In sectors which investment does not happen in isolation, Singapore is effective in efficiently targeting innovation.
One of Singapore’s key challenges in developing as a global innovation hub is to build an environment that can bring together innovators and entrepreneurs, and allow them to exchange technology and ideas.
A good case study that can serve as model for the development of Singapore’s overall development in Innovation Efficiency is OpenLab, by Huawei. OpenLab not only enables research and development activities, but it also operates as an independent verification zone that allows partners to safely and securely verify their solutions.
The technology and processes that Huawei has developed for OpenLab has been met with global appeal; for example in the Philippines, Ayala Group makes use of Huawei’s safe city technology and solutions to ensure safety, improve urban traffic management and enhance communication in cities including Makati and Bonifacio Global City.
“ICT advancements in the digitalisation era are optimising business models and opening up new market opportunities. Huawei’s Southern Pacific OpenLab empowers enterprises to quickly respond to new market opportunities and develop competitive, commercialised solutions by testing technical solutions in a real network environment," Lei Hui, CEO, Huawei International, said.
"This open, collaborative platform enables enterprises to capitalise on the aggregate value of industry-leading technology and expertise while facilitating development of the industry ecosystem to create greater value for customers,”
Through OpenLab, Huawei aims to help enterprises transform their IT systems through leveraging leading technologies around key fields, including big data, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT), while at the same time maintaining a leading approach to security, controllability, and cost-effectiveness.
Understanding the appeal of Huawei’s OpenLab is easy, as it plays a critical role in the development of modern IT ideas. With the technology security environment under ever-increasing pressure from both governments and non-government actors (i.e. state-owned and independent hackers), there needs to be a place where solutions and innovations can be tested without exposing the business to malicious threats.
However, few organisations have the capabilities and resources to build testing environments within their own businesses. OpenLab’s ability to provide a safe environment to a large number of organisations makes it a natural partner for any business with an innovation agenda, Todd Sun – vice president, solutions sales and marketing dept, Huawei Southern Pacific Enterprise Group, said.
“Now ICT systems are too complex. You need big teams and management processes. At Huawei we have the most comprehensive product set and we wanted to leverage that to build infrastructure,” Sun said.
“We have OpenLabs in all ten of our key regions, but this is the largest OpenLab here in Singapore - we have set up different zones in the labs for different areas of technological focus, and we’re actively inviting partners to verify with us whether their solutions work.
“The thing is, the benefit from our investments here isn’t just for us. The impact that the solutions have after coming through OpenLab is global.”
In being a focal point for innovation, OpenLab operates in a secondary capacity as a genuine hub for technology ideas. In bringing innovations together in an incubator-like environment where technologies can be safely tested and innovated on in collaboration with other technologies, OpenLab becomes a critical piece of the innovation infrastructure of the city.
The development of smart, innovative cities mandates that the technology industry operate within proximity to one another.
The ability to “bump into a new business partner at the café” tradition is what drove both Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv to become innovation powerhouses. Through OpenLab, Huawei is able to foster a similar collaborative spirit, and become a centrepiece of Singapore’s growth as a globally recognised innovation centre.