By Nurdianah Md Nur
July 12, 2016
IBM today (12 July 2016) announced its plans to establish a Centre for Blockchain Innovation in Singapore.
As part of its collaboration with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the centre will house researchers who will work with government, industries and academia to develop applications and solutions that are based on enterprise blockcain, cyber security and cognitive computing technologies.
The centre will also engage with small and medium-sized enterprises in Singapore to create new applications and grow new markets in finance and trade, according to IBM.
"The IBM Centre for Blockchain Innovation will allow companies across 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 centre, 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 centre will focus on trade solutions using Blockchain to improve efficiency of multi-party trade finance processes and transactions. The solutions and associated Blockchain platform will be designed and developed in Singapore, said IBM.
These projects, which could also involve global banks and emerging financial technology companies, are aligned with MAS' 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. 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," said Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer of MAS.
Besides partnering financial services institutions, IBM will 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 will lead to new business models and attract more global trade and finance to Singapore.
"We will work with IBM and other partners, as well as through our new incubator program PSA unboXed, to explore the development and use of Blockchain technology for Trade, Finance, and Logistics. 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 multi-party business transactions and that Singapore is the right innovation hub to carry out field trials of such technologies across a variety of uses," said Tan Chong Meng, Group CEO, PSA International.
IBM expects the Innovation Centre to deliver a number of technology pilots across the finance and trade industries over the next three years. These projects will build on IBM's work with the Linux Foundation Hyperledger platform.