Singapore and Nanjing deepen collaboration on AI and sustainable urban solutions

At the recent 6th Singapore-Nanjing panel meeting, Singapore and Nanjing discussed and agreed to deeper collaboration on artificial intelligence (AI) and sustainable urban solutions. Eight Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) were signed at the 6th Singapore-Nanjing Special Projects Cooperation Panel (SNCP) in Nanjing, Jiangsu province.

Singapore is currently Nanjing’s fourth largest foreign investor, with 390 projects in the city reaching S$4.02 billion in cumulative actual investments. Singapore companies have been investing in sectors including education, real estate and medical services in the city. 

This year, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) brought 54 Singapore business representatives from sectors including logistics, real estate, medical services, technology, financial services and education to attend the SNCP meeting. ESG is also the Secretariat to the SNCP.

The SNCP is a city-level platform under the Singapore-Jiangsu Cooperation Council (SJCC) set up to bolster bilateral cooperation in special projects in Nanjing. This year’s SNCP meeting was co-chaired by Senior Minister of State (SMS) for Trade and Industry Dr Koh Poh Koon, and Nanjing Mayor Lan Shaomin.

“As Nanjing strives to be an innovation-driven city, we see opportunities for Singapore companies in sustainable urban solutions such as water and energy, as well as in AI. Singapore companies can tap the growing AI ecosystem in Nanjing to find partners and co-create solutions for Nanjing, as well as for the rest of China. These solutions can be piloted on the Singapore-Nanjing Eco Hi-Tech Island, which provides a suitable location for test-bedding,” said SMS Koh, the Co-Chairman of SNCP.

Collaborations in AI

As reported earlier, China unveiled a three-year national plan last year to boost the application of AI in the automobile, robotics, healthcare and finance sectors. With a target to develop a RMB 1-trillion AI industry by 2030, China has entered into an era of AI-focused technology development. This is estimated to generate RMB 10 trillion from related businesses.

Given its position as the fourth Chinese cities with highest technology readiness, Nanjing is a key city for Singapore companies to find opportunities in AI. With the AI ecosystem in Nanjing growing quickly, Singapore companies can look forward to forge partnerships with leading Chinese players and co-create solutions not just for China, but also beyond.

At the meeting, Singapore’s Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) signed a MOU with Singapore-Nanjing Eco Hi-Tech Island Administrative Committee and Development Company to establish the ACE Nanjing-Singapore Centre to promote the start-up and innovation ecosystem.

Leading Chinese AI firm, iFLYTEK, will also set up its regional headquarters at Singapore-Nanjing Eco Hi-Tech Island (SNEHTI), undertaking critical functions including advanced research and development and industrial applications.

In conjunction with the SNCP meeting, SMS Koh also attended the inaugural Sino-Singapore Artificial Intelligence Forum with Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on 1 June 2018.

Partnership in sustainable urban solutions

Two MoUs signed were agreements in water management and clean tech solutions, which are in line with Nanjing’s 13th Five Year Plan, which highlighted the importance of sustainable urban solutions in driving the growth of its ecological economy.

The collaborations involve the establishment of:

(1) The Global Eco-Tech Innovation Centre which targets to be a key clean tech transfer platform to help water companies commercialise their advanced water solutions for the China market. The centre will be located in the International Water Hub on the SNEHTI, which will be completed by end 2018.

(2) Clean Energy Technology Innovation Centre

Temasek Polytechnic will be involved in setting up a Clean Energy Technology Innovation Centre to develop technologies for energy generation and storage, as well as power and energy management. It will also provide opportunities for Temasek Polytechnic staff and students to participate in internships, learning trips and joint project developments in Nanjing. The research centre will also be housed within the International Water Hub.

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