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ATxSummit 2024

Singapore Invests Close to S$300 million in National Quantum Strategy and Announces Green Data Centre Roadmap for Sustainable Growth  

At ATxSummit, the apex event of Asia Tech x Singapore (ATxSG)  2024, Guest-of-Honour Mr Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the National Research Foundation (NRF), outlined an investment of close to S$300 million into Singapore’s National Quantum Strategy (NQS) to advance Singapore’s  growing Quantum industry.

This investment will strengthen the nation’s position as a leading hub in the development and deployment of quantum technologies over the next five years.  DPM Heng also launched the Green Data Centre (DC) Roadmap to guide digital sustainability and chart green growth pathways for DCs, supporting AI and compute developments. For AI,  DPM Heng announced the release of Model AI Governance Framework (Generative AI), as well as the development of the Digital Forum for Small States (DFOSS) AI Governance Playbook with Rwanda to advance AI safety.  

Advancing development and deployment of quantum technologiesThe NQS is funded by the National Research Foundation, (NRF), and driven by the National Quantum Office (NQO), hosted by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research  (A*STAR). The NQS will focus on four funding initiatives anchored by four strategic thrusts – scientific excellence, engineering capabilities, talent, innovation and enterprise partnerships. 

  • Scientific Excellence: The NQS will invest to elevate the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) into a national R&D centre with nodes in partner institutions,  including A*STAR and local universities, bringing together research talent across the country to drive national quantum research priorities. 

  • Engineering Capabilities: To strengthen Singapore’s capabilities in quantum technologies and accelerate translation of quantum solutions, the Quantum Engineering Programme 3.0 (QEP 3.0) will be enhanced with the addition of a new National Quantum Sensor Programme (NQSP). The NQSP will bring research performers and industry partners together, to collaborate on industry-centric research projects in the focal areas of Position, Navigation & Timing, Biomedical Sensing & Imaging, and Remote Sensing. A new National Quantum Processor Initiative (NQPI) will also be established to build local capabilities in the design and build up of Singapore’s own quantum processor(s). 

  • Talent: A National Quantum Scholarships Scheme (NQSS) will be funded under the National Quantum Strategy to develop a pipeline of up to 100 PhD and 100 Master-level quantum talent over the next five years to meet Singapore’s research and industry needs and build a quantum-ready workforce.

  • Innovation & Enterprise Partnerships: Investments will be made to develop a vibrant quantum ecosystem through strong industry partnerships and the nurturing of local enterprises which can work with NQO. The National Quantum Computing Hub (NQCH),  a programme under NQO, will strengthen its innovation & enterprise and ecosystem building efforts, by driving synergistic tripartite partnerships with industry, end-users and the research ecosystem in quantum computing, to support the translation of quantum R&D into real world solutions. Following the successful testbed trials of the National Quantum Safe Network (NQSN), IMDA also launched the National Quantum-Safe Network Plus (NQSN+) where our operators will provide commercial quantum-safe solutions for businesses by end of this year. 

The Green Data Centre Roadmap: architecting a digitally sustainable futureAt the Digital Sustainability Forum, a part of ATxSummit, Dr Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information shared how Singapore, as a regional Data Centre (DC) hub, is taking the lead in ensuring the long-term sustainable growth of DCs with the Green DC Roadmap. As a compact city-state, Singapore is uniquely positioned to innovate and pioneer solutions that may address this global challenge of sustainable DC growth. The Roadmap aims to provide at least 300 megawatts (MW) of additional capacity in the near term,  with much more through green energy deployments. Through the additional capacity, we aim to seed innovative ways to accelerate energy efficiency, as well as hybrid ways to unlock further capacity through green energy. 

The Roadmap pioneers an end-to-end ecosystem approach, recognising the important role of DC operators as catalysts in forging key partnerships across the multi-faceted ecosystem to bring together solutioning partners to realise the broader goal of sustainable development. It also outlines IMDA’s plans to partner the industry to push boundaries and accelerate DC sustainability on two fronts: 

  1. Energy Efficiency: Accelerate DC’s energy efficiency at hardware and software levels and allow industry and end-users to put in place best-in-class technologies to maximise efficiency, capacity and economic potential. 

  2. Green Energy: Accelerate DCs’ use of green energy to expand capacity, and explore how we can deploy this at scale over time to maximise space for continued DCs’ growth 

Building a trusted AI ecosystem through International Partnerships 

Singapore has been actively contributing and driving conversations in the international space on AI safety through the Model AI Governance Framework (Generative AI) and the Digital Forum of Small States (DFOSS). The Model AI Governance Framework (Gen AI) is the first comprehensive framework pulling together different strands of global conversation surrounding AI governance.  

The finalised framework was released today and will be mapped to international AI principles such as the G7 Hiroshima Principles for interoperability after receiving over 70 responses globally largely endorsing the framework’s multi-stakeholder and robust approach to AI governance. 

Digital Forum of Small States Roundtable 

Singapore convened a conversation among the Digital Forum of Small States (Digital FOSS)  members on the importance of small states to collaborate on the design, development and implementation of AI Governance.  

At the Digital FOSS Ministerial Dialogue hosted by Minister of Communications and Information, Mrs Josephine Teo, Digital FOSS Ministers, Ambassadors and senior officials exchanged views on the challenges and opportunities that small states face in the areas of international cooperation on digital governance, including in areas such as AI.  

A Digital FOSS AI Roundtable bringing together high-level representatives of the Digital FOSS Fellowship Programme discussed the Digital FOSS AI Governance Playbook for small states,  which Singapore and Rwanda are leading the development of. Digital FOSS members also shared their experiences, challenges, and best practices in AI governance during the roundtable. 

Other key highlights at ATxSG include:  

Tony Blair Institute for Global Change “Greening AI” report  

The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, a knowledge partner of ATxSG, launched a report on “Greening AI: A Policy Agenda for the Artificial Intelligence and Energy Revolutions”. The first-of-its-kind report examines digital sustainability across the AI value chain, highlighting Singapore’s pioneering efforts to advance this agenda – from optimising energy efficient in data centres to greening AI software. The report emphasises the important role of government in promoting green AI, and that with the right policies and coordination, these revolutions can reinforce each other, unlocking significant economic and environmental benefits. 

About ATxSummit 

ATxSummit, organised by Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore, will take place from 30 to 31 May 2024 at Capella Singapore. This apex event of ATxSG comprises invitation-only Plenary conference, covering a range of topics including Artificial Intelligence,  Governance and Safety, Quantum Computing, Sustainability and Compute. ATxSummit also features the ATxAI and Women and Youth in Tech conferences, alongside exclusive G2G events for government officials to address common digital concerns and G2B closed-door roundtables to facilitate closer partnerships between the public sector and the digital industry. 

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