGAPORE - CapitaLand, together with 30 industry partners, is committing up to S$10 million in Southeast Asia's first industry-led lab to accelerate development and deployment of smart cities solutions in Singapore and overseas.

Called The Smart Urban Co-Innovation Lab (Lab), it aims to provide a real-world development and test-bed centre at Singapore Science Park as well as a platform for various players, such as local tech startups and global corporate enterprises, to co-create solutions for smart cities.

Opened today by Mr S. Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations, the Lab is designed to further enhance Singapore's innovation ecosystem by focusing on close-to-market activities.

During the opening, Mr Iswaran said the Lab epitomises two important aspects of the way we are going about Singapore's economic transformation - innovation and partnerships.

"On the innovation side, we recognise the need to come up with novel solutions and technologies as part of Singapore's longer term competitiveness and economic growth," said Mr Iswaran.

He added that the Lab is a very good example of the kind of partnerships we want to engender in the way Singapore is moving forward.

"What it means is you are creating an innovation enterprise ecosystem, which allows for the interaction between these different enterprise archetypes and for innovation to come out," said Mr Iswaran.

The Lab, which takes up 5,400 sq feet and is supported by Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG), will initiate calls for proposals, workshops as well as facilitate proof-of-concepts and deployment. It is set to benefit some 200 companies in Singapore over the next three years.

Mr Manohar Khiatani, senior executive director of CapitaLand, said: "This Lab is in line with our goal to be a smart, sustainable and community-oriented developer."

Currently, 30 industry players, including Amazon Web Services, Cisco Systems, Kone, Microsoft, Schneider Electric and TPG Telecom, have committed to partnering local firms to cooperate and test ideas or pilot trials for smart cities solutions.

The Lab will focus on six key industry verticals of advanced manufacturing, digital wellness, intelligent estates, smart mobility, sustainability and urban agriculture.

One of the local firms involved in the Lab is Vizzio.AI, a technology company developing novel reality capture tools for 3D mapping using satellite imagery and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms. It is working with CapitaLand and other potential clients.

Dr Jon Li, CEO and co-founder of Vizzio.AI, said that the Lab has brought him many leads from government to retail to real estate.

"We have seen a lot of incubators. But this Lab is practical and hands on, and they brought us connections and brought us leads," he said.

Another local firm involved in the Lab is Garuda Robotics, a local developer of enterprise-grade drone and drone data solutions for enterprises and governments. It is currently working with CapitaLand and leveraging on TPG Telecom's 5G network to transform Science Park into a drone-enabled test bed.

Mr Mark Yong, CEO and co-founder of Garuda Robotics, said: "The Lab is bringing together many partners, users and collaborators. It is basically a very rich ecosystem that covers everyone in the value chain."

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