Singapore Polytechnic & Big Data Leader Transwarp To Grow Local AI Talent Through Inaugural AI Competition

Separate partnership with National Supercomputing Centre to enable Singapore Polytechnic’s staff and students to develop AI innovations for local industries

Singapore, 7 October 2020 – Singapore Polytechnic (SP) and Transwarp, a world-leading big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform provider, today launched the inaugural Singapore edition of the virtual Collegial Artificial Intelligence Innovation Competition (CAIIC) 2020.

Supported by the Ministry of Education, AI Singapore (AISG) and National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC), the first-of-its-kind AI competition will enable youths from the junior colleges, Institute of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnics, universities and the public in Singapore to identify and develop innovative AI solutions that will predict and initiate preventive maintenance measures for power supply grid equipment. These solutions will help ensure that Singapore continues to have one of the most reliable supply of electricity in the world.

During the 7-week competition, AI engineers from Transwarp and SP’s Data Science and Analytics Centre (DSAC) will mentor and train the participants to use Transwarp’s enterprise AI platform Sophon to carry out AI modelling and design bespoke solutions, through virtual workshops.

The CAIIC 2020 will offer more than S$10,000 worth of prizes for the top three teams across two categories: (i) junior colleges, ITE, polytechnics; and (ii) universities and open (for public). A panel of industry experts and educators from Singapore’s various institutes of higher learning, Transwarp and AISG will judge the submissions. The top team from each category will then advance to the prestigious edition of CAIIC 2020 in China where they will compete virtually with representatives from esteemed Chinese universities.

Since 2017, SP’s DSAC has been supporting local companies in transforming their business digitally through the development of customised AI and analytics solutions. DSAC also provides relevant skills training for companies through short courses in data science, including data visualisation, predictive modelling and AI.

The CAIIC 2020 event is expected to create greater awareness of AI and build a talent pipeline of AI professionals in Singapore. This comes at a time when many government agencies are already tapping on AI to improve their productivity and services, while Singaporeans have shared that they are increasingly ready to embrace AI in their daily lives.

Mr Soh Wai Wah, Principal & CEO of Singapore Polytechnic, said: “AI is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world, and there is currently a huge gap between the demand and supply of AI talents. Our partnership with Transwarp to launch the Singapore edition of CAIIC 2020 is a significant step for Singapore. It inspires learners of all ages to converge and discover their passion in AI and learn from the world’s leading experts, and helps to build up a national pipeline of AI talents and skillsets.”

Mr Sun Yuanhao, Founder & CEO of Transwarp, said: “The quality and quantity of talents determine the level and potential of the development of artificial intelligence. Transwarp has always been committed to the sharing of knowledge and talent training in cutting- edge technology fields including artificial intelligence, and is committed to promoting the integrated development of industry, university and research. We believe that through systematic training and practice opportunities offered by activities such as this competition, students can gain professional knowledge and practical experience in the industry.”

Mr Laurence Liew, Director of AI Innovation at AI Singapore said: “Singapore has been increasingly harnessing AI capabilities to address major challenges affecting the society and the industry and to do so, we need to build and equip our next generation of AI talents. AI Singapore is pleased to support Singapore Polytechnic in this competition to identify and groom our students and expose them to AI both locally and also internationally with counterparts from China.”

Helping Singapore Enterprises Transform Digitally

To further support local businesses in their digital transformation, SP has signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NSCC that will grant SP access to NSCC’s high-performance computing (HPC) resources to support AI programmes and local enterprises in their digital transformation journey. 

The collaboration will allow SP staff and students access to NSCC’s high-performance computing resources. It will also provide SP staff and students with opportunities to work with NSCC, and local businesses in developing large and complex solutions that address business or technical challenges. These solutions could include the use of AI or big data analytics, which are typically tooresource-intensive to be computed on common computer servers. 

The partnership will also see SP students tapping on NSCC’s HPC expertise and participating in a series of AI competitions and programmes that allows them to test-bed new AI solutions and further their interest in AI. 

NSCC will also provide SP with the HPC resources to develop relevant AI training courses and curricula for its pre-employment training as well as Continuing Education and Training (CET) courses. Local businesses that intend to upskill their workforce can look forward to enrolling them in the relevant new CET courses within a year.

Mr Soh Wai Wah, Principal & CEO of Singapore Polytechnic, said: “The battle for more AI talent has never been more critical and urgent as the pace with which businesses and nations are moving to adopt AI is accelerating. Our strategic partnership with NSCC will empower and challenge our students and staff to acquire the domain expertise and create cutting-edge AI solutions that will not only boost Singapore's capability to power its digital economy, but also contribute to our goal in becoming a Smart Nation.”

Associate Professor Tan Tin Wee, Chief Executive of the National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC), said: “High-performance computing will be a key undergirding resource in a Smart Nation Singapore as increasingly advanced and complex technologies come online. Even though the national supercomputing resources at NSCC are already made available to all local research organisations, institutes of higher learning and companies, we want to expose youth to the HPC experience early on, and as part of their education journey. This is so that they are adequately equipped to contribute to the nation’s next generation of innovations as they progress to higher education and out into the workforce.”


For more information:

Frank Chua
Assistant Manager, Department of Communications 
T: 6870 7043
M: 9771 7871
E: [email protected]

Zulaikha Zulkiflee
Senior Executive, Department of Communications
T: 6772 1634
M: 9026 9143
E: [email protected] 



About Singapore Polytechnic
Established in 1954, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) is Singapore’s first polytechnic. It has 10 schools that offer 30 full-time diploma courses and three common entry programmes for more than 13,000 students. SP adopts a proven creative teaching and learning framework and offers students a holistic, authentic and industry-relevant curriculum, innovative and vibrant learning spaces, and enriching overseas programmes.

The Polytechnic is committed to producing competent and versatile graduates who are also imbued with sound values, so that they can be work-ready, life ready and world-ready. SP has more than 212,000 graduates and among them are successful entrepreneurs, top executives in multi-national and public-listed corporations, and well-known professionals across various industries and leaders in government.

SP clinched the inaugural ASEAN People’s Award in 2015 for its contributions toward the region’s community-building efforts. SP is also the first polytechnic to be awarded the President’s Award for the Environment in 2010 and the President's Social Service Award in 2011.

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