Covid-19 has disrupted global manufacturing, shaken up supply chains and given rise to a new normal worldwide. The nature of jobs has changed, with a stronger case for digitalising and virtualising business models. While the challenges are significant, Singapore is in a good position to seize the opportunities and recover strongly from this crisis due to the strengths of its economy built up over the years.
The Singapore Government is committed to mitigating the economic impact of the pandemic and preserving Singapore’s ability to compete for jobs. Singapore’s manufacturing ecosystem will continue to build up global links for markets, supplies, technology and talent. Through a Whole-of-Government approach, public sector agencies will work together to provide the best conditions possible for our companies to do business and remain connected with the world, and build a resilient manufacturing ecosystem that can adapt to the needs of the new normal. Singapore will forge ahead with R&D and Industry 4.0 adoption, and ensure continuous workforce training, upskilling and re-skilling.
At this year’s ITAP, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), Enterprise Singapore (ESG), JTC, and SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) have rolled out new initiatives to enable local enterprises to reinvent their businesses and pivot into new markets and product lines, along with efforts to advance Singapore’s global leadership in Industry 4.0, through forging strategic partnerships and embracing Industry 4.0 technologies.
Future-proofing Our Manufacturing Workforce and Creating Growth Sectors through Training, Upskilling and Re skilling
A*STAR: The Advanced Manufacturing Training Academy (AMTA) was launched as an industry-led national programme office to enhance the competitiveness of Singapore’s manufacturing workforce. AMTA is supported by A*STAR, EDB, ESG, Nanyang Technological University Singapore (NTU Singapore), and SSG. AMTA’s key objectives include fore-sighting of emerging skills and knowledge in advanced manufacturing, charting advanced manufacturing training in Singapore, and facilitating the development of new courses and curriculum. The AMTA programme office will be governed by a Training Council comprising Institute of Higher Learning (IHLs), public agencies, industry and unions, and will be sited within A*STAR’s facilities at the Jurong Innovation District, a one-stop advanced manufacturing hub.
SSG: To help manufacturers adapt to the crisis and build the necessary capabilities to thrive in a post-Covid world, SSG is rolling out about 2,300 training opportunities in advanced manufacturing. This is part of the national SGUnited Jobs and Skills initiative to upskill and reskill mid-career jobseekers for growth sectors such as advanced manufacturing.
Singapore Polytechnic (SP) is collaborating with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to form the Global Technology Innovation Village (GTiV) to develop Singapore as an innovative Industry 4.0 hub for technology and knowledge transfer. Under the GTiV, an Industry 4.0 consortium will be set up, comprising 19 technology leaders, SMEs, standards organisation, SSG and JTC. The consortium will support the regional sharing of technology and knowledge by allowing developing ADB member countries to leverage Singapore’s expertise in Industry 4.0, applied research & development, startups and innovations. Jurong Innovation District will serve as a key node for regional participants to connect with companies in the ecosystem and experience Industry 4.0 through learning journey and engagement sessions.
Keeping Singapore Globally Competitive Through Strategic Partnerships
EDB: EDB is announcing a partnership with the World Economic Forum (the Forum), to drive the global adoption of the Smart Industry Readiness Index (SIRI). EDB and the Forum will accelerate the use of SIRI as an internationally-recognised standard for Industry 4.0 (i4.0) transformation, and the adoption of new i4.0 technologies across manufacturing communities around the world. Findings from the SIRI assessments will culminate in a whitepaper which will be published at the 2022 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, to provide new insights on global development and progress around the i4.0 transformation of the manufacturing sector. To scale SIRI into a global framework, 90 Certified SIRI Assessors (CSAs) will be trained over the next 18 months. EDB and the Forum will also engage government bodies, trade associations and manufacturing leaders globally to share more on SIRI, with a target of conducting 500 to 750 new Official SIRI Assessments globally by the end of 2021.
ESG: To better leverage the complementary strengths of Singapore SMEs and German Mittelstand, Enterprise Singapore and the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support enterprise development through industrial and digital transformation in sectors of common interest, including advanced manufacturing, digitalisation and innovation, medical technology and healthcare, and future of mobility. This will be done via enhanced collaboration in open innovation, and by jointly accessing market opportunities in Southeast Asia and Europe. Under the MOU, Enterprise Singapore and APA will co organise the refreshed GSBF Connect which will feature sector-specific events held throughout the year to facilitate more frequent collaborations between German and Singapore companies.
Building a Collaborative Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem
JTC: Asia’s leading advanced manufacturing hub Jurong Innovation District (JID) has attracted about SGD420 million of new investments over the past year, despite the global pandemic. Master-planned and developed by JTC, the 600-hectare JID is shaping up well with more joining the full manufacturing value chain of research institutes and capabilities developers, technology and training providers, and advanced manufacturers. “Queen Bee” company, Hyundai Motor Group, together with a new cluster of advanced manufacturing companies including Makino, DMG MORI, Konica Minolta, and Fanuc, are joining existing players such as Bosch Rexroth, Siemens, Sodick Singapore Techno Centre, and Shimano to strengthen the JID ecosystem further. The Advanced Manufacturing Training Academy (AMTA), an industry-led national programme office, will also be sited at JID. This reinforce JID’s position as Asia’s leading advanced manufacturing hub, and demonstrate the confidence companies have in Singapore’s long-term fundamentals amidst the global pandemic.
Accelerating SMEs’ Adoption of Industry 4.0 Solutions
JTC: JTC and the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support manufacturers, especially SMEs, to kick-start their Industry 4.0 journey or to scale their current efforts through the adoption of technologies and solutioning for business operations through the new JTC-SBF Industry Transformation Initiative. Over 300 companies are expected to be supported under this initiative and undergo Industry 4.0 transformation in the next two years. This will help them to develop new capabilities for their workforce, enhance its productivity and ensure long-term competitiveness. This partnership with SBF is part of JTC’s ongoing efforts to build a collaborative community that can help companies to stay ahead of the curve. In January this year, JTC launched the Industry Connect Initiative to help businesses across its estates grow through technology adoption while enhancing talent development and environmental sustainability. To date, over 1,000 businesses in JTC’s estates have been engaged through various Industry 4.0 outreach initiatives, with around 200
companies embarking on their Industry 4.0 journey.
Initiatives for workforce training, public-private partnerships, and accelerated adoption of Industry 4.0 solutions launched by Singapore’s public agencies during this year’s Industrial Transformation ASIA-PACIFIC (ITAP) event