Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran on Tuesday launched the first edition of Singapore International Robo Expo (SIRE), which converges exhibitors, government officials, and researchers in the robotics sector.
Themed "Forging the Future of Robotics Solutions," SIRE comprises an exhibition, product demonstrations, networking sessions and conferences, functioning as a platform for governments, private sector and the academia to engage in dialogues, share industry practices, forge partnerships, as well as explore funding opportunities for the adoption of robotics solutions.
In his opening remarks, S Iswaran said technological trends such as robotics are creating new opportunities for the economy, such as in areas of manufacturing and services. Robotics will help address Singapore's manpower constraints and boost productivity amidst a tight labor market.
The minister said under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 (RIE 2020) plan, Singapore government has set aside 3.2 billion Singapore dollars (2.3 billion U.S. dollars) to invest in Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME), with a focus on robotics and automation, additive manufacturing, digital manufacturing and advanced materials.
Supported by RIE, a 450 million-Singapore dollar (324 million-U.S. dollar) initiative, called National Robotics Program, will support public-private partnerships among research performers, companies and public agencies to undertake R&D and pilot relevant technologies in targeted areas.
"The government will continue to support our companies and workforce to adopt new technologies as part of our industry transformation efforts," S Iswaran said. Meanwhile, he also urged companies to adopt an open mind-set and embrace the need for change.
Oliver Tian, President of Singapore Industrial Automation Association (SIAA), noted that robotics is a core discipline in Industry 4.0, and it is also a multi-platform enabling tool that is particularly useful to drive Industry Transformation Roadmaps, to enhance productivity, create new jobs and skillsets and empower business innovation.
"As an association, we are constantly looking for ways to bring together robotic adoption, collaboration among partners, and providing support with funding for our members. SIRE is precisely the strategic platform for this," said Tian.
Co-organized by SIAA and Experia Events, the two-day event also offers opportunities for visitors to view "live" demonstrations and come up close with the latest innovations and technologies.
Students can immerse themselves in developments of the robotics industry and get a sampling of how robotics can be applied to real-world settings on the second day of the event.