Powering the World’s First Smart Nation

Singapore has an ambitious plan to become a technology utopia: one that can better support her local communities, create more job opportunities, and improve the lives of her citizens through the power of big data and technology. This is part of Singapore’s vision called Smart Nation, a national effort to deliver always-on connectivity island-wide through analysing massive amount of data, and ultimately drive innovations in education, transport, healthcare and other public services.

While this may sound like the plot of a science fiction novel a decade ago, it is actually fast becoming a reality for the island city-state. Helping Singapore to realise this initiative is Microsoft, which is collaborating with the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Institute of Data Science (IDS) to further data science education and research. As the first industry partner of the newly launched IDS, the technology company is working with the institute to develop capabilities in data science, analytics and cybersecurity, as well as nurture data science talents for Singapore’s Smart Nation vision. These would be achieved through brand new tools and methodologies, which the two organisations will be working jointly on, that can also benefit the industry and academia in the Asia Pacific region.



Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella delivering his keynote address at Microsoft Developer Day 2016 in Singapore and inspiring next-generation innovators to realise Singapore’s Smart Nation vision


In addition, Microsoft is also producing the university’s data science curriculum while developing its curriculum assets, which will include more than 200 hours of content such as tutorials and assignments. Part of the assets offered by Microsoft is its Cortana Intelligence Suite Education Program, which can optimise the environment for data science labs and projects. The Advanced Analytics Process and Technology tools will also allow NUS to build and deploy predictive models, while offering students hands-on experience to the Cortana Intelligence Suite, Microsoft’s big data and advanced analytics service. Microsoft technical experts and data scientists will also be on hand to consult and support the university.

“Through the unique curriculum offerings that are designed in collaboration with Microsoft, NUS students can better appreciate the value, opportunities, and insights that big data can provide. Our researchers will also engage in joint research with Microsoft to develop novel, integrated solutions to industry-relevant data science problems, and in turn, harness technology to improve lives of Singaporeans,” said Professor Ho Teck Hua, Deputy President (Research & Technology) of NUS.



Wong Ngit Liong, Chairman of NUS Board of Trustees, and Satya Nadella jointly launched the new NUS Institute of Data Science


Microsoft and NUS will also conduct joint research on developing integrated solutions to data science concerns, while working on issues such as deep learning and artificial intelligence. Internship opportunities at Microsoft will also be extended to NUS undergraduates and graduate students.

“Data is the new electricity powering the digital transformation that all of us are experiencing, whether we are consumers or businesses. It is important that we ready our workforce for tomorrow’s smart economy—one that is increasingly digitised for networked intelligence,” said Jessica Tan, Managing Director of Microsoft Singapore.


Learn more about the Microsoft-NUS collaboration here