The Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), Digital Industry Singapore (DISG), Smart Nation Group (SNG), Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG), and Google Cloud have jointly unveiled a series of initiatives aimed at accelerating the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) across government and industry sectors in Singapore. This collaborative effort aligns with Singapore’s second National AI Strategy (NAIS 2.0).
The announcement was made during the ExploreAI summit held at the Google Asia Pacific campus, where Mrs. Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity, served as the Guest-of-Honor. The summit marked the conclusion of the AI Trailblazers initiative and introduced the next phase of the strategic collaboration between MCI and Google Cloud.
Fast-Tracking AI Adoption
The AI Trailblazers initiative, in its first iteration, has successfully addressed over 100 generative AI (gen AI) use cases from 84 organizations across various sectors. At the ExploreAI summit, 43 organizations, including the People’s Association, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Nanyang Polytechnic, GSK, Temus, and TDCX, were highlighted for building their own gen AI solutions. The initiative provided these organizations with access to Singapore’s first Gen AI Innovation Sandboxes, leveraging Google Cloud’s unified AI stack.
Following the success of the initial phase, plans for AI Trailblazers 2.0 were unveiled. This expanded initiative aims to assist up to 150 more organizations in rapidly building gen AI solutions to address real-world challenges. Enhanced Innovation Sandboxes will provide participating organizations with access to Google Cloud’s AI stack and support from Google Cloud engineers, free of charge for up to 10 weeks.
Nurturing AI Startups
In a parallel development, Google Cloud and EnterpriseSG launched the Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First Singapore. This public-private startup program seeks to nurture and support 100 high-potential AI startups over the next three years. The program offers selected startups up to US$350,000 in Google Cloud credits, access to Google Cloud’s unified AI stack, mentorship, and technical support. Applications for the first cohort of 20 startups are currently open, with the inaugural program set to commence in April 2024.
Addressing the AI Talent Gap
Recognizing the growing demand for AI skills, Google announced an extension of 3,000 Google Career Certificate scholarships to local distribution partners. The focus is on upskilling mid-career professionals, bringing the total commitment to 13,000 scholarships. These certificates, spanning high-growth fields such as Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, and IT Support, are designed for completion within three to six months through flexible, self-paced online training.
To support the Singapore Government’s goal of tripling the number of local AI practitioners to 15,000 over the next three to five years, Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) will incorporate advanced industry training programs from Google Cloud into its core curriculum for more than 1,000 full-time diploma students in its School of Information Technology.
Mr. Mark Micallef, Managing Director, Southeast Asia, Google Cloud, expressed confidence that these initiatives would contribute to advancing the Government’s goal of uplifting people and businesses while unlocking Singapore’s next frontier of economic growth.
More details on AI Trailblazers 2.0 and ongoing developments in Singapore’s AI ecosystem are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Organizations are invited to express early interest in joining these groundbreaking initiatives.