IBM is opening a Blockchain Innovation Centre in Singapore in collaboration with with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
In addition to drawing from the expertise in the Singaporean talent pool and that of the IBM Research network, the Center will also engage with small- and medium-sized enterprises to create new applications and grow new markets in finance and trade.
According to Robert Morris, Vice President, Global Labs at IBM Research, 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 different industries. “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, IoT, healthcare, supply chains, manufacturing, technology, government, the legal system, and more,” he said.
In fact, the IBM Center for Blockchain Innovation will allow companies across various industries to partner with IBM in co-creating cutting edge digital solutions for global markets from Singapore. “We are also pleased that IBM continues to engage actively with institutes of higher learning through the Center, creating roles for a deep talent pool in Singapore to advance emerging technologies,” said Kiren Kumar, Executive Director, Infocomms and Media, EDB.
The first projects for the Center will focus on trade solutions using blockchain to improve efficiency of multi-party trade finance processes and transactions. These projects could also involve global banks and emerging financial technology companies known as “FinTechs.”
IBM will also work with PSA Singapore Terminals, the world’s largest container transhipment port, and others to create a trade ecosystem, which connects emerging financial technologies with the physical world of global trade and logistics. This will lead to new business models and attract more global trade and finance to Singapore.
The Center is also welcomed by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (iDA). Assistant Chief Executive Khoong Hock Yun, Development Group, iDA said: “As we build Singapore into a Smart Nation, innovation in the financial sector is key to help increase Singapore’s competitiveness as a global trading hub. The industry’s move is a clear sign that Singapore is capitalizing on opportunities to be market leaders in emerging technologies such as the blockchain. This can translate to strong benefits throughout our entire finance ecosystem including the boosting of local tech capabilities. We hope to see more examples of industry innovation moving forward.”
IBM picture courtesy of Michael Coté, modified from original