Professor Chen (fifth from left) and Mr Naveen Menon, President ASEAN, Cisco (fifth from right), signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 25 June to collaborate on innovation and research. (Photo Credit: Cisco)
Professor Chen (fifth from left) and Mr Naveen Menon, President ASEAN, Cisco (fifth from right), signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 25 June to collaborate on innovation and research. Cisco

The National University of Singapore (NUS) and the American multinational technology conglomerate Cisco have agreed to put their joint efforts on innovation and research in key emerging technologies to help the country's digital economy.

NUS and Cisco will together identify joint research projects and sponsor chairs, as well as exchange scientific, academic and technical information. The research project will mainly focus on healthcare, manufacturing, customer experience and Smart Nation.

The collaborators will make use of the NUS Kent Ridge campus as a living laboratory for the co-creation, exploration, as well as evaluation of innovative ideas, technology and scenarios in real-life use cases.

This move was actually taken to showcase the efforts of governments across the world as Singapore look to digital adoption to improve citizen services.

However, it should be noted that the Republic is among those global leaders on that front with its Smart Nation initiative, which focuses on,

  • Digital Economy: Aimed at digitalising industries to increase business efficacy, and create new jobs and opportunities
  • Digital Government: Using data, connectivity and computing decisively to transform the way citizens and businesses are served, and the way public officers are enabled to contribute fully to their work
  • Digital Society: Digital inclusion to ensure all Singaporeans have access to technology and are equipped with the skills to use technology safely and confidently. This is to empower Singaporeans to maximise the opportunities of a digital society.

As per NUS media release, the Senior Vice President, Irving Tan who is also the Chief of Operations at Cisco said that the technological advancement always helped to boost Singapore's economic growth as "we move towards becoming a Smart Nation, future growth of the digital economy will be driven in a large part by building local innovation capabilities."

Tan stated further: "At Cisco, we are delighted to have the opportunity" to collaborate with NUS, which is the top Asian university as per QS World University Rankings along with NTU, to co-create solutions that help address issues for local business and have global relevance.

"Our global expertise in areas of Internet of Things, Cybersecurity, Software Defined Networking, Automation and Artificial Intelligence, coupled with NUS' understanding of the local landscape and its research capabilities, will help us develop technologies that contribute to the long-term growth of the country," Tan added.

After Both NUS and Cisco agreed to join hands Deputy President for Research and Technology at NUS, Professor Chen Tsuhan said that since the digital transformation is a continuous effort transforming all aspects of lifestyle, the university is ready to take the plethora of opportunities through its digital innovation activities.

"This collaborative partnership with Cisco symbolises NUS' deep commitment to translational research and co-creation of new knowledge in areas of strategic importance that will not only improve the way we live, work and play, but also propel Singapore's position as true Smart Nation globally," Prof Tsuhan further added.

It should be noted that the Singapore Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, who attended "Smart Nation Summit" mentioned in a post that a Smart Nation doesn't mean a country with the glitziest gadgets and gizmos, but it is about using technology to solve problems the country faces, making a positive difference to people's lives.

However, as per both NUS and Cisco, this collaboration aims to boost Singapore's knowledge-based innovation-driven digital economy.