Singapore’s Punggol Digital District (PDD) has welcomed its first batch of international tech tenants, with Boston Dynamics, Delta Electronics Int’l (Singapore), Group-IB and Wanxiang, along with a network of tech associations, set to move in.
The precinct is claimed to be Singapore's first smart business district, integrating residential districts, a business park, a university campus, community facilities and a network of parks and waterbodies.
Unveiled in 2018, the 50-hectare smart and sustainable mixed-use district is masterplanned by JTC as a showcase of Singapore’s Smart Nation and digital economy plans.
The precinct will also be the future home to the Singapore Institute of Technology’s (SIT) new campus, with more than 10,000 students and 500 academic staff, marking the district as Singapore’s first business park where academic and office spaces are intertwined.
Upon its anticipated formal opening in 2024, Punggol will serve as a living lab to test out new concepts of living, working and service delivery.
Well ahead of its official launch, however, the precinct has confirmed the first tech companies to join its corporate community.
“Today, three years ahead of its Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) date, I am pleased to announce that the first batch of global companies have confirmed that they will be located in PDD,” said Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong at the Punggol Digital District Connecting Smartness 2021 event on 28 July.
Of the new additions set to move in, Boston Dynamics is a global leader in developing highly advanced mobile robots, Delta Electronics Int’l (Singapore) is a provider of power and thermal management solutions, Group-IB is an international threat hunting and cyber intelligence company, and Wanxiang is a Chinese blockchain industry leader.
“Each of these companies bring with them different expertise to the mix, including robotics and engineering, electronics and automation, cyber security and blockchain technology,” Gan added. “I look forward to welcoming these companies at PDD.
“In fact, this inaugural batch of companies already have plans to set up base in Singapore and make full use of PDD’s collaborative ecosystem.”
Gan noted that Boston Dynamics would be partnering with local startup dConstruct Technologies and the SIT on learning and applied research of robotics systems.
Using Boston Dynamic’s ‘Spot’ robot and dConstruct’s software programming tool, SIT students will be able to develop robotic solutions for improved campus experiences, he said.
Delta Electronics, meanwhile, also has plans to set up a regional headquarters in Kallang by 2022, on top of a satellite office at PDD.
In collaboration with the SIT, Group-IB is developing a virtual environment called the PDD Cyberpolygon SandZone. This virtual environment allows the stress testing of applications, solutions and systems against cyber threats.
According to Gan, as PDD continues to grow, the Singapore government expects over 2,000 tech-related jobs to be created at the precinct, ranging from fraud hunters, data analysts and solution engineers, to artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain developers.
“The ecosystem will be further strengthened by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), Government Technology Agency (GovTech) and a network of tech associations. Together, we hope to create a vibrant ecosystem that promotes opportunities for collaboration in the digital technology space,” Gan said.
News of the first PDD tenants comes as the Singapore government reveals that the number of public sector data security incidents in the country rose from 75 in the 2019 financial year to 108 in FY2020, representing a year-on-year increase of 44 per cent.
However, although the number of data incidents has nearly doubled in a year, there has been a downward trend in the severity of the incidents, with none of the incidents logged in FY2020 assessed to be of high severity. Moreover, all incidents were addressed within 48 hours.