IBM to open blockchain innovation centre in Singapore
By Digital News Asia July 13, 2016
- Government, industry and academia collaboration
- To develop blockchain apps for finance and trade
IBM Corp said it plans to establish an IBM Centre for Blockchain Innovation in Singapore, where its researchers will work with government, industry and academia to develop applications and solutions which are based on enterprise blockchain, cybersecurity, and cognitive computing technologies.
This would be done in collaboration with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
The centre will also work with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to create new applications and grow new markets in finance and trade, IBM said in a statement.
“This is IBM’s first collaboration with the private sector and multiple government agencies within the same country to explore the use of blockchain and cognitive technologies to improve business transactions across several different industries,” said Robert Morris, vice president, Global Labs, IBM Research.
“Now with new cloud services that make these technologies more accessible, leaders from all industries are beginning to take note of the resulting profound and disruptive implications in a range of settings including finance, banking, the IoT (Internet of Things), healthcare, supply chains, manufacturing, technology, government, the legal system, and more,” he added.
The blockchain centre follows the June launch of its first Watson Centre, a Singapore facility which would also work on blockchain and cognitive computing technologies.
The first projects at the newer blockchain centre will focus on trade solutions using blockchain to improve the efficiency of multiparty trade finance processes and transactions, IBM said.
These projects will build on IBM’s work with the Linux Foundation Hyperledger platform. The Innovation Centre will be staffed with technical talent from Singapore as well as those from IBM research labs worldwide.
These projects, which could also involve global banks and emerging financial technology (fintech) companies , are aligned with MAS’s vision to further develop Singapore as a ‘smart financial centre.’
“The financial sector is well-placed to play a leading role in Singapore’s vision of being a Smart Nation,” said MAS chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty.
“Given that technology is a key enabler of financial services, MAS is pleased to continue to work with companies like IBM to promote technology innovation in finance, and encourage the adoption of safe and efficient technology with the financial industry,” he added.
IBM said it will also work with PSA Singapore Terminals and others to create a trade ecosystem which connects emerging financial technologies with the physical world of global trade and logistics.
This would lead to new business models and attract more global trade and finance to Singapore, it added.
“We will work with IBM and other partners, as well as through our new incubator programme PSA unboXed, to explore the development and use of blockchain technology for trade, finance, and logistics,” said PSA International group chief executive officer Tan Chong Meng.
“These are fields that we can add value to with our expertise as a hub port operator in Singapore and around the world.
“We believe new technologies such as blockchain have the potential to reinvent multiparty business transactions and that Singapore is the right innovation hub to carry out field trials of such technologies across a variety of uses,” he added.
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