Speech by Ms Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Trade and Industry, at the Industrial Internet Of Things (IIoT) World Tour, on 15 September 2017

Mr Uwe Beckmeyer,
Parliamentary State Secretary at the Germany Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy,
Mr. Henning Banthien,
Secretary General of the Plattform Industrie 4.0
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,



A very good morning. It gives me great pleasure to join you today at the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) World Tour 2017 hosted by A*STAR and co-organised with the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and Germany’s Plattform Industrie 4.0. The IIoT World Tour brings together the cross-industry knowledge of the IIC and the manufacturing expertise of Plattform Industrie 4.0 to accelerate the digitalisation of industry production.

We are honoured to be the host country for the Asian leg1 of the IIoT World Tour this year. This is one of the key highlights of the inaugural Future of Manufacturing Singapore series of events taking place this month. Singapore is keen to play an active role in leading the region’s adoption of IIoT technologies, a key enabler that is crucial to our Future of Manufacturing (FoM) initiatives. Singapore is investing in Industry 4.0 to drive the transformation of our industries, and build a globally competitive manufacturing sector.

Manufacturing is an important pillar of Singapore’s economy, contributing about 20% of our GDP and 14% of our total employment in 2016. Globally, manufacturing is undergoing major transformation. Technology advances, such as 3D printing, robotics and data analytics, will allow us to fundamentally reorganise the way goods are produced, and rethink the way in which value can be captured from manufacturing activities. This wave of transformation has been termed the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0.

At the FoM Summit organised by A*STAR last week, Minister for Industry S Iswaran highlighted how Singapore, as a trusted manufacturing hub with deep capabilities, is well-placed to tap into many of the opportunities created by Industry 4.0. It is crucial that manufacturing activities in Singapore keep pace with global trends, and stay ahead of the curve in the areas of focus which we want to develop. To ensure the continued competitiveness of our manufacturing sector, the government is committed to the development of advanced manufacturing technologies in Singapore. Under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 (RIE2020) plan, we have committed S$3.2 billion from 2016 to 2020, to develop technological capabilities in the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) domain. This supports our FoM strategy, which was rolled out by A*STAR earlier this year in consultation with the industry, Institutes of Higher Learning and other government agencies. One key focus area of Singapore’s Future of Manufacturing (FoM) strategy is IIoT. Partnerships will be key to developing IIOT capabilities in our local manufacturing ecosystem.

Given the complexity and dynamic nature of the future of manufacturing, it is important for us to strengthen partnerships in our local manufacturing ecosystem so we can pool resources, share risk and increase adoption rates. This approach is especially relevant for IIOT, which requires close cooperation among stakeholders to facilitate data-driven manufacturing, that will boost operational efficiency across the production floor and the broader supply value chain.

For instance, A*STAR’s IIoT Research Programme, which was launched early this month, has brought together multi-disciplinary capabilities from A*STAR research institutes, National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). This programme will focus our efforts on IIoT, especially in the development of highly reliable industrial wireless communications, advanced data analytics, and industrial cyber physical security for cognitive and secure IIoT systems.

These latest technologies will then be piloted, together with other advanced manufacturing technologies, such as additive manufacturing and robotics, on the floors of the Model Factories at A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) and Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC). By working together, we can validate and eventually deploy these technologies in Singapore and beyond.

A*STAR has also embarked on an IIoT Initiative focusing on the digitalisation of industrial customer care, to meet the demand from forward- looking companies that are placing greater business emphasis on after- market service and support. Previously, businesses could only estimate the condition of their products based on their lifespan and frequency of use. But with the development of IIoT technologies and integration of sensors with machines and products, a wide range of data can be continuously collected and analysed. This can be used by businesses to optimise asset utilisation, conduct predictive maintenance and even create new business models.

To kick off this initiative, I am happy to announce that A*STAR will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 13 companies here today who have expressed interest to form a consortium with capabilities spanning across the entire IIoT value chain. This consortium will comprise MNCs - Rolls-Royce, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Rohde & Schwarz and Cisco Systems; our Large Local Enterprises - Singtel and Starhub; SMEs – Frontier Integrated Technology, Concorde Security, and MEDs Technologies, as well as start-ups Third Wave Power, Wismut Labs and Sidefx Studios. The initiative will bridge the gap between academia and industry, and develop IIoT solutions, such as sensors, gateways, industrial data analytics, cybersecurity, integrated systems and solutions for the aftermarket customer care sector.

One of the pioneer partners of this Initiative, Rolls-Royce, has been at the forefront of using IIoT technologies to improve their customer service and manufacturing processes. For example, the use of sensors and industrial data analytics has allowed Rolls-Royce to plan and deploy manpower and resources in a timelier manner, maximise engine availability slots for their customers, and in so doing raise the competitiveness of their Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) services.

On this note, I am pleased to announce another FoM public-private partnership in Singapore’s manufacturing ecosystem. A*STAR, Rolls-Royce and Singapore Aero Engineering Services (SAESL) will be launching a Smart Manufacturing Joint Lab to develop next-generation manufacturing and MRO capabilities, enabled by advanced processes, automation and digital technologies. This initiative aims to leverage Singapore’s strong R&D capabilities in advanced manufacturing to capture greater value for the industry in terms of technology know-how and greater productivity.

More details on the Smart Manufacturing Joint Lab will be announced early next week.

Beyond these efforts which we are undertaking within the local ecosystem, Singapore must form partnerships with our friends around the world and learn from the best in this field. I am pleased to note our close collaboration with the IIC and Plattform Industrie 4.0 in hosting the IIOT World Tour 2017. Through interactions with these global thought leaders and by plugging into cutting-edge developments, we can better position ourselves as a competitive member of the global manufacturing landscape.



I am confident that the partnerships among the public and private sector will pave the way for the digital transformation of our manufacturing sector. The government’s vision for the future of manufacturing in Singapore is an exciting one – where global manufacturing companies continue to anchor their advanced manufacturing activities here, and our local enterprises develop and harness advanced manufacturing technologies to develop new products, scale up and become globally competitive, leading to the creation of fulfilling good jobs for Singaporeans.

The IIOT World Tour today offers an excellent opportunity for our participants to exchange innovative ideas, strengthen partnerships, and explore new collaborations.

I wish everyone an engaging and fruitful session. Thank you.



1 The IIOT World Tour debuts this year and has three stop-overs. The first leg took place in Turin, Italy on 19th June 2017. Singapore is the second leg, while San Francisco will be the final leg on 8th December 2017.