In the western part of Singapore, near army training camps and dense jungle, sits Nanyang Technological University. One of the top colleges in the world, the 500-acre campus is populated with pastel-colored residence halls, glass-walled classrooms, a Chinese garden, and an ornate entry gate. And as of January, it’s also home to the HP-NTU Digital Manufacturing Corporate Lab, a tie-up between the Silicon Valley giant, the university, and the Singapore government.
HP’s first corporate laboratory in Asia, it will play a key role retraining and upskilling the Singapore workforce with an integrated focus on 3D printing, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and cybersecurity, all part of a larger push by the Singapore government to prepare the workforce for the advent of digital manufacturing and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as known as Industry 4.0.
“This is HP’s largest university collaboration worldwide,” notes Dr. Mike Regan, director of research at the lab who moved to Singapore from Oregon to run the facility. “It’s our first holistic lab at a university where we can set up projects and recruit talent. Having a presence in a university allows us to work across different departments.”
NTU was a natural choice given its preeminent research labs, strong engineering departments, well-respected faculty, many multidisciplinary fields, and student pool of more than 30,000. HP has had a Singapore office since 1970 allowing the lab to leverage the HP site infrastructure, talent pipeline, and business teams, and views Singapore as a key location in the Asia-Pacific region. “We have 50 years’ experience working with the Singapore government,” Regan notes. “The growth of digital manufacturing is in Asia, it’s the hub of the world.”