The Straits Times

New NEC facility on the lookout for Singapore talent

Annabeth Leow | Aug 4, 2017

Urban solutions lab in Biopolis aiming to hire 50 new researchers and solutions engineers

Fifty new research and engineering jobs are headed this way, with Japan’s NEC Corporation opening its Advanced Centre for Experimentation (ACE) in Biopolis yesterday .

The new centre and upcoming hires are part of a $100 million investment by the Japanese multinational in the Asia-Pacific, in its push to focus on research and development over the next five years.

The facility will be a laboratory for testing advanced solutions in public safety, transport, healthcare and other real-world issues before commercial application.

It will tackle projects in partnership with both government agencies and enterprises such as public transport operator SMRT.

NEC’s previous tie-ups with the Government include providing biometric technology for NRICs in 1991.

It has also worked with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Economic Development Board (EDB) to conduct facial-recognition video analytics trials in the Orchard Road area, in a public security project.

Ms Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Trade and Industry, said at the launch: “One of our key priorities is to equip our people – Singaporean workers – with digital skills, so that they can participate in and benefit from the digital economy.”

Over the next three years, 50 new researchers and solutions engineers will be hired at NEC Laboratories Singapore, which runs ACE. They will specialise in R&D in fields such as artificial intelligence, cyber security and the Internet of Things.

Head of NEC Laboratories Singapore Mervyn Cheah said these Singapore professionals will add to his team of 33, already comprising nine nationalities.

“Many ICT companies are trying to get (workers with) similar skill sets, and that is part of the shortage,” he told The Straits Times, referring to the information and communication technology sector.

Ms Low also called attention to the NEC Talent Development Programme, launched last year in a team-up with the EDB.

The four-year scheme sets out to train 26 fresh graduates from local universities and prepare them for management roles at NEC. So far, 11 trainees have come on board.

Ms Low called this an example of how “Singapore has been partnering leading technology companies to develop digital talent through on-the-job training”.

Mr Tung Meng Fai, EDB’s director for infocomms and media, said in a statement: “This investment by NEC is a strong testament (to) Singapore’s talent pool and innovation capabilities to drive the digital transformation of industries. The ACE will enrich Singapore’s digital ecosystem and will foster new partnerships for the co-creation and commercialisation of new solutions from Singapore.”

It was previously announced that 2,000 new digital-related jobs in the urban solutions domain will come to Singapore between this year and 2020.

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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