IMDA Partners SUTD To Deepen Data And AI Capabilities To Drive Continuous Innovation For Smart Estates

13 Nov 2019

Announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat as part of Singapore’s National AI Strategy, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (“IMDA”) and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (“SUTD”) are collaborating in a new effort to deepen AI capabilities for building and managing Smart Estates of tomorrow.

As part of IMDA’s digital economy efforts to strengthen Singapore’s position as a leading global node for technology and innovation, IMDA has been working with property developers, tech providers, and Built Environment service providers to co-develop and test innovative urban solutions.

With its unique curriculum that blends technology and design, SUTD is spearheading progress in the Cities, AI and Data Science sectors, and nurturing the next generation of industry-ready graduates and harnessing its research and development capabilities towards developing meaningful solutions for Singapore and beyond. The university’s adult learning institution, SUTD Academy, which has introduced stackable courses under its first-of-its-kind ModularMasters (MM) programme, will help provide working adult learners with design-focused and hands-on modules based on their learning and developmental needs.

Under this new partnership, IMDA and SUTD will launch a suite of projects to help deepen technological capabilities in AI, develop new solutions, and strengthen the overall Smart Estates ecosystem by leveraging AI as a key enabling technology.

“As we continue to develop the Smart Estates ecosystem, the development of AI and data capabilities for enterprises and talent will play an important role in Singapore’s Digital Economy. We are pleased to be working closely with industry partners to spur innovation and further enhance urban solution technologies and capabilities that will help to enrich the way we design and operate the spaces we live, work and play in,” said Mr Tan Kiat How, CE, IMDA.

Professor Chong Tow Chong, SUTD President, said, “SUTD is pleased to partner IMDA for these projects which dovetail with SUTD’s growth plans in Cities, AI and Data Science to support smart estates development. With SUTD’s expertise in AI and human-centred design innovation, we aim to co-develop smart solutions with industry partners to directly address people’s needs thus improving businesses, while providing a pipeline of multi-disciplinary and technically grounded graduates to the industry.”

The IMDA-SUTD partnership aims to achieve the following:

  1. Encourage AI innovation through industry-led use cases, academic research & development. IMDA and SUTD will bring together estate owners, technology providers and researchers to co-develop innovative AI applications to provide insights to better solve industry challenges. Use cases include manpower and cost savings in estate management, urban sustainability, and data-driven insights for better planning and design.

    IMDA will provide co-funding support for the development and trial of eligible AI projects through a Smart Estates Call for Innovation Solution (CFIS), which will be launched later. Successful projects can then be scaled up and deployed locally and overseas.

    As part of the CFIS, IMDA will also be collaborating with partners such as CapitaLand, Frasers Property Singapore, SingEx, SUTD Campus and Our Tampines Hub, who will offer various types of trial sites (e.g. Business Parks, Commercial Buildings, MICE [Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions] venues, academic and community facilities) for the test-bedding of AI applications.

  2. Improve data accessibility to facilitate continuous AI innovation. IMDA and SUTD plan to build a data repository known as the Smart Estates Data Lake. The repository will be built using common data standards and governance frameworks. This estate-level dataset will facilitate AI development and experimentation by researchers, students, and technology companies.
  3. Develop leading AI talent with practical experience working on real-world projects. Through the CFIS projects, IMDA will support technology companies in training fresh or mid-career AI professionals through a combination of courses and on-the-job training. SUTD Academy will offer industry-relevant training courses to equip these professionals with skills in the emerging areas of data science and AI. Trainees can also be attached to future innovation projects from the Data Lake.

Read Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat's speech at the Singapore Fintech Festival X Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology 2019.
About the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission.

For more news and information, visit or follow IMDA on Facebook IMDAsg and Twitter @IMDAsg.

About the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) is Singapore’s fourth public university. SUTD is one of the first universities in the world to incorporate the art and science of design and technology into a transdisciplinary, human-centric curriculum. SUTD seeks to advance knowledge and nurture technically-grounded leaders and innovators to serve societal needs. SUTD also recently topped a list of emerging engineering schools in the world in a study conducted by MIT.

A research-intensive university, SUTD is distinguished by its unique East and West academic programmes which incorporate elements of innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and local and international industry collaborations. SUTD will focus in key areas – Healthcare, Cities and Aviation, supported by capabilities in Artificial Intelligence/Data Science and Digital Manufacturing. In addition, skill-based professional education and training courses are also available at SUTD Academy.