Dell Technologies has unveiled a SG$66 million innovation centre named the Global Innovation Hub in Singapore, which aims to fast track the adoption of digital solutions and drive digital innovations developed in Singapore for partners and customers globally. Pumping in approximately SG$30 million this year as part of its SG$66 million planned investment, Dell said in a press release that it looks to accelerate developments in digital experiences and research and development (R&D) capabilities in 2021.
The Global Innovation Hub will focus on advancing multiple growth areas for digital transformation including augmented/mixed reality, data analytics, cloud-native, cybersecurity and edge computing. It is also home to a specialised team responsible for enhancing user experiences through innovation. With the establishment of the Global Innovation Hub , Dell said it would be creating over 160 jobs opportunities in the emerging technologies sector. It is added that a diverse team of R&D innovators comprising designers, developers and strategists will be recruited by this year. All new hires for the Global Innovation Hub are based in Singapore and will drive R&D programmes for Dell's customers and partners worldwide.
The press release also said that the Global Innovation Hub will house existing R&D facilities in Singapore such as the Singapore Design Centre, which is home to the DesignSingapore Council, Singapore's national agency for design. These R&D facilities will be responsible for global product design and development of key product categories such as monitors and client peripherals. Additionally, the Global Innovation Hub will also include a hardware prototyping lab dedicated to product design and innovation, and an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Experience Zone, according to Dell.
Dell's Global Innovation Hub comes on the heels of the Singapore government's interest in investing into R&D. Last year, the government said it will be investing SG$25 billion over the next five years to boost research, innovation and enterprise in the country. This is to meet a broader range of national needs and build a knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy and society by 2025.
Amit Midha, president, Asia Pacific and Japan and global digital cities, Dell Technologies, said: “We’re very excited to unveil our global innovation hub as part of this initiative that will allow us to ideate, experiment and co-create meaningful digital solutions for our global customer and partner ecosystem. The Dell Technologies Global Innovation Hub in Singapore supported by talented local professionals will allow us to further contribute to the country’s growth and develop innovative products and solutions in emerging technologies to serve the wider regional and global markets.”
Ang Chin Tah, vice president and head of Digital Industry Singapore added that the Dell's launch of its Global Innovation Hub shows confidence in Singapore as an attractive R&D location with access to "talent and a vibrant ecosystem of partners in the region". He also said that with Dell creating meaningful jobs for Singaporeans across design, strategy, research, and product development, this will support Digital Industry Singapore's efforts in building a smart nation and a strong digital economy. Launched in 2019, the Digital Industry Singapore is a joint office comprising the Economic Development Board, Enterprise Singapore and Info-communications Media Development Authority.
Dell has also invested in Singapore's digital economy earlier this month, with the launch of its tech skills accelerator initiative to meet the growing demand for tech talent in Singapore. The initiative is said to be able to empower up to 3,000 fresh graduates, mid-career professionals and students in Singapore with knowledge and skills in cloud computing, data protection and management, data science, and big data analytics over the next two years. The two-part initiative comprises a training and enablement opportunity for Singapore-based Dell Technologies’ partner and customer firms, and a collaboration with the Singapore Management University on a cloud-native focused curriculum for its students.
The initiative comprises of three aspects: a five-week training session made available to 1,000 employees at Singapore-based Dell Technologies’ partner and customer firms, an eight-week programme piloted by software company VMware that equips participants for emerging cloud native job roles and opportunities, as well as Dell's collaboration with Singapore Management University to incorporate cloud-native technologies and content into their curriculum that will be conducted to over 1,000 students.
Midha said: “Digital economy advancements have shaken up skills requirements, increased the pace of change and led to a surge in demand for highly-skilled tech talent. As Singapore continues to grow its status as a global technology and innovation hub, technology companies have an important role to play in contributing back to this economy. We recognise the responsibility and role of companies such as ours have in helping to upskill and train the talent to help bridge the critical skills gap."
Dell is not the only company that has invested into Singapore's digital economy in recent years. In 2019, tech company Cisco launched a Co-Innovation Centre in Singapore, which focuses on the Internet of Things (IoT) and cybersecurity space. The centre is said to bring together industry players, accelerators, universities and start-ups to co-create and prototype new solutions to problems unique to the region.
Separately on the agency side, digital agency R/GA Singapore also launched its Smart Design and Technology Centre of Excellence. According to a press statement then, the goal of the centre is to impart R/GA’s approach and expertise by mentoring and coaching the next generation of Singaporean talent. Along with the centre, the agency put in place a three-year plan focuses on hiring and training expert practitioners in areas such as experience design, creative technology, data science and innovation consulting, to expand the existing team.