NCS has smart city in its sights


11 February 2015

NCS has teamed up with 15 technology partners in a big push to develop smart city innovations, in line with Singapore’s ambition to become the world’s smart nation.

The announcement was made at the launch of SURF@NCS, a “living lab” set up for public agencies and commercial enterprises to create and test-bed innovations in the areas of education, healthcare, transport and public safety. SURF or “Solutions for Urbanised Future” is NCS’ branding for its smart city initiatives.

Besides providing an environment for organisations to hold ideation workshops and test various technologies, applications and proof-of-concepts, SURF@NCS will also serve as a lab for NCS to develop its intellectual property (IP) in the smart city space. An example is the Intelligent Command & Control Platform designed by NCS to improve situational awareness and operational efficiency in scenarios involving multiple agencies. The proprietary platform was test-bedded in Little India last year under the Safety and Security Industry Programme Office established by Ministry of Home Affairs and Economic Development Board.

NCS will be looking to create more examples of IP in smart city innovations through its latest partnership announcements. At the event, it signed agreements with Cisco, A*STAR’s Institute for Infocomm Research and Singapore University of Technology and Design to collaborate in this area.

Besides global technology players and tertiary and research institutes, NCS’ partner line-up also includes local startups which bring different technologies and expertise to the table. Examples include HOPE Technik which develops robots and drones; KAI Square which develops video analytics software for events detection; Quantum Inventions which delivers intelligent transportation systems for road traffic management, and WEB Biotechnology, a digital health company specialising in home care remote monitoring solutions.

According to NCS, the 15 partners have, for a start, committed to collaborate in technology areas such as fog computing, Internet-of-Things and critical infrastructure management.

On the manpower front, NCS announced that it intends to recruit up to 120 professionals to be trained as enterprise architects, product engineers, data scientists and subject matter experts for the implementation of smart city solutions. A programme will be introduced In partnership with the Institute of Infocomm Research to nurture experts in data science and analytics, it said.