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Microsoft partners A*STAR for Singapore’s Smart Nation Platform

Zafar Anjum | Feb. 3, 2015
Microsoft and A*STAR’s I2R to leverage combined research and development capabilities to drive innovation for optimised and secure Smart Nation Platform

Microsoft and Singapore's premier research agency A*STAR's Institute for Infocomm Research (I²R) have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a joint Reference Architecture for Singapore's Smart Nation Platform.

The collaboration will focus on establishing the business architecture for member agencies and the development of the technical architecture based on Singapore's Smart Nation Operating System requirements, Microsoft said in a statement yesterday.

Smart Nation is Singapore's vision to fully harness the potential of technology to improve the lives of citizens, create greater opportunities for business, and build a more anticipatory government. The Smart Nation Platform provides an operating system that all public agencies can connect, collect, and comprehend the essential data that are captured and collected via sensors placed around Singapore. It will also ensure that data collected and shared to be anonymised and managed securely.

The new collaboration framework between Microsoft Singapore and I2R will not only foster closer collaboration between I²R's member agencies to promote Singapore as a test-bed for the Smart Nation Platform and its related pilot trials, but will also enable the parties to jointly achieve the following key objectives in the move towards Singapore's Smart Nation vision:

·  Develop innovative technologies in data analytics, smarter networks and cybersecurity;

·  Innovate next-generation video-based solutions through scalable multimedia platforms and advanced video analytics;

·  Collaborate to build a greener and safer Smart Nation through intelligent transport systems, urban mobility and renewable energy systems;

·  Gather Internet of Things (IoT) data and provide input to regulators implementing licence-exempt regulatory frameworks;

·  Educate stakeholders on Smart Nation related technologies and their benefits;

·  Be a credible promoter of the Smart Nation Platform, to enhance their potential and to assist regulators in adopting Smart Nation Platform in their countries.

Dr. Lee Shiang Long, Executive Director of I2R said, "We are proud that Microsoft has recognised A*STAR's I2R's home-grown ICT capabilities and has chosen to partner us to jointly develop the Joint Reference Architecture for Singapore Smart Nation Platform. This partnership is also a testament that our depth of capabilities and pool of talented researchers in Singapore are able to contribute to global MNCs, particularly in supporting the development of new innovative ideas and solutions impacting both locally and overseas. With Microsoft's global reach and expertise, this is a distinct opportunity for A*STAR's technology to be exported onto the world stage and to create greater impact."

As part of the collaboration, Microsoft will seek to accelerate innovation with I²R through Microsoft CityNext, a global initiative that helps cities across the world address increased urbanisation through innovations in Mobile, Cloud, Big Data and Social technologies. In line with the government's vision of a Smart Nation where people lead meaningful and fulfilling lives enabled by technology, Microsoft CityNext leverages technology with the aim of enabling city leaders to do "New with Less" by moving beyond infrastructure and taking a people-centric approach to empower, educate and engage citizens to power the economy for sustainable, long-term growth.


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