While it is important to acknowledge the giants and their gigantic contributions in any industry, it is just as important to acknowledge the little things they've set into motion that often don't make the headlines in an eco-system that thrives on a sum of many parts. These heavyweights have also taken it upon themselves to contribute to the cause of others in order to help refine the technology scene in Singapore.
Microsoft for starters, has decided that the National University of Singapore will be a perfect place to embed their efforts in helping train more data scientists. With this agreement in place, the university will be inculcating Microsoft's data science curriculum and related resources with the view of becoming a hub for the university's data-related work. With the giant being the institute's first industry partner, the latter stands to benefit with assets in excess of 200 hours, in the form of tutorials, labs, and assignments.
With that in place, the two esteemed establishments will be looking to engage in areas of mutual interest, the first of which is deep learning and the other being artificial intelligence. "Our researchers will engage in joint research with Microsoft to develop novel, integrated solutions to industry-relevant data science problems, and in turn, harness technology to improve the lives of Singaporeans" said Professor Ho Teck Hua, deputy president of Research and Technology in NUS, who is positively beaming over the prospects of a generation of Singaporean innovators who will form the backbone of the Smart Nation initiative.
The insurance heavyweights have come out swinging with news that it is opening the doors to Asia Lab, a space for which digital innovation and advanced analytics can thrive in Singapore. With a core that makes up about ten technology specialists and data scientists, they will partake in collaborations with startups and institutions in order to foster a spirit of insight and expertise sharing. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) also has a hand in this, because the lab has plans to develop solutions in healthcare, mobility, and smart city living.
Yet another fine example of how a multi-million dollar investment has found its way onto Singapore's beckoning shores, in the form of the Beijing-headquartered mobile social gaming company, FunPlus.
While the investment amount is seemingly undisclosed, local mobile game developer XII Braves should be mighty pleased at how it's managed to snag this deal which ensures that FunPlus becomes the global publisher of the company's pride and joy, its latest game 'Valiant Force', which is due for a soft launch in July. News like this joins the ranks of others, which tells a tale of how attractive the mobile games market in Southeast Asia really is.
The National Research Foundation as we'll gratefully have it, has made sure that four large local enterprises (LLEs) will be awarded with a bounty of $10 million in venture capital funds, in the third instalment of NRF's Early Stage Venture Fund (ESVF) which has transpired – a departure of sorts from previous iterations. The lucky recipients are CapitaLand Limited, DeClout Limited, Wilmar International Limited, and YCH Group Pte Ltd.
With that, Singapore has now entered the top ten list of the AT Kearney Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index in 2016, jumping five notches in a barometer which informs one about how a country's political and financial developments will have an effect on the amount of foreign direct investment being injected.
Most important to note of course, is the relative ease of doing business, a strong resistance towards corruption, the presence of several confident international companies, and a formidable ASEAN standing, which has seen this country take up rank (almost everywhere) fairly easily.