05 November 2012

Singapore, 5 November 2012 The Singapore Management University (SMU) and StarHub today announced the launch of the "LiveLabs Urban Lifestyle Innovation Platform" (LiveLabs) and "SmartHub", two complementary innovation platforms in consumer and social analytics that will strengthen Singapore’s capabilities in Interactive Digital Media (IDM) Research & Development (R&D).

These two National Research Foundation (NRF)-supported innovation platforms will provide city-scale test-beds where home-grown and global players can jointly develop, test and launch their IDM-based products and services, not just for Singapore, but for the region. With an investment of some $50 million, the two innovation platforms are expected to help speed up the commercialisation process of R&D, increase the quality and quantity of IDM innovations, help businesses gain useful insights into consumer behaviours, as well as catalyse more collaborations between the academia, industry and public-sector organisations in developing IDM innovation.

Together, the launch of SMU’s "LiveLabs" and StarHub’s "SmartHub" will help to sharpen the competitive edge of Singapore companies and position Singapore strongly and favourably as a regional hub for consumer and social analytics.

Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security, Minister for Home Affairs and Chairman of National Research Foundation (NRF), Mr Teo Chee Hean graced the "LiveAnalytics@SG: Launch of LiveLabs & SmartHub" event held at SMU as the Guest-of-Honour. The ceremony was attended by over 300 guests comprising industry partners, institutional and business representatives and relevant public-sector officials.

For a start, LiveLabs will be partnering with CapitaMalls Asia, the Sentosa Leisure Group, Changi Airport and SMU to generate insights about their customers through their mobile devices and other sensor data. SmartHub will also partner Orchard Road Business Association (ORBA), IBM Singapore, Nanyang Polytechnic, National University of Singapore and Quantum Inventions to explore data analytic projects across various industries such as transportation and retail.

SMU President, Professor Arnoud De Meyer said, "SMU is proud to have reached another milestone in shaping the increasingly-vibrant and rapidly-growing IDM ecosystem of Singapore. Through the launch of LiveLabs, we hope to help businesses, particularly those in the retail, tourism and hospitality sectors, gather useful, context-based consumer and social insights based on the behavioural patterns of real-world users. This will enable participating companies in Singapore to tap high-value opportunities."

"Consumers will also benefit from enhanced and personalised service and product offerings, as well as from more context-relevant incentives delivered by the business operators, service providers and venue owners. Providing such enhanced capabilities in analytics will help Singapore attract more international consumer and lifestyle industry players to establish their presence here. This in turn contributes to employment opportunities and the growth of our economy," he added.

"StarHub has a strong culture in investing in innovation, which aims to bring benefits to the industry and society. We believe in close collaboration with partners to synergise expertise, skills and resources for successful innovation," said Mr Neil Montefiore, CEO of StarHub. "We are pleased to launch SmartHub, StarHub’s major foray into research and development in the area of interactive digital media; and this initiative is in line with Singapore’s vision to be the preferred platform for innovation and research. SmartHub is dedicated to collaborate with higher learning institutions, start-up companies as well as large and multinational organisations to co-create new classes of applications and solutions through use of evidence-based social and consumer insights derived from our data analytics."

The launch of LiveLabs and SmartHub underpins the strategic thrust to marshal the Nation as a Platform of Innovation, championed by the Interactive Digital Media Programme Office (IDMPO), hosted by the Media Development Authority of Singapore.