Opening Remarks by Mr Lim Chuan Poh, at the Rolls-Royce-SAESL-A*STAR Smart Manufacturing Joint Lab Signing Ceremony

Mr Ian Davis, Chairman, Rolls-Royce
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen

A very warm welcome to all of you to the ARTC on this Sunday morning to celebrate the signing ceremony of the Smart Manufacturing Joint Lab Agreement.
I am sure you all want to be here more than anywhere else at this moment.

This Joint Lab between A*STAR, Rolls-Royce and SAESL seeks to develop next-generation manufacturing and Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) capabilities enabled by advanced processes, automation and digital technologies.
It also brings to a meaningful milestone many months of hard work by the teams from A*STAR and Rolls-Royce to shape the Agreement following our MOU signing early this year.
Since then, SAESL has also come on board to participate in the Joint Lab.
At the MOU signing back in January this year, I encouraged the teams to aim for an agreement to be signed by September when Chairman Ian Davis had planned to be back in town.

Today’s signing, I believe, reflects the mutual trust and confidence in the relationship that we have built up over the years.
Let me use this occasion to acknowledge the leadership, engagement and support provided by many of our colleagues from all parties involved to finalize this agreement on time and successfully.
It would, of course, be too many for me to mention all of them, but I should want to highlight a few: Dr Hamid Mughal, Mr Paul Stein, Mr Simon Kirby, Mr Ben Story, Mr Jonathan Asherson, Dr Bicky Bhangu, Mr Bill Wozniak, Prof Tan Sze Wee, Mr Jonathan Kua, and Dr David Low.

I want to thank everyone involved for bringing this about, but I should add that the next phase is even more important as we operationalise the Agreement.

The focus of the Joint Lab is to allow the partners to co-develop technologies which will eventually be adopted on-site at Rolls-Royce’s and SAESL’s facilities to improve productivity, save costs and enhance competitiveness.

While it is housed at the ARTC, many other A*STAR institutes are also participating in this Joint Lab with the relevant capabilities.

This includes the Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC), Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), as well as the National Metrology Centre (NMC).

The Joint Lab Is Aligned with Singapore’s Push for the Future of Manufacturing

In my remarks during the MOU signing earlier this year, I have underlined the importance of the manufacturing sector to Singapore’s economy and this point was reiterated when the Committee on the Future Economy presented their report in February.
It was also highlighted then that aerospace is one of the key sector in manufacturing. The total output from the local aerospace industry is worth over S$8 billion, 85 percent of which comes from MRO activities.

Both Rolls Royce and SAESL are key players in this sector.
At the same time, over the years, Rolls-Royce has proven to be one of A*STAR’s most valuable partners in collaborative research that kick-starts innovation for the industry. To date, we have completed well over 300 projects together.

This joint lab is therefore, both a demonstration of our continued strategic partnership, and a significant milestone in Singapore’s push towards the Future of Manufacturing.

We are happy and honoured to be able to work with Rolls Royce and SAESL to make aerospace the first industry sector to embark on Singapore’s Future of Manufacturing initiative.

The success of this Joint Lab will not only strengthen Singapore’s aerospace position in Asia and contribute directly to the future output of Rolls-Royce and SAESL, it will also serve as a model for the aerospace supply chain and the other manufacturing sectors.

Our Future of Manufacturing strategy involves bringing together ideas, resources, people and companies along the innovation value-chain from MNCs to SMEs on a synergistic platform to co-create and co-develop to benefit Singapore’s future economy.

In the months to come, we will draw lessons from this Joint Lab to benefit the other industry verticals that we are working with as part of the Future of Manufacturing strategy.

On this note, let me once again congratulate the teams on this momentous occasion and wish you all the best in this Joint Lab.

Thank you.