Singapore-based Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) has just signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Fujitsu Limited to set up their first Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Computational Social Science and Engineering locally. They will be identifying technological solutions and opportunities for creating sustainable urban development with special emphasis in transportation management and energy efficiency.

The MoU was signed at Fujitsu’s Tokyo headquarters today by Raj. Thampuran, managing director at A*STAR, and Kenji Ikegai, corporate senior executive vice president and representative director at Fujitsu. The CoE will utilise data from several agencies in Singapore to gain a better understanding of complex dynamics within the city. In turn, with modeling and simulation involved, this will create greater efficiencies in resource allocation and usage, bringing vital growth opportunities to the city-state.

In terms of transportation management, the two companies will gather insight on travel behavior and dynamics of commuters, using it to optimize transport services, foresee demand and identify tipping points. Energy management-wise, they will be analyzing the dynamics of energy supply and demand, using technology to track energy consumption while reducing wastage and optimal energy management.

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The Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC) will head the joint effort within A*STAR by banking on its capabilities in HPC-enabled analytics of real-world data provided by various sources, as well as its knowledge of complex systems and social behavior.

Both sides foresee that this collaboration will see issues faced by modern cities in terms of planning and implementing urban sustainability initiatives get addressed. “The joint investment in resources and sharing of know-how will focus on tackling deep and complex problems facing metropolitan areas and facilitate the development of new approaches in big data,” said Professor Alfred Huan, executive director at IHPC.

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“By participating in building a smart city through the use of high-performance computing and big data, Fujitsu’s goal is to develop new skills and practical experience, create the next generation of solutions, and establish new business models for global or ASEAN companies moving into Singapore,” said Masahiko Yamada, president of technical computing solutions unit at Fujitsu Limited.

Other partners in this CoE include institutions and government agencies from both Singapore and Japan such as the National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF) and Fujitsu Laboratories Limited, Fujitsu’s research and development organisation. The partners will convene across a series of workshops, projected to start in April 2013, to identify the research themes to be jointly studied by the CoE.

Image Credit: SMRT Media