With the world's urban population expected to grow to 70 percent of the global population by 2050, cities increasingly face challenges related to high-density living, such as efficient resource usage and traffic congestion.
Given these issues, the Centre's objective is to harness high performance computing capabilities to develop solutions for sustainable urban operations such as crowd mobility and transport engineering, with researchers using Singapore as a "living lab" to test-bed next generation solutions to real urban issues. Increasingly, technologies based on the convergence of data analytics, complex system simulation, computational social science, and behavioural science will play game changing roles in addressing urban challenges.
The Centre will initially focus on the following projects, with further themes to be explored over the course of the partnership:
The Centre will draw upon a diverse, yet complementary set of core strengths and technologies across the three organisations for solutions to urban challenges. A*STAR's Institute of High Performance Computing and Institute for Infocomm Research will contribute capabilities in Big Data including visualization and analytics, complex systems, modelling and behavioural science, capabilities in urban data exchange, and machine learning for urban challenges like transport and supply chain management.
Fujitsu will contribute to the development of social innovation solutions, using Big Data analysis and high performance computing for integrating Big Data analytics and simulation. Fujitsu will also leverage its leading-edge R&D capabilities from Fujitsu Laboratories to contribute to the Centre's various research themes.
SMU's expertise includes methods and software systems for planning, scheduling and decision making that combine artificial intelligence agent-based modelling and simulation, large-scale optimisation, mechanism design, behavioural economics and computational social science.
Research will be carried out across all three organisations on real urban challenges faced in Singapore. In addition to the team of engineers and researchers from Singapore and Japan, certain research projects will include SMU graduate and doctorate students.
Mr. Tango Matsumoto, Corporate Executive Officer, EVP, and Head of Global Marketing, Fujitsu Limited, stated: "The Urban Computing and Engineering Centre of Excellence offers a valuable and unique opportunity for us to engage in cutting-edge research and development by utilizing Singapore's living Big Data to the maximum, which synchronizes with Fujitsu's approach of Human Centric Innovation. Also, through this project, we aim to strengthen our relationship with Singapore and hope to contribute to the development of a safer and more secure society."
Dr. Raj. Thampuran, Managing Director of A*STAR, stated: "This collaboration with Fujitsu, A*STAR and SMU pushes the leading edge of public-private partnerships to solve major urban challenges confronting Singapore and many other modern cities today. Such issues are complex and dynamic in nature and so a strongly multidisciplinary, multi-organisation approach is imperative where knowhow and talent from public institutions and companies are needed to address the problems facing the future of societies."
Professor Arnoud De Meyer, President of SMU, stated: "Through this Centre of Excellence and the related Corporate Lab @ SMU, we look forward to contributing our interdisciplinary knowledge and research from across our SMU schools and research institutes to solving complex urban and social problems. This will enhance SMU's role in making a positive impact on society by making significant contributions to improving the quality of life of city dwellers. By working together with A*STAR and Fujitsu, we further strengthen our well-known expertise to make sense of data at scale with analytics, to use data to better understand, model and predict human behaviour, and to create intelligent decision-making support tools for urban and maritime-related resource planning and allocation."
The Centre is supported by the Urban Computing and Engineering Corporate Lab @ SMU, funded by the NRF, as the fourth laboratory to be established under the NRF Corp Lab@University Scheme. The scheme supports Singapore's autonomous universities in their conduct of industry-relevant research with companies as partners.