JTC and SIT Establish the ‘PDD Living Lab Programme’


The programme serves as a framework for collaboration between partners to scale smart solutions, with several MOUs inked with UOB, TMCC, Wanxiang Blockchain and its partners, and dConstruct Robotics.

JTC and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) marked the establishment of the ‘Punggol Digital District (PDD) Living Lab Programme’ at the PDD Connecting Smartness 2023 event today, organised by JTC and graced by Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Trade and Industry.

The programme serves as a framework for like-minded partners to connect and tap into SIT’s research and talent pool. With the aim of accelerating the growth of the PDD ecosystem, the programme features three key pillars: to develop a pipeline of future-ready tech talents; to provide opportunities for co-innovation and test-bedding; and to drive entrepreneurship.

SIT inked several Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) today with UOB, Target Media Culcreative, Wanxiang Blockchain and its partners, and dConstruct Robotics as part of the programme.

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(From left) Ms Hazel Kuok, Executive Director, d’Construct Robotics; Mr Ronnie Tay, Deputy President (Administration) & Chief Financial Officer, SIT; Dr Xiao Feng, Vice Chairman and Executive Director, China Wanxiang Holding; Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Trade and Industry; Mr Bernard Nee, Deputy President (Industry & Community), SIT; Mr Tan Boon Khai, Chief Executive Officer, JTC; Mr Dean Tong, Head of Group Human Resources, UOB; Ms Sharmin Du, CEO, Target Media Culcreative. (Photo courtesy of JTC)

Building Talents for the Digital Economy

To grow talent in the financial technology sector, UOB and SIT will jointly set up a Fintech Innovation Lab within SIT’s upcoming Punggol Campus for innovation and applied research. UOB’s employees and SIT’s academic staff and students will have the opportunity to work on real world problems and hone skills for the future economy at the joint lab. The latest MOU adds to UOB’s existing support of SIT’s Work-Study Degree programmes where SIT students from three degree programmes can access applied learning opportunities via work attachments at UOB. There will also be work opportunities for SIT graduates.

In the same spirit of building talent, Target Media Culcreative (TMCC) is partnering SIT to facilitate students’ work attachments at TMCC, and organise competitions and outreach campaigns to foster interest in digitalisation and STEM in the wider Punggol community. The competitions will feature business case challenges to cultivate entrepreneurship amongst students in Punggol as they find ways to innovate and improve on existing business models. SIT and TMCC launched a hackathon today that leverages Punggol Town as an extended test bed of PDD, where participants are invited to propose creative solutions comprising engaging and immersive community communication plans for digital display screen enhancement.

Co-developing Web 3.0 Capabilities for Applied Learning and Applied Research

PDD provides a fertile ground for test-bedding and co-innovation to flourish. In the area of blockchain, SIT has forged a partnership with Wanxiang Blockchain and its partners, LatticeX Foundation and the Hashkey Group, to build and strengthen the local blockchain ecosystem and co-develop Web 3.0 technologies for SIT’s virtual campus, a digital twin that will complement the physical SIT campus. Through this digital realm, the university aims to pioneer new ways of applied learning and applied research with immersive and interactive experiences.

The entities will jointly develop a decentralised identity system that leverages blockchain technology to allow faculty and students to access different campus sites seamlessly. Various tiers of access will be further developed for industry partners and the public, depending on the nature of collaborations and usage objectives. Such a system will enable SIT and its partners to jointly test-bed new ideas and innovate within a safe and secure immersive environment.

Local robotics firm, dConstruct Robotics, is also strengthening its collaboration with SIT by embarking on applied research and teaching projects to co-develop next-generation autonomous robots. This is an extension of their existing collaboration where autonomous robots were deployed in SIT campuses to create digital maps for solutions, such as digital twin applications and sustainability management.

Fintech students giving presentation

SIT students Leshawn Chan Khin Ming and Tristan Raj Shankar (left) interacting with Dr Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information; Mr Teo Chee Hean, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security and Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Trade and Industry. (SIT Photo)

SIT President Prof Chua Kee Chaing said, “SIT’s co-location with industry in PDD will facilitate a strong academia-industry nexus, which is at the heart of our applied learning pedagogy. The PDD Living Lab programme will enable SIT students to collaborate closely with industry partners and work on cutting-edge technological solutions. Being part of the vibrant and innovative community will allow SIT students and faculty to benefit from symbiotic exchanges of ideas and collaborations, and be better equipped to contribute to the digital economy.”

Master planned and developed by JTC, PDD is Singapore’s first smart and sustainable business district. Occupying 50 hectares, the district features a collaborative ecosystem with partnership opportunities for industry, researchers, academia, and government agencies. The district is the future home of the new SIT Punggol Campus. Visit JTC’s PDD website for more information.

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