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Public-private initiative aims to improve city living through tech


The Safe City Test Bed aims to combine public data with analytics to better manage urban resources

SINGAPORE — A video analytics tool capable of detecting scenarios such as traffic congestion, abandoned objects and the accumulation of rubbish: Just one example of innovation borne from the Safe City Test Bed.

This initiative is a series of public-private collaborations that aims to combine public data with analytics to develop urban management solutions that will improve operations of Government agencies. A Safe City Test Bed showcase will be on display at the World Cities Summit at Marina Bay Sands from June 1-4.

“With a combination of rule-based algorithms and machine learning, these technologies can allow agencies to distil vast amounts of data to provide meaningful insights and help improve response times,” a joint statement from the Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said.

The Safe City Test Bed initiative includes four private consortia — Accenture, AGT International, Airbus Defence and Space together with NCS, and NEC Asia Pacific — which used public data sets from various ministries in combination with data analytics to develop offerings that could help agencies improve on operations, according to a statement released today (May 28).

The consortia were appointed by the Safety and Security Industry Programme Office (SSIPO) last May. The SSIPO was jointly established by the MHA and the EDB.

Mr Anselm Lopez, Co-Director of the SSIPO, added: “Through the Safe City Test Bed, we envision the possibility where analytics can enhance our sense-making and planning such that we can be in a better position to minimise the impact of threats.”

In President Tony Tan Keng Yam’s address in Parliament on May 16, Dr Tan outlined the Government’s push to use IT to improve lives and make Singapore a “Smart Nation”. He said new technologies will be used to develop sustainable and innovative solutions to improve lives.

Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Lee Yi Shyan echoed this on May 27 during the parliamentary debate on the President’s address. He said the information revolution has a role to play in creating new industries and jobs for Singaporeans, and improve feedback to local authorities such that agencies can develop a holistic view of issues on the ground.

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