NUS and the Suzhou Industrial Park Administrative Committee (SIPAC) will establish a new centre in Suzhou to spur research and commercialisation in artificial intelligence (AI). This was announced on 15 December, following a signing ceremony between NUS Acting President Professor Tan Eng Chye and SIPAC Vice Director Mr Ding Lixin in Suzhou for a joint investment of close to RMB100 million (S$20 million) in funding and manpower to support the development and operation of the centre, as well as NUS (Suzhou) Research Institute (NUSRI).
Named NUS Artificial Intelligence Innovation and Commercialisation Centre (NUSAIICC), the new centre will be hosted at NUSRI from January 2018. The NUSAIICC will pursue AI research, innovation, application and commercialisation in various areas, such as health care, financial technology and smart city. It will also promote NUS technologies, as well as identify and encourage budding start-ups to venture into the Chinese market through NUSAIICC.
Professor Ooi Beng Chin, Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at NUS and Director of the NUS Smart Systems Institute, will take on the leadership of the Centre as its inaugural Director and oversee a multidisciplinary research team drawn from NUS’ various faculties and research institutes.
Noting that the advances of AI offer exciting new ways to solve society’s pressing problems, Prof Ooi said, “NUSAIICC aims to be at the forefront of AI innovation, uncovering new insights and developing cutting-edge solutions for the world while at the same time fostering greater collaboration between industry and academia.” He added that he is looking forward to leading the centre and working with leading AI experts from Singapore and Suzhou.
NUSAIICC will develop advanced intelligent systems and platforms to help transform and upgrade AI competencies in start-ups, small-medium enterprises and large companies. It will also provide technology incubation support and solutions to start-ups and small businesses, helping them solve problems with AI as well as accelerate the adoption of AI. NUS students can also look forward to internship exposure through NUSAIICC in the future.
Prof Tan expressed delight at the opportunity for NUS to further strengthen ties with Suzhou with the launch of the NUSAIICC. “This new NUS AI centre, our first in China, will foster deeper scientific and industrial exchange between Singapore and Suzhou, as well as catalyse new technology and breakthroughs that will have an impact on communities in both cities,” said Prof Tan.
NUSAIICC represents NUS’ deepened engagement in Suzhou, following the recent expansion of the BLOCK71 ecosystem there. NUSAIICC will also work closely with BLOCK71 Suzhou to strengthen NUS commercialisation activities in Suzhou.
“We are excited by the synergy between NUSRI, BLOCK71 Suzhou and NUSAIICC in Suzhou, and look forward very much to the innovations and insights to come,” Prof Tan added.