Global consulting firm Accenture is aiming to bring together local organisations across industry to develop smart urban solutions addressing economic and environmental challenges with its new Singapore Innovation Hub – Future of Cities.
The launch of the Singapore Innovation Hub, on 10 November, was officiated by Singapore’s Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Health, Janil Puthucheary.
Accenture claims the Singapore Innovation Hub builds on the firm’s existing footprint in the local market and reflects the company’s continued investment in Singapore and the region.
Broadly, the hub will leverage on Accenture’s innovation hubs across the world, along with its broader ecosystem of partners, to enhance existing assets, including the AI Innovation Studio in Singapore that already serves as a centre of artificial intelligence (AI) thought leadership and innovation.
It is hoped the new facility will provide clients with access to Accenture’s deep industry knowledge, technology capabilities and business acumen as they explore and reimagine future cities from a multi-stakeholder perspective.
In the initial phase of its operation, the Singapore Innovation Hub will focus on pillars such as adaptive cities planning, mobility, safety and security and sustainability.
“The impetus is now here for countries to take transformative actions towards creating cities that are more sustainable and resilient,” said Ng Wee Wei, country managing director for Accenture in Singapore.
“At the same time, the intersection of digitalisation and energy transition is providing an opportunity for cities to reimagine how services can be delivered and paving the way for game-changing innovations that will revolutionise citizen engagement," she added.
With the support of ecosystem partners, Accenture clients can use the new hub to experience first-hand relevant technology solutions, through immersive demonstrations, that are designed to help address the urban challenges that hinder the progress of sustainable smart cities.
One potential use case flagged by Accenture was the use of digital twins and artificial intelligence (AI) models to simulate a range of environments and scenarios for urban planners to assess and optimise the effectiveness of building designs and evacuation standard operating procedures, even before a critical incident occurs.
According to Divyesh Vithlani, Southeast Asia market unit lead at Accenture, the hub is designed to fulfil a growing demand in the local market.
“It is clear from our conversations with clients that there is a new era of compressed transformation and an acceleration of industry convergence with a focus on environmental, social and governance standards,” Vithlani said.
“From acquisitions in Malaysia to expand our Interactive and AI capabilities to the set-up of the Innovation Centre for Cloud in Indonesia, Advanced Technology Centre in Thailand and now the Singapore Innovation Hub and AI Innovation Studio, we are putting innovation at the core of our business model and leading with applied innovation to solve our clients’ biggest challenges,” he added.
The launch of the new hub comes after Accenture in August opened a new cloud innovation centre in Indonesia, amid an effort by the company to outpace the predicted growth rate of the cloud market in Southeast Asia.
Upon launch, the company said its new Accenture Innovation Centre for Cloud Indonesia (AICCI) would work to underscore the firm’s aim of advancing the growth and digital transformation of the country’s fast-growing start-up ecosystem, enterprises and government agencies.
In September, Accenture moved to bolster its AI and data transformation prowess in Southeast Asia thanks to the acquisition of Malaysian data management and analytics firm BIIT Consulting.
Founded in 2013 by two former Accenture employees, Veleswaran Nallaiah and Samuel Lee, BIIT Consulting provides services to help organisations across the region manage, analyse and extract insights from their data.
The Kuala Lumpur based firm claims a track record of serving clients across various sectors, including the financial services, retail, telecommunications and manufacturing verticals.
As part of the agreement, BIIT Consulting’s team of approximately 55 professionals joined Accenture Malaysia’s Applied Intelligence team, a move thought to strengthen the global firm's ability to offer additional value to clients in the areas of data management, analytics and AI.