Singapore, Dell do a pandemic-era elbow bump, open IT giant's first-of-its-kind 'innovation hub' outside US

Island nation may become tech goliath's destination for 5G and edge research


Dell has opened what it says is its first innovation hub of its kind outside of America, in Singapore.

The Global Innovation Hub (GIH) is one of several centres worldwide, but the first, we're told, that includes a user-experience R&D group. Other areas of focus include augmented and mixed reality, data analytics, cloud-native tech, cybersecurity, and edge computing. The hub also houses existing R&D facilities that design things like monitors and keyboards for Dell, a hardware prototyping lab dedicated to product design, and a space for demonstrating AI-based technologies.

The US$50m centre takes advantage of Singapore’s 5G networks, especially for edge computing research, which is expected by some to overshadow cloud computing in upcoming years. Singapore newspaper The Straits Times claimed the new centre positions the island nation as the place where Dell R&D will be driven when edge computing becomes mainstream in three to five years.

The hub will bring 160 jobs in emerging tech to the island nation at a time when many are scrambling for work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Seventy-five percent of the roles are already filled.

Dell’s president for Asia Pacific & Japan, Amit Midha, said the initiative is part of a national scheme titled "Digital Future – Made in Singapore" that promotes and drives digital solutions created in-country. Dell did not disclose if it received any direct funding as part of this scheme.

However, Dell Singapore did recently announce a scheme to help train/re-train 3,000 professionals, students and new grads through apprenticeships and other programmes, partly supported by the government.

Another Dell/Singapore initiative provides five-week training programs to 1,000 employees of Dell’s Singapore-based partners that have enrolled in the country’s SGUnited Traineeship or Mid-Career Pathways programme. ®

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