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NEC opens first ‘living lab’ to test solutions for public safety, transportation, healthcare

Aug 3, 2017

SINGAPORE — Japan’s NEC Corp announced on Thursday (Aug 3) the opening of its first Advanced Centre for Experimentation (ACE), aimed at facilitating the company’s global research and development capabilities.

Speaking at the official opening of the centre, Senior Parliamentary Secretary Low Yen Ling said NEC and Singapore have enjoyed a “strong partnership” since the company first deployed satellite earth stations in Sentosa in 1971 and established its corporate presence in the Republic in 1977.

NEC has undertaken innovative projects in Singapore, including the provision of the biometrics technology for Singapore’s National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) project in 1991. NEC’s fingerprint and facial recognition solutions have been adopted by more than 70 countries worldwide, said the company.

Operated by NEC Laboratories Singapore, the ACE will serve as a “living lab” for proof-of-concepts for advanced solutions in areas such as public safety, transportation and healthcare.

Leveraging NEC’s core technologies, such as artificial intelligence and info-communications technology platforms, the centre creates a real-world environment that makes it possible to understand the benefits of new solutions before commercial deployment and operation, said the company.

NEC has also worked on Singapore’s first Safe City Test Bed initiative with the Safety and Security Industry Programme Office, a strategic alliance between the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Economic Development Board (EDB). Using Orchard Road as a test bed, the initiative successfully tested innovative solutions, including facial recognition video analytics and cross-site monitoring capabilities, said Ms Low.

“Singapore is a vitally important strategic base for NEC,” said Mr Tetsuro Akagi, senior vice-president of NEC Corp and CEO of NEC Asia-Pacific, adding that Singapore is one of the safest cities in the world for living and ease of doing business.

“Building an efficient infrastructure has always been a focus of Singapore, improving the lives of citizens and also attracting top talent to the city-state.”

Mr Akagi announced that NEC will invest more than S$100 million in the Asia-Pacific region over the next five years mainly for research and development, and the set up of the ACE. Investment will also be allocated to bring and grow more talent locally in artificial intelligence, Internet-of-things and cyber-security — including partnerships with universities and start-ups, he said.

The NEC Talent Development Programme, for example, is a partnership with the EDB to identify 26 high-potential fresh graduates from local universities and to equip them with the necessary technical and soft skills to become future managers at NEC.

NEC is also scaling up its talent development efforts in Singapore and will train more than 50 individuals in research, data science and engineering roles over the next three years.

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About NEC Corporation
NEC Corporation is a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies that benefit businesses and people around the world. By providing a combination of products and solutions that cross utilize the company’s experience and global resources, NEC’s advanced technologies meet the complex and ever-changing needs of its customers. NEC brings more than 100 years of expertise in technological innovation to empower people, businesses and society.

For more information, visit NEC at

The NEC Group globally provides “Solutions for Society” that promote the safety, security, efficiency and equality of society. Under the company’s corporate message of “Orchestrating a brighter world,” NEC aims to help solve a wide range of challenging issues and to create new social value for the changing world of tomorrow. For more information, please visit

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NEC Laboratories Singapore (NLS) is a joint entity of NEC Laboratories and NEC APAC. We aim to create new social solutions and contribute towards the creation of Smart Nations around the world.

NEC Labs Singapore (Advanced Centre for Experimentation)
Nucleos Building
21 Biopolis Road #03-07
Singapore 138567

NEC Labs Singapore (Human Experimentation Area)
Nucleos Building
21 Biopolis Road #05-11/12