Committee of Supply (COS) Debate 2020: Stronger Through Innovation

Against the COVID-19 outbreak and the softening of the global economy, this year’s Budget is focused on preparing Singapore and Singaporeans to address these challenges, transform the economy to be globally competitive, and seize new opportunities.

New Innovation Factory to Give Local Enterprises an Edge in Product Innovation and Development

COS 2020 - SIMTech Innovation Factory Artist Impression
Artist’s impression of SIMTech Innovation Factory

SMS Koh Poh Koon highlighted the importance of fostering innovation to maintain Singapore’s competitive edge. For advanced manufacturing, a co-working space called the SIMTech Innovation Factory will be built in the Jurong Innovation District to help companies brainstorm and design unique products. Dr Koh said that after successfully designing their products, companies can go to one of the two model factory facilities at A*STAR for pilot production. He added that this is very useful for SMEs, when they lack the capacity, or necessary technical expertise to do this on their own. The SIMTech Innovation Factory will be operationally ready at CleanTech Park in Jurong Innovation District in 2021.

COS 2020 - ARTC tour

COS 2020 - ARTC
After developing their idea into a product concept for prototyping, companies can choose to carry out pilot manufacturing of their products one of the A*STAR Model Factory facilities at SIMTech (in top picture) and ARTC (above).

Roadmapping to Develop Workforce Upskilling Initiatives

Speaking in his capacity as Deputy Secretary-General of NTUC, Dr Koh also updated that the Labour Movement is forming Company Training Committees (CTCs), to help drive companies’ transformation. A*STAR will support NTUC’s efforts in driving workers’ upskilling through the Operation Technology Roadmapping (OTR) programme, as well as OTR facilitator training. The roadmapping will help companies identify the skillsets required to increase their competitive edge, and achieve their business transformation goals.

COS 2020 - OTR roadmap
A*STAR’s Operational & Technology Roadmap (OTR) programme charts out the path to help companies form a strategic business plan to help grow the business and generate long-term profit.

AI-powered Engine to Lift Local Translation Standards

SG Translate, a machine translation engine has been jointly developed by the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and A*STAR's Institute for Infocomm Research (I²R). SG Translate, which uses AI, is capable of producing good first-cut translations almost instantly and has been used by public officers in the translations of public communications materials, including those related to COVID-19. MCI is launching a new pilot project “SG Translate Together” and inviting select groups of people to contribute quality translations to further improve SG Translate. In an interview with Channel NewsAsia, Ms Aw Ai Ti, Head of the Aural and Language Intelligence department at I²R, shared how AI could be further trained with localised data to enhance its performance.


Read more below

  • Channel News Asia Online: Committee of Supply 2020 Debate, Day 3, Koh Poh Koon on industry innovation, research

SIMTech Innovation Factory

Operation Technology Roadmapping (OTR) programme

SG Translate

Read the COS Debate speeches below